Best Female Friendships on TV and Movies: The Top Picks
Best Female Friendships on TV and Movies: The Top Picks
Female friendships are among the most sacred bonds that exist in the world today. Having the support of a good friend can make all the difference when it comes to getting through tough times and keeping negativity from getting you. There’s nothing better than seeing two women support each other, lift each other up, and be there for one another through thick and thin.
The value of sisterhood1 has been shown on the big and small screens for years now. From the Laverne and Shirley days of years past to current hits like Girls, female friendships have always been featured in some of the top besties movies and TV shows. However, since there are so many amazing female friendship shows out there, how do you know which truly reign supreme?
We’ve scoured our list of all the bestie TV shows and female friendship movies 2022 had to offer and assembled another list packed with top female friendship picks. These friendships are inspiring, hilarious, and make the productions they appear in downright awesome.
Whether you’re looking for a new show to watch or just want to reminisce about some of your favorite Hollywood women’s friendships, you’ll love these top picks.
Parks and Recreation
One of the best examples of a strong television friendship regardless of gender is that of Leslie Knope (Amy Poehler) and Ann Perkins (Rashida Jones) from Parks and Recreation. These two women have been friends for years in real life, and their bond is just as strong on the show. You can see the depth of their friendship play out over the course of the show as Leslie and Ann support each other in everything they do. They’re always supportive, even if the other is tackling a huge undertaking like running for public office or taking on a new job.
The two women have been through so much together, and even in syndication, the series demonstrates one of the most heart-warming friendships on TV. If you’re looking for a show that will make you laugh and cry, Parks and Recreation is an excellent choice.
Thelma and Louise
This iconic film is all about the power of female friendship. Thelma (Geena Davis) and Louise (Susan Sarandon) are two women who have had enough of being pushed around by the men in their lives. They decide to take control of their own destiny and embark on a road trip that will change their lives forever.
Throughout the film, Thelma and Louise support each other through thick and thin. They go to great lengths to help each other through everything from danger to wisecracking shenanigans. The sheer breadth of their experiences only serves as a reminder of the strength that women can have when they support one another. The film Thelma and Louise is a notable example of what happens when women come together to take control of their lives. And control is what the ending of the film is all about.2
Girls’ Trip is a hilarious comedy movie with girl best friends. It follows four lifelong friends, played by Regina Hall, Tiffany Haddish, Jada Pinkett Smith, and Queen Latifah, as they reunite in New Orleans for the Essence Festival. These women are strong, independent, and unafraid to speak their minds. More importantly, they support each other through every step of their journey. By the end of their journey, they’ve proved that female friendships are just as important—if not more so—than romantic relationships.
The film is full of side-splitting humor, as well as a great soundtrack. We think you’ll find Girls’ Trip perfect for any movie night, whether you’re looking to laugh or just want a movie that celebrates the power of female friendships.
If you’re looking to celebrate the quirks and hilarity so often found in female friendships, Bridesmaids is a film that aims to please. It follows Annie (Kristen Wiig) and Lillian (Maya Rudolph), who have been close friends since elementary school. When Lillian gets engaged and the wedding festivities begin to ramp up, Annie starts feeling neglected and left behind.
The film is also a commentary on the complexities of female relationships,3 as Annie and Lillian’s friendship is tested in hilarious fashion throughout. At times, the viewer is left wondering whether they’ll ever truly come back together. Bridesmaids is a great reminder that no friendship is perfect—and that’s perfectly okay because we all make mistakes.
Sex and the City
Carrie Bradshaw (Sarah Jessica Parker) is one of TV’s most iconic female characters, and her friendships with Miranda (Cynthia Nixon), Charlotte (Kristin Davis), and Samantha (Kim Cattrall) are some of the most complex TV audiences have ever seen on screen. These women are one another’s confidants in every sense of the word. Most importantly, even after conflict or misunderstandings, they always have one another’s backs.
Carrie and her friends support each other through every step of their lives, including heartbreak, career changes, and new relationships. Sex and the City is a great example of what happens when women come together and support each other without judgment—and an even better example of how to persist in friendship despite all odds.
The Sisterhood of the Traveling Pants
This is a great film for anyone who wants to experience the power of female friendship. The Sisterhood of the Traveling Pants follows four best friends (America Ferrera, Amber Tamblyn, Blake Lively, and Alexis Bledel) as they share a pair of jeans that miraculously fits all of them. They use the jeans as a way to stay in touch with one another during their freshman year of college.
These women support each other through a variety of peaks and valleys and always seem to find a way to come back together, no matter how far apart they are. The Sisterhood of the Traveling Pants is a touching film to watch with one or many female friends to inspire meaningful conversations about friendship.
This long-running TV show is all about the relationships between surgeons in Seattle. While there are plenty of romantic relationships on the show, the friendship between Meredith (Ellen Pompeo) and Cristina (Sandra Oh) makes Grey’s Anatomy one of the best TV shows that features female best friends.
Meredith and Cristina go through a lot together, including heartache, personal loss, and surgeries gone wrong. With their unique brand of support, the women prove that, even when things get tough, a loyal friend will be there for you no matter what. Who can forget that classic line:
The field of medicine is brutal, but the two women always find a way to be there for eachother.
The Golden Girls
This iconic TV show is all about the relationships between four older women (Betty White, Bea Arthur, Rue McClanahan, and Estelle Getty) who live together in Miami. This unique living arrangement allows the women to be present for one another through everything from matters of the heart and family drama to death and loss. The Golden Girls is a wonderful example of how female friendships can begin—and last—long past your twenties and thirties.
Though they are senior citizens throughout the course of the show, the women are funny, honest, and unafraid to speak their minds. They provide each other with support and love and persist throughout conflict and misunderstandings. Although all the original cast members have passed away, new generations continue to enjoy this classic TV show and learn from these women’s experiences.
This TV show follows the Gallagher family, a large, lower-middle-class family struggling to get by in Chicago. While all the Gallaghers rely on each other for support, the women in this family have a unique bond that is special to watch.
The female characters on Shameless are written with warmth and depth and are unique women. Fiona (Emmy Rossum) is a strong woman who has raised several children since she was a teen and works hard to keep her family together. Her younger sister Debbie (Emma Kenney) is a young teenager struggling to find herself. Their next-door neighbor Veronica (Shanola Hampton) keeps a close relationship with Fiona, providing a support structure as each woman raises children and works to keep her life together under difficult financial and emotional circumstances.
The women on Shameless are unafraid to stand up for themselves and each other. They continuously rely on one another for emotional support. Watching each fight for their families and friends is both inspiring and heartwarming.
This TV show follows the lives of employees at a sketch comedy show in New York City and has a great example of a female friendship. In this show, Liz Lemon (Tina Fey) is the head writer, and she relies on her friend and employee Jenna Maroney (Jane Krakowski) for support.
The two women are polar opposites, but they balance each other perfectly. They understand each other in a way that no one else can and are always there for each other when things get tough. For example, Liz understands Jenna’s insecurities about her career and love life, which allows her to strategize around impending emotional outbursts and avoid jeopardizing their friendship or Jenna’s career.
The friendships between women on 30 Rock are strong and supportive and truly take center stage. Together, Liz and Jenna provide a great example of how to be friends with someone who is different from you.
Orange Is the New Black
This Netflix original show focuses on the relationships between women in a women’s prison. While some of the relationships on this show are fraught with drama, the friendships between some of the women are beautiful to watch. Some of the favorite female friendships on Orange Is the New Black include Piper (Taylor Schilling) and Alex (Laura Prepon), as well as Crazy Eyes (Uzo Aduba) and Poussey (Samira Wiley).
Piper and Alex get into a great deal of trouble together, but the bond between them is strong. Incarceration is a difficult experience, but the two friends find ways to evoke humor and create positive memories for each other4. Crazy Eyes and Poussey have a unique friendship, but it is one of the strongest relationships on Orange Is the New Black. They are both struggling in their lives and within the prison system, so they rely on each other for support. In fact, these two provide a note of humor and positivity to this show, which is welcome due to the nature of the content.
Overall, the female friendships on this show are strong and beautiful, and they set a good example for women in real life. With the help of this show, we can learn how to be supportive of one another despite unthinkable circumstances.
This TV show follows a close-knit group of detectives and officers at the 99th Precinct in Brooklyn, New York. While the show is, overall, a solid TV comedy, some of the most intriguing moments come from the women on the show. The main character, Jake Peralta (Andy Samberg), is surrounded by strong female characters. Rosa Diaz (Stephanie Beatriz) and Amy Santiago (Melissa Fumero) are amazing detectives and great friends. The series depicts what happens as these two women fight crime throughout the city while keeping the audience laughing with some great chemistry and supreme silliness.
Amy and Rosa have a lot in common, and they rely on each other for support throughout the show. They are also strong role models for young girls who look forward to becoming independent women in a male-dominated field.
What Are You Waiting For? It’s Sisterhood Movie and TV Night!
The best female friendships on film are the ones that stick with us long after we’ve finished watching. These women provide notable examples of friendships for adults, and many of them also demonstrate how to be supportive and loving friends at any age.5 The next time you have a night in, invite your best friend, pop some popcorn, pick a fav from the list and enjoy a night of bonding over these great female characters.
- Lusztig, I., Sowada, R., Gonçalo, P., Nixon, R., Cochran, D., Lynch, A., Korbecka, M., Richards, S., Fairfax, D., Mańkowski, Ł., de Bruyn, D., Northrop, A., Carr, J., Cunliffe, T., Fairbanks, C., Golding, D., Young, H., Usuda, K., Gray, C., … Buckland, W. (2021, May 3). Listening Across Difference: Feminist Conversation, Sisterhood, and the ’70s – Senses of Cinema. Senses of Cinema. Retrieved February 16, 2022, from http://www.sensesofcinema.com/2021/feature-articles/listening-across-difference-feminist-conversation-sisterhood-and-the-70s-2/
- Indurain Eraso, C. (2001). Thelma and Louise: ‘Easy Riders’ in a Male Genre. Atlantis, revista de la Asociación Española de Estudios Anglo-Norteamericanos, 23(1), 63+. https://link.gale.com/apps/doc/A119442677/LitRC?u=anon~8cf4e810&sid=googleScholar&xid=08d9c54d
- Campbell, M. (2019). Maid of Dishonour: WOMEN BEHAVING BADLY IN BRIDESMAIDS. Screen Education, (95), 118+. https://link.gale.com/apps/doc/A602718323/AONE?u=anon~591ebbcb&sid=googleScholar&xid=d95f2538
- Fryett, S. E. (2016). Orange is the New Black, Created by Jenji Kohan (2013-). Queer Studies in Media & Pop Culture, 1(3), 361+. https://link.gale.com/apps/doc/A474126580/AONE?u=googlescholar&sid=bookmark-AONE&xid=b4c08a3d
- Castellini, B. (2021, February 9). Why Representation Matters. Pipeline Artists. Retrieved February 16, 2022, from https://pipelineartists.com/why-representation-matters-in-arts/