The term “bromance” is ridiculous, but there needs to be a term to describe deep and abiding platonic love among friends, and this is as close as I can find. As with my couples posts, here are my definitions and criteria:
- For this post, they have to be from Science Fiction works (not Fantasy, not comics/superheroes, and not just plain fiction. Yes, JD and Turk on Scrubs have a wonderful bromance, but I’m being genre-specific).
- This is a relationship between more or less equals. For this reason, I’m going to steer clear of hero-sidekick relationships and master/protege relationships. They can be different military ranks, as long as they don’t let that get in the way of their friendship.
- I’m defining “bromance” as a deep, abiding platonic love between 2 friends (includes gay, straight, male, female, droid, xeno, whatev.)
- For my own subjective lists, I’m going with the most touching, heart-rending and abiding friendships.
While researching this post, I found this i09 write-up on “Burning Sci-Fi Bromances” – Some of them, I agree with whole-heartedly. Frankly, I think they include a lot of hero/sidekick stuff that I wouldn’t see as a relationship between equals. They also have a wider definition of genre than I do.
#5 – Captain Jack Harness and the Doctor
In spite of the kissing (and the shipping!) that goes on surrounding these two, I do think their friendship is by and large platonic (or at least it is by now). The immortal and irrepressible leader of Torchwood doesn’t have a whole lot of friends who come in and out of his life over time. Neither does the Doctor. I think that’s why they are such good friends.
The Doctor: You might be out there somewhere.
Jack: I could go meet myself.
The Doctor: Well. The only man you’re ever going to be happy with.
Jack: This new regeneration, it’s kinda cheeky!
#4 – Sam and Al from Quantum Leap
Sam is time-traveling and body-swapping as he Leaps into one sticky situation after another, and his only hope of figuring out who he is and what he has to do is Al – a projection of his buddy back in the Future/Present. Sam has to trust Al completely. Al is devoted to showing up every day to help Sam out. There is humor and love between them.
Al: Don’t do anything I wouldn’t do. And if you do, take pictures.
#3 – Geordi La Forge and Data
Honestly, there were a ton of bromances to choose from in the Star Trek universe. You could do a top 10 bromances of star trek really easily. Picard and Riker, Kirk and Spock, Tom Paris and Harry Kim, but honestly, nothing is as touching as this deep and abiding bromance between Geordi and Data.
COMMANDER GEORDI LA FORGE: I must admit, Data, I never get used to seeing you like this.
LT. COMMANDER DATA: I do not understand. You are constantly working on similar electronic systems, yet their appearances do not disturb you.
COMMANDER GEORDI LA FORGE: Yeah, but you’re not just another electronic system.
LT. COMMANDER DATA: Thank you, Geordi. Nor are you just another biological organism.
#2 – Han Solo and Chewbacca
Like Star Trek, the Star Wars series includes a large number of platonic relationships. Many of them – such as Qui-gon Jinn and Obi wan Kenobi – were actually master/ apprentice relationships, so it gets tricky. In addition to Han and Chewie, you could list R2D2 and C3PO as an example.
Han Solo: Chewie? Chewie, is that you?
[Chewie grabs Han and shakes him]
Han Solo: Ch-Chewie! I can’t see, pal. What’s going on?
Han Solo: Luke? Luke’s crazy! He can’t even take care of himself, much less rescue anybody.
[Chewie barks again]
Han Solo: A Jedi Knight? Jeez, I’m out of it for a little while, everyone gets delusions of grandeur!
#1 – Captain Mal and Zoë
[Zoë has made soup for Wash, and sets it on the table for him]
Wash: Mmm. Wife soup. I must have done good.
Zoë: Yes, dear. You done good.
[kisses him on the cheek]
Mal: [Mal enters dining area] Did you tell her?
Wash: [looks up warily] Tell her what?
Mal: [to Zoë] Your husband has demanded that we sleep together.
Wash: [looking a bit panicky] What? Mal, come on…
Mal: He seems to think it would get all this burning sexual tension out in the open. You know, make a fair fight for your womanly affections.
Wash: No! That was the torture talking…
[looking up at Zoë pleading]
Wash: Remember? The torture?
Mal: [takes Zoë’s hands and places one on his hip and the other on his shoulder, then with his other hand moves some hair off her shoulder, sporting a deadpan expression] I know it’s a difficult mission, but you and I have to get it on.
Zoë: [also with a deadpan expression] I understand. We have no choice. Take me, sir. Take me hard.
Jayne: [Jayne, who has just begun to enter the dining hall, sees this and gets an uncomfortable look on his face] Now somethin’ about that is just downright unsettlin’.
Wash: [as Mal and Zoë get closer to kiss – looking like two teenagers on their first date, Wash steps in grabs Zoë’s arm and pulls her to the door of the dining hall] We’ll be in our bunk.
I would LOVE to see your votes in the comments! Please add whatever you think I’ve missed.
I do have a long list of honorable mentions, so I’m guessing I could make this list considerably longer. Here is the list I’ve got so far:
- Sirantha Jax and Dina from Ann Aguirre’s novels
- Mannie and Mike from The Moon is a Harsh Mistress
- Arthur Dent and Ford Prefect
- Human pilot Willis E. Davidge and Drac pilot Jeriba Shigan from Enemy Mine
- Then there are the Sci-Fi Buddy cop pairs:
- Sgt. Matthew Sykes and Det. Samuel ‘George’ Francisco from Alien Nation
- J and K from Men in Black
I’m certain there are even more out there. Bring ’em on, friends!