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Our Favorite Female Friendships on TV

This article is written by a student writer from the Her Campus at U Iowa chapter.


It is an unfortunate reality that media often pits close women against each other—is Tina Fey funnier, or is her friend Amy Poehler? Selena Gomez and Taylor Swift are both close, who do you think is more successful? This idea is so pervasive that it often overflows into popular television. From volatile to downright catty, a lot of female friendships on the small screen aren’t exactly functional (hello, Blair and Serena on Gossip Girl). It can be frustrating to see so many unstable or negative relationships between women on TV. While we’ve all had toxic friendships that we’ve let go on for too long, the truth is that our best girl friends know us better than anyone else. From awful attempts at finding love and failed tests to finally landing our dream internship, our best friends have seen us at the highest of highs and the lowest of lows.

Below are four current positive female friendships that we think are worth checking out—so while Lucy and Ethel (I Love Lucy, 1951-1957) or Monica and Rachel (Friends, 1994-2004) certainly fit the bill, we aren’t focusing on characters whose shows no longer air.

Leslie Knope and Ann Perkins, Parks and Recreation
Both hailing from Pawnee, Indiana, Leslie and Ann became friends by chance at a local town hall forum. A deep friendship sprang from that meeting, and the two have supported each other ever since. Ann consistently steps in when Leslie needs help, including briefly serving as a campaign manager when Leslie ran for city council. Likewise, Leslie helped Ann get a job in the public health department and she is always there to compliment Ann in the weirdest ways possible (Ann, you beautiful tropical fish). It is obvious that the two not only love and respect one another, but they also have a good time when they’re together—just watch any episodes where Ann and Leslie visit the Snakehole Lounge, Pawnee’s hottest night club.

Jess Day and Cece Parekh, New Girl
Jess is a quirky schoolteacher who loves glitter, ribbons, and vintage-inspired dresses. Cece is a dry, sarcastic professional model who loves bad boys. They seem like an odd match, but it works. Jess always knows what Cece is feeling, whether it is that she is in love with someone or that she is worried that she’s never seen her fiancé’s penis (true storyline). Likewise, Cece is the first person to comfort Jess after she’s fired and she knows all of Jess’ little quirks. This friendship is great because it feels realistic: at one point, Jess asks Cece if they’d still be friends if they as adults rather than when they were kids. Neither of them knew the answer to the question, but they also didn’t care. I think a lot of us can relate to that—even though we may be very different people than our childhood or even high school friends, they’re still an important part of our lives.

Lily Aldrin and Robin Scherbatsky, How I Met Your Mother
From meeting at a bar to being in each other’s weddings, we get to see Lily and Robin’s friendship progress. Through breakups, moves, and career changes, Lily and Robin stay constants in each other’s lives. When Robin isn’t being honest with herself about her feelings, Lily’s always there to help her figure them out. Robin goes out of her way to help Lily and she lets her know when to cut the bullshit. Their friendship is supportive, but it is also fun—we want to go out with them at the bar to talk about life and relationships.



Aria Montgomery, Spencer Hastings, Hanna Marin, and Emily Fields, Pretty Little Liars
Regardless of what is going on with this entertaining, embarrassing, addictive mess of a show, the four main characters always stick together. Despite it seeming as though the entire town of Rosewood is against them, the girls help each other through death, being stalked, and normal teenage issues like choosing a college and breakups. In fact, in spite of all the ridiculousness on PLL, the deep connection the main characters have is the heart of the show that makes it worth watching. If Aria can forgive Hanna for trying to tell Aria’s mom about her relationship with a teacher, then you can forgive your roommate for borrowing your shirt without asking.


Parks and Recreation photo courtesy of Parks and Recreation official Twitter
Pretty Little Liars photo courtesy of the Pretty Little Liars official Twitter


My name is Kathleen McGowan. I am a junior at the University of Iowa double majoring in English and Journalism. My dream is to publish a collection of nonfiction essays or short stories. I enjoy writing, reading, cooking, and keeping up with TV and entertainment news. Feel free to follow me on twitter: @mcgowankj
U Iowa chapter of the nation's #1 online magazine for college women.