TV Bromances Through The Ages

Wednesday, July 27 by

The Urban Dictionary describes a bromance as “the complicated love and affection shared by two straight males.” Based on that definition, the bromance has been a fixture of TV plot lines throughout the ages. From the very genesis of television to right up to the present day, straight-male characters have forged uncomfortably close bonds right before our eyes, leaving little doubt that Americans love a good bromance. As a tribute to this platonic on-screen man love, and in honor of the renewal of Franklin and Bash, I present to you the following 25 TV bromances.

The 1950’s


Jack Benny & Rochester Van Jones – The Jack Benny Program

Jack Benny is a miserly boss who doles out days off like he was dispensing gold nuggets. Rochester Van Jones is a smart ass who doesn’t do his job if he doesn’t feel like it. On paper, the relationship is doomed from the start. But Benny inexplicably keeps Rochester employed despite being constantly ridiculed, and Rochester seems content with his job despite the low wages. He even hangs out at Benny’s house on his days off. I don’t know about you, but the idea of hanging out with my boss on the weekend seems like a fate worse than death. Obviously, there’s a bromance brewing between the two.

Ralph Kramden & Ed Norton – The Honeymooners

Ralph and Ed are one of the earliest bromances on television. Physically, the two don’t have a lot in common, but dig a little deeper, and you’ll discover that the pair are two peas in a pod. They both work for the city, they both have smart-ass wives, and they both are members of the Raccoon Lodge. These bros were practically made for each other. In fact, considering they are fictional characters, they actually were made for each other.

Ricky Ricardo and Fred Mertz – I Love Lucy

Ricky and Fred aren’t really bros by choice. But by virtue of their awful wives, they are forced into a bromance. While it might be one of the weaker examples on the list, these two definitely fit the mold. After all, with Lucy and Ethel off pulling stupid shit at the candy factory, all they have is each other.


  1. July 27, 2011 2:58 pm


    I’m a little disappointed JD and Turk from Scrubs isn’t on here…

  2. July 27, 2011 2:58 pm


    Wild Bill and Charlie Utter? They were only in like 4 episodes together. And it wasn’t even like this friendship was a focal point of the show (Seth and Sol anyone). They were an afterthought that played more as a self-destructive brother and his levelheaded keeper dynamic.
    Outside of that and the head-scratcher of a last pick, decent list.

  3. July 27, 2011 2:58 pm


    Damn, that’s a good one.

  4. July 27, 2011 2:58 pm


    List is not complete with Turk and JD missing

  5. July 27, 2011 2:58 pm


    Charlie goes to visit Bill’s grave like a mourning widow.  I always
    thought they had a bromance going. You are right about Seth and Sol,
    though. I was going to go with them instead.

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