Is anyone else totally sick of the Harry Met Sally lameness that rears its ugly head in every single television show where heterosexual characters of the opposite gender hang out together? The New York Times certainly is, judging by their recent op-ed about platonic relationships in pop culture, but that hasn’t stopped the entertainment industry from constantly turning friends into lovers. In fact, they’re so common that they’re starting to make us long for more tension-free guy-on-girl friendships. These relationships are few and far between, but they’re out there, and we’ve got a list of our favorite examples on TV. Tell us yours in the comments.
Clarissa and Sam from Clarissa Explains it All
Usually the thought of your cute neighbor breaking into your bedroom via a ladder and a cool guitar riff would be either incredibly romantic or incredibly creepy, depending on the circumstance. The laid-back, lovable Sam ended up being neither; though he and Clarissa went on exactly one date during the show’s run, they knew that they were much better as best friends. Great for us, because if they broke up, who would they both get to coordinate all those eclectic, mismatching outfits with?
Jess and Nick in New Girl
Jess has a great relationship with all three of her male roommates, but it’s her bond with Nick that’s clearly the most intimate; you get the feeling that they would be friends even if they didn’t live under the same roof. We only hope that despite their obvious chemistry (and the fact that they’ve already seen each other naked), the show’s writers will be able to resist the temptation to throw these two into something that’s more than platonic — at least for now. Remember how awkward you felt watching the pair’s potential three-way with their landlord? That couldn’t have been entirely his fault.
Codex and Zaboo from The Guild
It started out as a one-way infatuation when Zaboo found his gaming buddy IRL and pledged his eternal, stalkerish love to her. Gradually over the course of five seasons of this adorable dorky web series, however, the two have mellowed and settled into a nice, comfortable friendship, with no more disturbing off-the-cuff references to Codex’s apartment floor plans or prescription dosages. Just the way we like our relationships — free from the need for restraining orders!
Veronica and Wallace in Veronica Mars
Not a whole lot of friendships begin with a dramatic rescue from a drive-by flagpole duct-taping, but then again, not a whole lot of friendships are as strong as the one between Veronica and Wallace. And there is never a hint of romantic tension between the two — they’re practically brother and sister, which is totally fantastic as far as we’re concerned.
Peggy and Don from Mad Men
Remember when Peggy used to be Don’s secretary? It’s crazy to think about given how far she’s come since then, and after last season’s magnificent episode “The Suitcase,” it’s clear that they’re pretty much intellectual equals now. We’re curious to see how their relationship will grow this season, especially now that they’ve got this crazy new copywriter, Michael Ginsberg, to shake things up. Will we see another scene like the above, where they go to get a drink together and gossip about the office? We can only hope so.
The Doctor and Donna from Doctor Who
Ever since the rebooted Doctor Who hit British television in 2003, the older crowd of fans have complained about the romantic angle the show’s taken as all of the Doctor’s companions keep falling for him. Well, no need to worry about that with Donna, as the tenth Doctor is definitely not her type (a “long streak of nothing” is what she calls him). That doesn’t stop the pair from being absolutely riveting to watch together — in fact, it almost seems to enhance their chemistry as bantering, bickering friends.
Liz and Jack from 30 Rock
Tina Fey has publicly stated many, many times that Liz and her mentor Jack are never going to get together romantically, citing the pairing as an example of lazy sitcom writing. This is great for us, because their friendship is an unstoppable force of awesome and we’d hate for smooches to get in the way of that.
Leslie and Ron from Parks and Recreation
Leslie and Ron vehemently disagree with each other’s politics, but that doesn’t stop them from respecting one another as people, which is something the rest of us could probably stand to learn. And we know they’re definitely not in danger of hooking up, because Ron was so scarred by his first wife that he’s never going to date another blonde. Leslie’s too perky and adorable for him, anyway, so it’s for the best.
Jerry and Elaine from Seinfeld
Yes, these two did date in the past, but what of it? They’re still hanging out now, so clearly the spark between them had nothing to do with sex or romance. To tell the truth, we like them better as perpetual friends, anyway. Can you imagine the thought of either Jerry or Elaine being married — to anyone?
Ted and Robin in How I Met Your Mother
Speaking of characters who used to date, Ted and Robin are surprisingly stable friends considering their romantic history. Way to give exes across the country false hope about how most break-ups go, guys! Seriously, though, we’d have been devastated if Robin left the show, so we’re glad they found a way to keep her around.