33 Of Film's Best Best Friends

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This week, 50/50 hits cinemas, a "cancer comedy" that sees Joseph Gordon-Levitt's character, Adam, get diagnosed with "the big C". His best mate, Kyle (Seth Rogen), is there to support him every step of the way, bringing film yet another super best friendship to add to the pantheon of cinema's best heterosexual life partners. To celebrate their inclusion, here are 33 other bezzies, from Woody and Buzz to R2D2 and C3PO. It even includes a friendship between a man and a woman - imagine!

There are, of course, hundreds of other best friends out there, so let us know which are you favourites and who you'd put on the list in the comment box below.

As seen in: Wayne’s World (1992), Wayne’s World 2 (1993)

Played by: Mike Myers and Dana Carvey

Hangers on / third wheel: Cassandra Wong (Tia Carrere) and, of course Stacy (Lara Flynn Boyle)

Defining moment of friendship:

“This is my best friend, Garth Elgar.”

There have been many great title sequences in history – a few better than this one, some critics would argue – but none of them are anywhere near as fun, as awesome, as excellent!(!!) as the one that culminates in Wayne's World's headbanging Bohemian Rhapsody singalong, the scene that introduces Wayne and Garth: best friends, late-night cable access TV show hosts, and proud owners of the Mirthmobile. Schwing!

As seen in: Bridesmaids (2011)

Played by: Kristen Wiig and Maya Rudolph

Hangers on / third wheel: Ted (Jon Hamm) and Doug (Tim Heidecker)

Defining moment of friendship:

“I don’t need dental work…”
“You are right.”

This, Hollywood, is a real friendship. Goofing off in a coffee shop, putting bits of muffin on your teeth, sleeping with Jon Hamm. Real life, you know?

As seen in: The Toy Story trilogy (1995 through 2010)

Played by: Tom Hanks and Tim Allen

Hangers on / third wheel: Bo Peep (Annie Potts) and the rest of the gang.

Defining moment of friendship:

“The rocket!”
“The match!”

Sure, the match eventually goes out as a van blasts past, but this little exchange sums up Woody and Buzz’s newfound friendship at the end of the original Toy Story, as they begin to think in synch. From head-spinning fisticuffs under a car, to blasting into a delivery truck on the back of a lit firework, for the next 15 years the pair are inseparable. Heck, it's their theme song. Sing it with us now, "You've got a friend in me..."

As seen in: The Odd Couple (1968)

Played by: Walter Matthau and Jack Lemmon

Hangers on / third wheel: The ghost of Frances

Defining moment of friendship:

“Aren’t you going to thank me, Felix?"

To call Oscar and Felix’s relationship dysfunctional is to do the word an injustice: they pretty much loathe each other, but, you know, in a loving way. Felix is a neat-freak, dusting under Oscar’s feet and preparing people sandwiches during poker matches, whereas Oscar’s a slob and a lay about, a womaniser and a philanderer. But once Felix “goes missing”, Oscar desperately tries to find him in his buddy’s cop car, revealing his true feelings for the “neurotic nut.”

As seen in: Thelma & Louise (1991)

Played by: Geena Davis and Susan Sarandon

Hangers on / third wheel: Very briefly J.D. (Brad Pitt) but mainly Detective Hal Slocumb (Harvey Keitel)

Defining moment of friendship:

“Let’s not get caught.”
“What are you talking about?”
“Let’s keep going.”

It's a strange fact, but true, that some of the best portrayals of women in modern Hollywood have come from the manliest of directors, such as James Cameron and, in this case, Ridley Scott. As this pair's innocent vacation turns into something more and more violent, they seem perversely more alive and more together than they did before. As they take their final decision and hold hands, it's one of the great emotional moments in cinema history. You'll be torn between crying and standing up and cheering.

As seen in: Ferris Bueller's Day Off (1986)

Played by: *Matthew Broderick and Alan Ruck

Hangers on / third wheel:* Sloane Peterson (Mia Sara)

Defining moment of friendship:

“If you’re not over here in 15 minutes, you can find yourself a new best friend.”
“Ha, you’ve been saying that since the fifth grade.”

They may seem mis-matched, but this pair have more in common than it might appeared. Sure, Cameron may seem a snot-nosed hypochondriac with little to recommend him to the irrepressible Ferris, but when he's on form he provides the perfect accomplice to Ferris' schemes, his more dour personality both spurring on and reining in Ferris' wilder exploits. Ferris, for his part, drags Cameron out of himself in his own best interest - and on some level we think ol' Cam appreciates that.

As seen in: Bill & Ted's Excellent Adventure (1989), Bill & Ted's Bogus Journey (1991)*

Played by: Alex Winter and Keanu Reeves

Hangers on / third wheel:* Rufus (George Carlin)

Defining moment of friendship:*

“I'm Bill S. Preston, Esquire!”
“And I'm Ted 'Theodore' Logan!”
“And we're... WYLD STALLYNS!”

If you put all the time-travelling adventures and metaphysical journeys to Heaven and Hell to one side for a moment, at their heart, Bill and Ted are just a couple of guys pretending to play guitar in a garage, finding comfort in one another's company in a cruel, cruel world. This, ladies and gentlemen, is friendship. So PARTY ON, DUDES!

As seen in: Harold & Kumar Go to White Castle (2004), Harold & Kumar Escape from Guantanamo Bay (2008), A Very Harold & Kumar 3D Christmas (2011)

Played by:* John Cho and Kal Penn

Hangers on / third wheel: *Neil Patrick Harris (Neil Patrick Harris)

Defining moment of friendship: *

When you bust someone out of jail, it's proof positive that you are officially best friends. Legally. Even if it’s your fault they were in jail in the first place. And if you fall out of an air vent to do so. Then steal some weed from a cop’s desk on your way out of the joint. It's still an act of pure friend-ness.

As seen in: The original Series cast Star Trek movies (1979 through 1991), Star Trek (2009)

Played by:* Leonard Nimoy, William shatner; Zachary Quinto, Chris Pine

Hangers on / third wheel:* Dr. Leonard "Bones" McCoy (DeForest Kelley, Karl Urban), Nyota Uhura (Nichelle Nichols, Zoe Saldana)

Defining moment of friendship:

"I have been – and always shall be – your friend."

Trust Spock to sacrifice himself to save the Enterprise - because the needs of the many outweigh the needs of the one. Trust him not to tell Kirk what he's doing until it's too late to stop him. And trust Kirk to rush to his dying friend's side and give us hands-down the most emotional moment you've ever seen in a sci-fi movie. At Spock’s funeral, for the first time, William Shatner’s over-dramatic pause doesn't seem over-dramatic. And it’s one of the few moments in cinema when bagpipes are acceptable… a rare feat indeed.

As seen in: The King’s Speech (2010)

Played by: *Colin Firth, Geoffrey Rush

Hangers on / third wheel: *Queen Elizabeth (Helena Bonham Carter)

Defining moment of friendship:*

“Fuck. Fuck! Fuck, fuck, fuck and fuck! Fuck, fuck and bugger! Bugger, bugger, buggerty buggerty buggerty, fuck, fuck, arse!”

The scene where Lionel sits in King Edward’s chair comes close to the perfect moment here, as does the discussion over the model-kit plane, but nothing could ever really top the swearing scene early on in the film. Noticing that Firth's George / Bertie doesn’t stammer when he swears – or when he angrily complains about his brother Edward / David – Lionel encourages the king to be to curse like a sailor, and with a beautifully-timed “…and tits” a best friendship is born.

As seen in: Gentlemen Prefer Blondes (1953)

Played by: *Marilyn Monroe and Jane Russell

Hangers on / third wheel:* Gus Esmond (Tommy Noonan), Ernie Malone (Elliott Reid), Sir Francis "Piggy" Beekman (Charles Coburn)

Defining moment of friendship:*

“When love goes wrong, nothing goes right”

The opening number, Two Little Girls From Little Rock, gives some idea how this pair came together, moved to the Big City to conquer New York and generally won the heart of every millionaire in a 25 mile radius, but it's this song-and-dance moment that provides the best look at what makes Lorelei and Dorothy tick. Lorelei's schemes have collapsed, causing disaster for both of them, but Dorothy bears no grudge and in fact is there to pick up the pieces as her friend falls apart, her tough practicality an anchor for Lorelei's airier schemes. Still, there's something in it for Dorothy too: life is clearly a lot more interesting with Lorelei around - and not just for the dance numbers with French citizens.

As seen in: When Harry Met Sally... (1989)

Played by: Billy Crystal and Meg Ryan

Hangers on / third wheel: Marie (Carrie Fisher) and Jess (Bruno Kirby)

Defining moment of friendship:

"I'll have what she's having"

We'd go for the scene where Harry comforts Sally after she discovers that her ex is getting married ("And I'm going to be 40!" she weeps. "In eight years!" he replies) except that that turns into "comforting" her, moving their friendship in a new direction. So instead we'll risk the obvious and go for the cafeteria orgasm scene, where Sally reveals just how comfortable she is in Harry's company, and he learns, rather painfully, that she's a match for his endless theorising.

As seen in: Easy Rider (1969)

Played by: Peter Fonda and Dennis Hopper

Hangers on / third wheel: George Hanson (Jack Nicholson)

Defining moment of friendship:

There’s the jail scene, where Wyatt and Billy pick up a whiskey-loving Jack Nicholson, or when the pair of them drop acid in a cemetery with a couple of prostitutes they’ve picked up, but as this is Easy Rider – which is, after all, a movie about riding motorbikes – we’re going to go for that montage of them riding, um, motorbikes, all to the tune of The Band’s “The Weight”. Somehow the breezy rhythm sums up their dynamic better than words ever could.

As seen in: Jules Et Jim (1962)

Played by: Oskar Werner and Henri Serre

Hangers on / third wheel: Catherine (Jeanne Moreau)

Defining moment of friendship:

“The men were moved, as if by a symbol they didn’t understand.”

"La course de vitesse” when Jules et Jim et Catherine (dressed as a man and addressed as Thomas, complete with pencil moustache) run across the bridge together. The joy of speed gives way to mutual teasing and the two men musing on their companion's oddities.

As seen in: The Lethal Weapon series (1987 through 1998)

Played by: Mel Gibson and Danny Glover

Hangers on / third wheel: Leo Getz (Joe Pesci) and Lee Butters (Chris Rock)

Defining moment of friendship:

“I'm not going to buy a hemorrhoid cushion!”

It may not be the very best of the films, but the depth of this pair's friendship is best summed up in the final (so far) instalment in this series. In the police station changing room, in Lethal Weapon 4, Riggs tries to psyche Murtaugh out of one of his periodic funks. Say it like you mean it: “We're not too old for this shit! We're not too old for this shit!”

As seen in: All those Laurel and Hardy shorts and feature films (1921 through 1951)

Played by: Stan Laurel and Oliver Hardy

Hangers on / third wheel: N/A

Defining moment of friendship:

The Way Out West dance. Without a shadow of a doubt. It's a rare demonstration of how sympatico the pair were when they weren't getting into fine messes, as they start with a tiny toe tap and progress gradually and naturally into a lovely little dance routine.

As seen in: The Marx Brothers movies (1921 through 1949)

Played by: Harpo Marx and Chico Marx

Hangers on / third wheel: Groucho Marx

Defining moment of friendship:

Often overshadowed by the mouthier Groucho, the best buds in the Marx line-up were undoubtedly Harpo and Chico. Less intellectually gifted they may have been, but they were capable of moments of genius in their working relationship. In The Big Store (1941), Harpo and Chico play piano together. It is a sublime experience.

As seen in: Butch Cassidy And The Sundance Kid (1969)

Played by: Paul Newman and Robert Redford

Hangers on / third wheel: Etta Place (Katherine Ross)

Defining moment of friendship:

“We’ll jump!”
“Like hell we will…”

The scene that for many will remain the first time they heard the word “SHIIIIIIIIIT!” on the big screen is also without one of the finest “bezzie mates” moments in movie history. The cinematic definition of a leap of faith, it shows a man who can’t swim jumping into a rocky gorge with a friend who won’t shoot, somehow landing safely in the water, bickering and shouting at each other – in an affectionate way of course – as they are washed away from danger. Then there’s the ending, but it’s probably best if we don’t talk about that. It's still enough to make a grown man cry.

As seen in: The Harry Potter series (2001 through 2011)

Played by: Daniel Radcliffe and Rupert Grint

Hangers on / third wheel: Ginny Weasley (Bonnie Wright), Hermione (Emma Watson)

Defining moment of friendship:

“Hermione’s got nice skin, as skin goes I mean.”
“I’ve never really thought about it, but I suppose, yeah.”

Of course, Harry and Ron and Hermione are all best friends, a triumvirate of hand-holding, wand-waving and friendly banter. But as (SPOILER) Hermione eventually cops off with Ron at the end of Deathly Hallows Part 2, let’s consider her a third wheel of a sort, interrupting Ron’s thoughts and distracting the male pair from doing best friend things. This scene from Half Blood Prince, where they talk about Ginny (and Hermione) before bed, is Ron and Harry at their closest.

As seen in: Starsky and Hutch (2004)
Played by: Ben Stiller and Owen Wilson
Hangers on / third wheel: Huggy Bear Brown (Snoop Dogg)
Defining moment of friendship:

“Do it.”

Friends steal other friend’s fake voices. It’s what friends do.

As seen in: Shaun Of the Dead (2004)

Played by: Simon Pegg and Nick Frost

Hangers on / third wheel: Liz (Kate Ashfield), Dianne (Lucy Davis), David (Dylan Moran), Barbara (Penelope Wilton)

Defining moment of friendship:

“I’d only hold you back..."

It’s a testament to the comedy holy trinity that is Pegg & Frost & Wright that an emotionally gut-wrenching scene like this can still be deeply funny. At the darkest point in their struggle to survive the zombie apocalypse, Shaun faces the unbearable fact that lifelong pal Ed isn't going to make it. It should be devastating - and it is - but it's also very funny. That's thanks to one of Ed’s infamous guffs, sure, but funny nonetheless, combining fart gags with a genuinely heartfelt goodbye.

As seen in: The Star Wars franchise (1977 through 1983)

Played by: Harrison Ford and Peter Mayhew

Hangers on / third wheel: Princess Leia (Carrie Fisher)

Defining moment of friendship:

“Horizontal boosters. Alluvial dampers? Ow! That's not it, bring me the Hydrospanner. I don't know how we're going to get out of this one.”

Like their mechanical counterparts R2 and Threepio, Chewie and Han are BFFs, at their best together and ready to take on the universe for one another. They’re not afraid of a one-person-who-can-talk-while-the-other-can-only-make-weird-noises squabble, especially in high pressure situations like this, but somehow it's this sort of casual barney and egoless cooperation that really sells their bond.

As seen in: The Star Wars franchise (1977 through 2005)

Played by: Kenny Baker and Anthony Daniels

Hangers on / third wheel: Definitely Anakin Skywalker (Jake Lloyds / Hayden Christensen)

Defining moment of friendship:

“I've just about had enough of you. Go that way! You'll be malfunctioning within a day, you nearsighted scrap pile!”

The permanently bickering, ever-united R2D2 and C3PO may appear to have a love / hate relationship, thanks to exchanges like this one. But deep down, their circuits bleed pure affection for one another, or why would they stay in the closest-knit, most co-dependant relationship you'll ever see between two droids?

As seen in: The Shawshank Redemption (1994)

Played by: Tim Robbins and Morgan Freeman

Hangers on / third wheel: Warden Samuel Norton (Bob Gunton) – in a way…

Defining moment of friendship:

“And that's how it came to pass that on the second-to-last day of the job, the convict crew that tarred the plate factory roof in the spring of forty-nine wound up sitting in a row at ten o'clock in the morning drinking icy cold, Bohemia-style beer, courtesy of the hardest screw that ever walked a turn at Shawshank State Prison.”

The ending is possibly the finest moment in Andy and Red’s friendship for the pair themselves. And there’s the moment when Red meets Andy for the first time – “That tall drink of water with the silver spoon up his ass” – but builds a respect and then liking for the newcomer. But a moment of unadulterated happiness together inside Shawshank (the setting for the story of their lives together, after all), it’s the suds on the roof scene, where for one blissful moment they get to feel like free men again.

As seen in: Sherlock Holmes (2009)

Played by: Robert Downey Jr. and Jude Law

Hangers on / third wheel: **I**rene Adler (Rachel McAdams) and Mary Morstan (Kelly Reilly)

Defining moment of friendship:

“I never complain! How am I complaining? When do I ever complain about you practicing the violin at three in the morning, or your mess, your general lack of hygiene, or the fact that you steal my clothes?”

Sherlock and Watson’s relationship is a tumultuous one. Sherlock’s an incredibly bad influence on Watson: Sherlock wants to shoot his pistol at the wall and smoke some opium, whereas Watson would rather be in the loving arms of his bride-to-be, Mary. Still, Watson can’t help himself, bending to Holmes’ will time and again and putting himself in mortal danger to do so. Frankly, we suspect Watson isn't such a dry old stick as he'd like to pretend. But hey, that’s guy love for you…

As seen in: Clerks (1994), Chasing Amy (1997), Dogma (1999), Jay and Silent Bob Strike Back (2001) and Clerks II (2006).

Played by: Kevin Smith and Jason Mewes

Hangers on / third wheel: None as such

Defining moment of friendship:

“Fuck. Fuck. Fuck. Mother mother fuck. Mother mother fuck fuck. Mother fuck mother fuck. Noise noise noise. 1 2 1 2 3 4 Noise noise noise. Smokin weed, smokin weed. Doin' coke, drinkin beers. Drinkin beers, beers beers. Rollin' fatties, smokin blunts. Who smokes the blunts? We smoke the blunts.”

Here is a friendship based on a rejection of traditional social values and/or pot. The law of averages virtually dictates that where there is someone as verbose as Jay, there should be a counterpart as silent as Bob - and so this pairing brings some sort of balance to the Force. That, or they just really like getting stoned and hanging around convenience stores.

As seen in: Dumb And Dumber (1994)

Played by: Jim Carrey and Jeff Daniels

Hangers on / third wheel: None as such

Defining moment of friendship:

“Got room for one more if you still wanna go to Aspen.”

After Lloyd drives in totally the wrong direction while Harry was asleep, the idiotic pair have a massive falling out and go their separate ways. In an attempt to fix the problem, Lloyd swaps the "Shaggin’ Wagon" for a scooter, "straight up". This hog can get 70 miles to the gallon, and has a perfect spot for any briefcases that need tranporting. Sure, it doesn’t have room for anyone to perform any mid-journey bottle-based toilet breaks, but it goes like the wind – and perhaps more importantly – actually goes at all, making it just the thing to help Lloyd TOTALLY REDEEM HIMSELF.

As seen in: Monsters Inc. (2001)

Played by: John Goodman and Billy Crystal

Hangers on / third wheel: “Boo” (Mary Gibbs)

Defining moment of friendship:

“What about us? That thing is a killing machine!”

If anything can demonstrate the deep bonds and strong links of a true friendship, it's getting yourself into a seriously scary situation and surviving it together. If nothing else, your memories of all that distress will keep you together forever. For us humans, these moments generally don’t involve a small, cute, giggling toddler – but for Mike and Sully, things are a little different. We can’t wait to see the times when they weren’t bezzies – back at Monster College. Seriously, July 19 2013 can’t come soon enough.

As seen in: Oceans 11 through 13 (2001 through 2007)

Played by: George Clooney and Brad Pitt

Hangers on / third wheel: Frank Catton (Bernie Mac), Reuben Tishkoff (Elliott Gould), Virgil Malloy (Casey Affleck), Turk Malloy (Scott Caan), Livingston Dell (Eddie Jemison), Basher Tarr (Don Cheadle), "The Amazing" Yen (Shaobo Qin), Saul Bloom (Carl Reiner), Linus Caldwell (Matt Damon), Tess Ocean/Herself (Julia Roberts) and Roman Nagel (Eddie Izzard).

Defining moment of friendship:*

“Oh! Oh he's mean. He's just mean spirited. All right, how many espressos have you had?”

In Ocean’s 12, Danny gets a prank wake-up call from Vincent Cassel's tricksy Toulour that tells him it’s 5.30am - when in reality it’s 11.30pm the night before. So what do Danny and Rusty do? They drink some wine and shoot the shit. It's the quiet moments inbetween planning $100m heists that really sell the connection between these two. After all, who else are they going to hang out with? Who else is sufficiently good-looking and well-dressed to match them?

As seen in: Withnail & I (1986)

Played by: Richard E. Grant and Paul McGann

Hangers on / third wheel: Uncle Monty “Richard Griffiths”

Defining moment of friendship:

“Just bring out the cake.”
“Cake and fine wine.”

Buzz and Woody and co. might disagree, but you’re never really best friends with anyone until you’ve got totally smashed, blundered into a tea room, sat down, sworn a lot, ordered cake and “the finest wines available to humanity” all whilst pretending to be multi-millionaire movie makers set to use the place as a location for their next flick. Okay, it might not hold true for everyone, but it definitely works for Withnail & I. And yes, the name of "I" is really Marwood.

As seen in: The Lord Of The Rings trilogy (2001 through 2003)

Played by: Sean Astin and Elijah Wood

Hangers on / third wheel: The rest of the fellowship, basically.

Defining moment of friendship:

*"Come on, Mr. Frodo, I can't carry it for you, but I can carry you!"

If a friend is someone who would go through hell for you, Sam is just about the truest friend that ever lived. It's common knowledge that Tolkien based their relationship on the intense relationships between World War I officers and their batmen (not* the vigilante sort), and that sense of bonds forged in war comes through in the devotion Sam shows to Frodo - and, in fairness, in the loyalty Frodo shows in turn. But this scene, as Frodo reaches his limit and Sam throws his last ounce of strength into the quest, would make a stone tear up a little.

As seen in: Swingers (1996)

Played by: Jon Favreau and Vince Vaughn

Hangers on / third wheel: N/A

Defining moment of friendship:

"No, baby, you're money."

If you can't watch your best mate take a piss by the side of a road, he's not your best friend. The way Trent (Vaughn) does everything in his power to help Mike (Favreau) get over his ex... it's just beautiful, man.

As seen in: Superbad (2007)

Played by: Jonah Hill and Michael Cera

Hangers on / third wheel: Fogell / McLovin (Christopher Mintz-Plasse)

Defining moment of friendship:

"Fuck thinking, we need to act!"

The things friends will do for booze. We've probably all ventured out late at night for a friend in need of a tipple. You might have forced your way to the front of a crowded bar and sustained several forceful elbowings along the way, or talked your way into a private party just for the free snifters. But have you been run over? Probably not - and that's why these two deserve mention, since Hill's Seth is knocked down as he expresses his desire for booze, and Cera's Evan rushes to his side. Bless.