While female friendship on TV is still troublingly rare (there are still plenty of television shows where women don't even speak to one another), some of this year's shows still delivered some pretty kickass gal pals. In no particular order, here's a celebration of 2015's top 10 televised friendships between women … and a wish for many, many more pairs to choose from in 2016.
1. Caitlyn Jenner and Jennifer Boylan, I Am Cait
I Am Cait gave Caitlyn Jenner a full-on squad of transgender women to buoy her with friendship as they helped her transition into the LGBT community — a daunting task, given that Caitlyn lived most of her life as a straight, white male jock. Each woman contributed something unique to Caitlyn's life, but it was writer/educator Jennifer (third woman from the left in the above photo), whose glorious willingness to call bullshit made her a BFF force to be reckoned with. She helped keep I Am Cait from being all about clothes and dates and makeup.
2. Leslie and April, Parks and Recreation
While Leslie and Ann Perkins will go down in history as Parks and Rec's dearest love story (friend or otherwise), the final season of Parks saw Leslie and April growing far closer together than the season-one version of April probably ever would've anticipated. Whether April was being the sardonic force that kept Leslie grounded or Leslie was helping April cope as she transitioned into a new career or contemplated parenthood, this odd little pair of friends demonstrated that it's possible, and maybe even desirable, to be besties with someone who's nothing like you. (April and Donna deserve props for their final season friendship too!)
3. Jessica and Trish, Jessica Jones
One of the final pairs of televised friends to turn up in 2015, Jessica and Trish might just be the strongest pair too. (And no, I'm not just talking about Jessica's super-strength or Trish's training in Krav Maga.) They are fiercely protective and loyal, and even though they bicker, they're unquestionably supportive and can make each other laugh in that eye roll-y way only longtime friends can. Trauma may be one of the things that initially bonded them together, but the friendship that resulted is much, much bigger than that.
4. Bailey and Meredith, Grey's Anatomy
Meredith's been sadly without a bestie since Cristina left the show two seasons ago. Alex Karev has stepped up nicely as her fill-in "person," but Meredith's friendship with Bailey has become an essential part of the show too, even though (as Chandra Wilson herself put it!) she and Meredith never actually use the term "friend." Regardless of the missing label, Bailey and Meredith have had each other's backs, both personally and professionally, through every single disaster that's happened on Grey's Anatomy over the past 10 years, especially since Meredith lost Derek. That's friendship.
5. Big Boo and Pennsatucky, Orange Is the New Black
Big Boo and Pennsatucky are a profoundly unlikely pair — would Pennsatucky even talk to gay people at the beginning of Orange Is the New Black? — but the two of them shared some of the year's most genuine, touching moments. As Big Boo helped Pennsatucky process her assault at the hands of a prison guard, she taught Pennsatucky not only what rape and consent truly look like, but also how to know and fight for her own worth. We should all have a friend like that at some point in our lives.
6. Taystee and Poussey, Orange Is the New Black
Is it cheating to include two OITNB friend pairs in one BFF roundup? Maybe, but then again, what other show is so dedicated to exploring relationships between women? It was wonderful to see Taystee and Poussey back together as buddies after Vee had caused a deep rift between them in season two. While there were countless moments where they had one another's backs, it was most delightful to see them united in their love of reading, evidenced by the funeral/wake they had when the prison library had to be burned because of bed bugs. "What are we going to do in the world without a damn dictionary?" indeed.
7. Abbi and Ilana, Broad City
The engine that drives and centers Abbi and Ilana is their friendship. They are essentially a walking encyclopedia of in-jokes and manage to support each other in the best, most consistently hilarious ways. Really, no other BFF pair on television (male or female) comes close. True friendship is getting your bestie a Tupac Shakur comforter for her birthday, then running at full speed to confront the thief after it gets stolen.
8. Amy, Rosa, and Gina, Brooklyn Nine-Nine
If these three characters learned about their inclusion on this list, chances are Amy would be pleased, Rosa would protest that she doesn't do friends, and Gina would say she's far too cool to be lumped in with the two of them. But whether Amy is teaching Gina about astronomy through dance, Rosa is couching her affection for Amy in disdain, or Gina is tricking Amy and Rosa out in catsuits as thanks for them thief-proofing her apartment, they all show up for each other. It's the sort of consistent, tenacious friendship that's rare on TV. Plus, all three are killer dancers, which is totally #SquadGoals.
9. Quinn and Rachel, UnREAL
Does female friendship really involve grabbing your friend in the face and subtly threatening her in order to convince her to produce better reality TV content? According to Quinn and Rachel, it sure does; their gritty, dysfunctional, hilarious relationship was one of the most addictive parts of UnREAL. It was fascinating to watch them work together, support one another, and simultaneously bring out the best and worst sides of one another.
10. Rebecca and Paula, Crazy Ex-Girlfriend
In addition to being under-appreciated (I blame the confusing title), Crazy Ex-Girlfriend happens to have one of the closest-knit friendships on TV. Yes, Rebecca is often pretty unhinged, and yes, Paula often enables Rebecca in her cockamamie schemes to win over her long-lost boyfriend Josh, but at the core of that is a genuine love for Rachel and a desire for her to be happy. This is good news for Rebecca, because ever since she was a kid (as she describes in song), friendship hasn't always come easily to her.
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