Sep 13 2012 9:30am

Come at Me, Bro!: Top Bromances

Are you sure you don’t need my blessing?There exists a very special bond. You know the one. That particular kind of friendship that emerges from men that go through especially trying times together. That point where the only way to get over the next hill is by having that close friend right behind you, pushing all the way. And while this kind of connection is hard to define, we have come up with only one word to explain it in our limited language: The Bromance.

Now in no way is this list complete. I mean I'm no expert or anything. I've never experienced that true connection between Vishous and Butch—I know, I'm a bad person. This is just a short collection of some of my favorite Bros from some of my favorite genres.

 First up is the historical. Now the historical seems like an obvious pick. You know, just go for the soldiers. You have a natural evolution of two men who are always looking out for each other, it's only natural that the bromance would eventually emerge, right? But then, I decided to go for something not so easy. Then, I was leaning towards one of my bro-couples, Mercutio and Romeo. In fact, I may have written a paper in my lit class in college about how Romeo was the “female” in the love triangle between him, Mercutio, and Juliet. Because let's face it, the boy was just bossed around ALL the time. But then that is all  a bit too ill-fated of a coupling, and here at H&H we love our Happy Ever Afters. This is why I went with the Original Historical Bros, Fitzwilliam Darcy and Charles Bingley.

Now ask yourself, can you possibly imagine Darcy without Bingley? Do you honestly think that either of them would ever make it without the other? As we have pointed out before, opposites tend to attract, and we see that nowhere is that more obvious than here. I mean you have your stoic, serious Darcy and the fun-loving, easy-going Bingley. Without Darcy, poor old Chuck would be giving away his money and dancing the night away, just like without Bingley, Darcy would be a grumpy, irredeemable ass.  Yes, they both have met their loves by the end of the book, but really, haven't they already found their soulmates without Lizzie and Jane?

I’m bad Iceman. So Bad.Then there is contemporary. When I get to thinking about contemporary there is no other Bromance that I can think of that is better than the one that exists between Maverick and Iceman of Top Gun. Well, honestly these guys are more… Bronemies? Brenemies? (Bros that happen to also be enemies). They've mastered the whole love/hate thing. One is a by-the-book bad-ass and the other is a free-wheeling rogue that is well…a maverick. In fact, the two are so competitive and repressed that they pursue the same woman. Theirs is a particular volleyball scene that I seem to remember that involved both of them being the only ones shirtless…but then I may just be craaazy. Besides, Maverick can be Iceman's wingman anytime.

This brings me to comics. Now I'm no crazy comic guy, but I do read a few titles, and enjoy them enough on a regular basis. There is no way I can tell you the long and storied history of a particular character; mostly I like characters, world building, and pretty pictures, no matter the medium. This is why I am a particular fan of the most epic of Bronemies, Thor and Loki.

Now, they take the whole Maverick/Iceman motif and crank it on up to 11. Not only do they both covet the same woman, Sif, but when she picks Thor over Loki, Loki sneaks into her room at night and cuts all her hair off, making her a brunette. Not only that, but Loki acts out solely to gain the attention of Thor. Both characters have had multiple occasions to kill one another, and despite being self-proclaimed arch-enemies, they both always back off at the critical moment. This of course spawned a internet meme called “Overly Accepting Thor,” but that's another talk for another day. And for those of you that say that I'm reading too much into things, I just want it known that after the fall of Asgard at Ragnarok and Thor being forced to resurrect all of the Asgardians through the use of the Odin Force (it's comics, remember), a certain trickster god that's certainly not a brother was brought back as a pretty buxom, brunette female. Just throwing that out there.

And finally there is the greatest of bromances. You could say it was the very first one I ever experienced. I'm sure for those out there that know me well enough you know what is coming. Of course the best and most timeless of true bromance is Samwise Gamgee and Frodo Baggins.

Of course you’re going alone, and I’m going with you!These two went through everything together. Sam bled for Frodo. Literally carried the boy on his back at the end. Frodo couldn't have done it without his Sam, believe it. Sam was the constant companion. Suffering the slings and arrows of a tortured friend, patiently dealing with Frodo's outbursts and anger, knowing all along that it was always the ring talking, not his Frodo. I could mention all the times that Frodo is told that Sam wouldn't leave his side, how many times Sam slept curled up next to Frodo like a puppy. I could mention the fact that Sam left his family, wife, and respectable position of Mayor to go and live with Frodo in the Grey Havens. But I truly feel that to define their relationship is to take away from it.

Who are some of your favorites?


Christopher Morgan lives in New York City and works for Criminal Element and Heroes and Heartbreakers.

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Heather Waters
1. HeatherWaters
You've gotta love a good bromance. I'm a big fan of how Thor and Loki's has been played in the movies and you're right, who doesn't love Darcy and Bingley?
Mary Beth Bass
2. marybeth
Mercutio and Romeo, definitely. For Mercutio, I think, that connection pushed right past Bro-R and into all-0ut Romance.

My other favorites are:
Handel (Pip) and Herbert in GREAT EXPECTATIONS
Lydgate and Farebrother in MIDDLEMARCH

Great post!
Carmen Pinzon
3. bungluna
I've enjoyed the bromance between Danny and Steve in the reboot of Hawaii 5-0.
Christopher Morgan
4. cmorgan
@redline_ Yeah the Thor/Loki show is pretty awesome. Made even better when you add in Loki's Daughter Hel

@marybeth Man I loved Pip and Herbert!

@bungluna I never watched the reboot, but really wanted to. Love Daniel Kim from Lost.
5. wsl0612
I love the Bromance between Esposito and Ryan in Castle. End of Season 4 had me very, very upset!!
6. HJ
Even before I knew there was such a thing, I loved the relationship between Horatio and Hamlet, and felt so sorry for Horatio being left alone at the end without his "sweet prince".
Myretta Robens
7. Myretta
Okay, I wish I could come up with something more literary (or even literate) and I am having a hard time admitting this but I loved the Starsky and Hutch bromance. Yes, I'm old. Yes, I have no shame.
8. Rose In RoseBear
Oh, wow ... seven messages and no one's mentioned Kirk and Spock? I mean --- "Jim!" "I have been, and always shall be, your friend." Hurt-comfort symdrome! The genesis of slash fiction!
9. Joanna Shupe
Yes, Butch and Vishous! Love those two.

One of my favorite bromances was Henril Cavil and Jonathan Rhys Meyer on the Tudors.
Myretta Robens
10. Myretta
So embarrassed that I remembered Starsky and Hutch and forgot Kirk and Spock. Sign me up for that one.
Christopher Morgan
11. cmorgan
I actually left Kirk and Spock off the list intentionally, I was always a Geordi/Data guy myself, but then I grew up with TNG.

I am digging all the Shakespeare love, and let's not forget the irredemable Fallstaff and young Prince Hal. Right? I guess that makes ol' Bill Shakespeare the grandfather for the Bromance?
Christopher Morgan
12. cmorgan
And Myretta, ain't nothing wrong with the Starsky and Hutch love, they made the Buddy Cop thing happen. Which then reminds me about the BJ/Hawkeye relationship of MASH. That Goodbye? Man, I'm kind of pissed I forgot about them...
13. Laura_FitzG
I've only just started watching Star Trek TOS but already Kirk and Spock have soared past all previous favorite bromances in all things, ever. ^__^
Victoria Janssen
14. VictoriaJanssen
Spock and Kirk! Also, Spock and McCoy. And Professor X and Magneto - I want a buddy cop movie starring them.
15. wsl0612
@Rose - I hate to tell you but the Kirk/Spock slash fiction irritates me so much! I was extremely pissed when my BFF told me about the existence of it. I have no objection to m/m romance but it makes me angry to think that people cannot accept love between 2 men without bringing sex into it. I realize it's irrational but I just always felt that the slash writers had no ability to conceive of 2 men having the sort of deep love and friendship that many women can have. Kirk and Spock were my icons for that sort of feeling.

Also - BJ AND HAWKEYE!!! I am so ashamed too that I didn't bring them up, I still get verklempt at the MASH ending!
Candice Burnett
16. SleepyVamp
Wow, I can't believe I'm the only one to enjoy the Sherlock Holmes - John Watson bromance, especially on the BBC reboot. Season 2 was epic bromance territory (watch Hounds of the Baskervilles episode!)
Aly O'Hare
20. wingZER0angel
@VictoriaJanssen-- Professor X and Magneto is a great one! Especially in X-Men First Class.

I can't really think of many. I was re-reading Night Pleasures last night. And I'm going to go with Kyrian and Julian. You get bits and pieces of their past relationship. Sounds like a bromance to me.
22. willaful
I can't believe I'm the first to mention Troy and Abed from "Community." I love how the guy with Aspergers and the seemingly totally normal football player totally clicked and have all kinds of crazy adventures together, and Abed never has to change or be anybody but who he is. It's my heart's dream that my son (who has Aspergers) will meet someone he can relate to so well.

Other favorites: Harrison Ford and Gene Wilder in "The Frisco Kid." Clevon Little and Gene Wilder in "Blazing Saddles."
23. clarketta
Dr. Gregory House and Dr. James Wilson....House fakes his own death to live out Wilson's last months/days with him. That's a bromance.
Christopher Morgan
24. cmorgan
@WingZeroangel, I've actually written before about my appreciation for the Late Prof X and Mr. Lensherr. Those two crazy kids will make it work some day.

@willaful Extra points for the Blazing Saddles nod.

@clarketta oh without a doubt House and Wilson deserve there spot in the Bromance hall of fame.
Rakisha Kearns-White
25. BrooklynShoeBabe
Magneto & Professor X;
Starsky & Hutch;
Hawk and Spenser (one of my favorite TV shows & mystery series);
Picard and his #1;
Michael & Brian (from Queer as Folk U.S.);
Drs. Doug Ross and Mark Green (from ER)
26. SassyT
Just one quibble: Iceman and Maverick were not both going after Charlie. And the bromance in Top Gun was definitely Goose and Maverick. Did you see how broken up he was when Goose died? He almost quit Top Gun AND went AWOL. Now that's love. Risking military prison because you pal died?

House and Wilson have to be towards the top because Wilson put up with a lot of crap from House and still managed to be his friend. Then, House faked his own death (in addition to doing illegal home chemo and trying to badger Wilson into doing another round after the first one didn't work). Next to Spock and Kirk, Wilson and House are definitely at the top of my bromance list. I want to add Marcus Burnett and Mike Lowry (aka Martin Lawrence and Will Smith from Bad Boys I and II). They fought like an old married couple but would definitely take a bullet for each other.
27. clarketta
Oooo....another one Marcus Fenix and Dom Santiago from Gears of War. And while on the subject of Gears of War I gotta add Cole and Baird.
Christopher Morgan
28. cmorgan
@Sassy I thought Goose and Mavrick were too easy. They always get along, you don't get the same animosity that evolves into mutual respect that you do in Iceman. Besides, that Volleyball game was so

@clarketta, Thank you for that. Thank you for mentioning Dom and Marcus. That death seen ALMOST had a tear in my eye, I swear it was almost, yeah I'm going to stick with that... I debated long and hard about putting Shepherd and Garrus on here (which might rank higher that Sam and Frodo in my book, haven't decided). That goodbye "No Shepherd without Vakaryian" did have big manly tears of manliness in my eye, but decided I wouldn't have the audience. You are a true hero.
29. mandamayhem
but but but...where's luke and han? come on their bromance was epic i mean han rode out on a ton ton to find luke in a blizzard.
@SleepyVamp no I promise you are not the only one to appreciate the bromance that is sherlock in john especially in the bbc reboot(the one with downey and lawe wasn't bad in terms of bromance either I mean brother's not in blood but in bond is probably the best way to describe a bromance I've ever heard in a movie)
Christopher Morgan
30. cmorgan
@mandamayhem But that's dangerously close to suggesting that Han was cheating on Chewie. And The fuzzball saved Han's kids from an exploding planet to repay a life-debt. You don't get more Bro than that.
31. DGreen
The original game bromance is Mario and Luigi hands down. But I would have to say my favorite bromance/brenemies would be Logan and Cyclops. Loved the same woman and morn the same woman. They are two sides of the same coin. They have switched roles as of late, but that love still remains.
32. C-cRae
How about Gilgamesh and Enkidu? That could easily be mankind's first legendary bromance.

Also, King David and Jonathan. David loved Jonathan "as his own soul" and when Jonathan died, David said their love was "wonderful, passing the love of women."

And I know the thread has already discussed Star Wars, but I feel Obi Wan and Anakin are worth mentioning. I mean, that monologue Obi Wan delivered toward the end of Episode 3 demonstrated some pretty strong philadelphia between the two of them.

Is this list strictly literary? The friendship between Abraham Lincoln and his best friend Joshua Speed is a well-known example from American history.
33. Palabra
Great list - and great additions from your readers.

Since others have mentioned TV buddies, I am going to throw out a soap opera pairing: Sonny and Jason from General Hospital. For almost 2 decades, this bromance formed the core relationship of 2 of the most pivitol characters on the show. The writers even lampshaded it at times. Once, they sat down over a contract and divided their joint assets just like a divorce! They shared women, children, and bullets. Their sex lives are aggressively hetero, but their love lives? Nothing ever topped their loyalty to each other.
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