6 Iconic Friendships & All The Reasons We Love Our Besties

From the first meet-cute, you can often tell if a friendship will be for the long haul, though of course, many unlikely friendships form from big shared experiences, interests, and mundane moments. However your story unfolds, one thing is certain—we ladies need each other. Our friends support us and hold us through the waves of life; through middle school woes, parenting, career achievements and changes, menopause, and relationship ups and downs, we need our besties. 

Being known and understood is an intrinsic part of being human; we are wired for community, relationship, and camaraderie. To know you have someone not only fiercely in your corner, but someone who you can share honest conversation and side-splitting laughs with is the joy of friendship. And let’s face it, having deep relationships improves our quality of life and longevity. The bottom line: it’s extremely beneficial to have close-knit friendships.

We love these 6 real-life and fictional friendships that remind us to make time for the women in our lives who keep us smiling and moving forward.


Oprah & Gayle, 48 years of friendship


Oprah Winfrey and Gayle King met in 1976 when, at 22 and 21 years old, they worked together as a news anchor and a production assistant at the same station. After King couldn’t make it back to the Baltimore suburbs in a storm, Oprah offered her a place to stay and the rest is history! Gayle remembers, “we became friends that first night because for the first time, I met somebody who I felt was like me.” Speaking to O, The Oprah Magazine, the talk show host, producer, actress, and author said, “Something about this relationship feels otherworldly to me … it’s been a very fun ride—and we’ve taken it together.” Oprah has praised her forever bestie’s “boundless positive outlook,” “more-is-more approach to necklaces,” “love of a great burger, a warm doughnut, a cupcake with yellow frosting,” and “endless curiosity” among other things. Adding that no matter how many ventures or adventures they undertake, they’ll be in each other’s corner.


Jennifer & Leah, 15 years of friendship


Jennifer Lopez and Leah Remini’s friendship began when the two were introduced by Jen’s ex-husband, Marc Anthony at a movie premiere, and the two have remained close friends ever since. As Jen jokingly puts it, she ‘got Leah in the divorce.’ “We have similar lives, and similar careers, and we understand nuances that other people don’t understand, so that also bonded us … [She is] courageous, caring, and generous,” Remini describes Lopez as “loving, warm, fiercely loyal, courageous, brave, true, authentic, there’s so many things.”


Leslie, Ann, April & Donna, Parks & Recreation


These fictional besties started a friendship holiday that has made its way into our real-life calendars. The women of Parks & Recreation have some of the most unconventional, heartfelt, and fun moments togetheron and off the job. Leslie Knope (Amy Poehler) alone has an endless supply of lavish compliments for Ann (Rashida Jones), and never fails to deliver. “Ann, you beautiful tropical fish. You’re smart as a whip and you’re cool under pressure.” As the mastermind behind the genesis of ‘Galentine’s Day’ back in 2011, Poehler’s character introduced the concept of celebrating her female friends on February 13. “Ladies celebrating ladies. It’s like Lilith Fair, minus the angst. Plus frittatas.”


Jennifer, Lisa, Courteney, 30 years of friendship


From high school buddies to roommates, to sisters, Rachel, Monica, and Phoebe are iconic television friends. Even off camera, Jennifer Aniston, Courteney Cox, and Lisa Kudrow had an instant connection while filming the hit sitcom, during which they ate lunch together everyday for 10 years. On Actors on Actors, Aniston recalls to Kudrow exactly what she and Cox were wearing the first time they met–a day that cemented bonds that have lasted 30 years of celebrating milestones and birthdays, praising each others humor, hard work, and good hearts. This trio is truly inseparable! Aniston dotes, “I don’t have sisters and it’s what I assume having sisters is like.”


Jennifer & Emma, 10 years of friendship


A friendship that blossomed through a year of texting before meeting in person, these two gals dubbed their beginning as, “our version of The Notebook—365 texts.” Pushing past competition and comparison, Jennifer Lawrence and Emma Stone quickly became close friends. “I think friendship is pretty much everything. Here’s another turning-30 thing I’ve realized—you pick your family. You realize that your friendships, the people who go with you into these next phases of your life—you’re choosing your family,” says Stone, telling Lawrence, “you’ve been one of my most loyal friends for years. And I think knowing that you can laugh together and that not everything has to be such a big deal.”


Jane & Lily, 50 years of friendship


Jane Fonda and Lily Tomlin met on the set of the classic ’80s movie, 9 to 5, and went on to co-star in multiple other projects–most recently in the hit series, Grace and Frankie. A simple key to their long-lasting friendship? Love and loyalty, of course! “We’re friends because I just love her. I know Jane has my back whenever she can … I look for someone who has a sense of fun, who’s audacious, who’s forthcoming, who has politics, who has even a small scrap of passion for the planet, someone who’s decent, has a sense of justice, and who thinks I’m worthwhile.” We can learn a lot from this 50-year bond. Speaking of her friends, Fonda proudly says, “They make me stronger, they make me smarter, they make me braver, they tap me on the shoulder when I might be in need of course-correcting … And it’s nice to have someone to stick around and play with when you’re getting toward the end!”