The real foundation of any good TV show isn't the romantic foibles of its characters — it's the friendships between a core group of familiar faces that makes most television worth watching. Sure, amorous relationships, love triangles and will-they-won't-they cliffhangers get all the glory on TV. But what makes for a compelling story, season after season, is the most relatable relationship model of all: friendship. In honor of National Best Friends Day, we've compiled the 10 best TV friendships of all time. These are the friendships we've watched unfold over years, one hour at a time. A lot of the characters on this list feel like actual friends of our own. (Honestly, TV is pretty much our most significant relationship. Just don't tell our real friends.)
Whether you only occasionally catch a show, or you're a perpetual binger, you can't deny that cozying up to the set and watching these pals joke around, support each other or make up after a fight is a sincerely comforting experience. There's nothing better than kicking back with some old friends — be they actual people or characters on a scripted show. In fact, TV friends are in some ways better than actual people: they'll never owe you money and you can always fast forward through any difficult parts of your relationship. It's pretty ideal.
Here are our top 10 favorite television friendships:
Rory and Lorelai, 'Gilmore Girls'
Rory and Lorelai are the ultimate example of a mother-daughter friendship. These two were there for each other through multiple boyfriends, college applications, every quirky town festival Stars Hollow could think up and infinite cups of coffee. They aren't just family, they're also each other best friends. Of course they support one another when times are tough, but they also spend every minute together joking, bantering and trading obscure references no one else understands. That's the mark of a true friendship.
(Honorable mention: Rory and Lane are also truly great TV BFFs.)
The 'That '70s Show' gang
For almost an entire decade, Eric, Hyde, Kelso, Jackie, Fez and Donna reigned as the six best friends every teenager with access to a television wished they had. There was nothing to do and nowhere to go in small-town Wisconsin, but doing "the same old thing we did last week" never looked like so much fun as when the "That '70s Show" gang were doing it together. Teenagers watching in the '90s may have never gotten to experience the thrill of the first "Star Wars"premiere or the pure majesty of a Zeppelin concert, but we were able to live vicariously through this great set of TV friends.
Arnold and Gerald, 'Hey Arnold'
Arnold and Gerald were clearly the ultimate BFFs of P.S. 118. They may have only been in fourth grade, but we could already tell these two were going to be best friends for life. After all, if having an oddly shaped head in common isn't enough to solidify a long-lasting bromance, what is?
Anne and Leslie, 'Parks and Recreation'
To think, it all started because of a pit. Anne and Leslie met in the first season of "Parks and Rec," when Anne's then-boyfriend Andy fell in a giant hole in the ground and sued Pawnee. From that first encounter bloomed a lovely friendship between two of the greatest gal pals in modern TV history. Anne and Leslie are all about empowering each other, not competing, which makes them a powerful (not to mention hilarious) example of how to depict female friendships.
Everyone on 'Friends'
The show was titled "Friends" for a reason. Ross, Rachel, Monica, Joey, Chandler and Phoebe proved that, even in the rat race of New York, having your BFFs by your side (or in your apartment) makes everything worth it. Other shows have tried to emulate the six-friends-in-a-city formula, but none can compare to the original.
Spongebob and Patrick, 'Spongebob Squarepants'
Belonging to different species didn't stop this pair from forming a beautiful friendship under the sea. Though one may be a kitchen gadget and the other an invertebrate, they still found enough common ground to crack each other up, and to be there for each other during the hard times (like when SpongeBob goes on strike). There's got to be a message for all of us in there somewhere.
J.D. and Turk, 'Scrubs'
Just because you've been given the authority to dispense medical information or to perform operations on people, doesn't mean you ever really have to grow up. As best friends and colleagues at Sacred Heart Hospital, J.D. and Turk faced any number of serious challenges and "Scrubs" wasn't afraid to get dark from time to time. But the friendship between these two goofy, lovable doctors was always the backbone of the show, and their antics made both their fictional patients and their real fans love them.
Abbi and Ilana, 'Broad City'
The coolest girls in Brooklyn are also two of the best friends currently on TV. The characters Abbi and Ilana are based on real-life BFFs Abbi Glazer and Ilana Jacobsen, who co-created and star on Broad City as fictionalized versions of themselves. Theirs is not the kind of friendship you can fake: the chemistry between Abbi and Ilana is so genuine, it'll make you jealous.
Taystee & Poussey, 'Orange is the New Black'
Prison might not seem like the best place to find friends, but Taystee and Poussey make it work. These two manage to find humor and humanity in their relationship, despite their bleak circumstances. Their friendship has also been the setting for some of "Orange is the New Black's" most poignant moments, like when Taystee intentionally went back to jail because she wasn't able to navigate life outside the system.
Will and Grace, 'Will and Grace'
If you couldn't tell that Will and Grace were best friends, the title of the show should help you out. Not only did they provide plenty of laughs for viewers, but the titular buddies also helped break stereotypes and helped change many viewers' negative attitudes towards gay people.
(Honorable mention: Jack and Karen's friendship deserves recognition as well.)
Did we miss your favorite TV friendship? Let us know in the comments and be sure to share this post with your best friends IRL.