Why do we love to watch shows about friends who are total opposites?

There is nothing we love more than a well-written female friendship. Too often, everyday female friendship is brushed aside in favour of more dramatic storylines, but we love seeing the almost mind-reading closeness of female friendships represented on screen, as well as all the ups and downs that any great fictional – and real – friendship has.

And what's even better? When it seems like these two women are TOTAL opposites.

Why do we love it so much? The ying and the yang, the chalk and the cheese? And why do they work so well?

Well the best friendships are about growth and the best characters are about conflict – get yourself some totally opposite best friends and you've got the perfect fiction recipe for a great storyline! Think about Amy and Maeve in Sex Education or Donna and her Dynamos from Mamma Mia? Conflict means change and conflicting with your best friend means there's room to grow and become a better version of yourself, which is what all good writing needs.

We've selected our cream of the writing crop of friendships that explore all the complexity, giggles and closeness that make a great and binge-able opposites-attract female friendship. 

Lorelai Gilmore and Sookie St. James

Having a work wife is actually really bad for your career, study says |  SHEmazing!

Oh these two! Giggly and adorable Sookie and quirky and fast-talking Lorelai are the friendship pairing that writers can only dream of creating. Both strong characters with their ups and downs, their friendship is a ride-or-die kind that isn’t afraid to get real. It’s not all happy-go-lucky with these two, despite their generally sunny dispositions though.

When the pair go into business together, conflicts arise when Sookie’s creative scatterbrained nature suddenly becomes less cute and more irritating and Lorelai’s dramatic and fast-paced side start working overtime. Nonetheless, they work it out and are one of the few super close female friendships that pull off working together and socialising together fairly seamlessly. They both change to accommodate one another and create a super successful business out of the conflicting personalities!

Leslie Knope and Anne Perkins

leslie knope | SHEmazing!

Another ride-or-die pair, Leslie’s obsession with Anne initially seems one-sided, but with Leslie’s kooky persistence, Anne’s own crazy side begins to make an appearance. They encourage one another to go after everything they deserve – even if they occasionally go overboard (Leslie) – and always prioritise their friendship. Leslie brings out Anne's less guarded side and Anne attempts to reign Leslie in a little – because let's be real, someone needs to. 

What’s great about Leslie and Anne is that they give their non-romantic relationship the same kind of attention and thoughtfulness that they give their romantic ones, remembering Galentine’s day, anniversaries and special occasions always. It’s that kind of kooky thoughtfulness that makes them one of our favourite friendships out there.

Lizzie and Jane Bennet

(The Guardian)

A heartfelt and sincere one, this sister friendship is the stuff of dreams. While most sister relationships are a little more like Kitty and Lydia – fighting over clothes, going out and other ridiculousness – Jane and Lizzie have a deep soul bond that set them apart from the rest of their family. Always wanting nothing but the absolute best for one another, they stick up for each other and push one another when they’re in danger of becoming walked all over – Lizzie is strong and opinionated and Jane is more content to fade into the background.

But that trait is surprisingly important in an Austen novel. Lizzie's outspoken nature gets her into trouble sometimes, but just as much as Jane's wallflower lifestyle sees her almost miss out on lots of opportunities. Trust is inherent in their relationship and they need each other to survive their crazy family and balance one another out. 

Rachel and Monica

moving in with friends | SHEmazing!

A lot of people say that Monica and Rachel’s friendship is a more one-sided one, and initially, it certainly is. Monica gives Rachel a place to stay, teaches her about ‘the FICA guys!’ and allows Rachel to lean on her a lot when it came to the heavy emotional stuff that comes with leaving your old life behind.

But as the friendship develops, the women evolve from being dependent to helping one another out – Rachel encourages Monica to be more confident, to put herself out there more and – let’s be real – they definitely shared their wardrobes! Meanwhile, Monica helps Rachel transition into a more independent life – they're just the best!

Cece Parikh and Jess Day

(Hello Giggles)

The definition of opposites attract, cute and quirky Jess Day and sexy and dangerous Cece Parikh are a duo that work better together than apart. Jess’ innocence and Cece’s seemingly crazy past and wild nature make for some hilarious comedic moments, but also mean that they can equally rescue one another when everything goes to pot. Cece brings out Jess’ brave side and Jess allows Cece to be vulnerable – plus their passive aggressive fights are just waaaaay to real.

Rory Gilmore and Paris Geller

paris geller | SHEmazing!

Okay, this one won’t be popular with everyone because many argue that Rory doesn’t really consider Paris a friend so much as an annoyance – but let me tell you, if anything, Rory doesn’t deserve Paris’ friendship. In a friendship that started out as sworn enemies, the two stringently academic girls pushed one another to be better and better and that eventually morphs into recognising and respecting one another’s strengths.

An angsty friendship develops when Paris allows herself brief moments of vulnerability from her usual hard as nails act and encourages Rory to toughen up and fight for what she wants. A cerebral and hilarious friendship of opposites, one of their best moments is Paris calling Logan out when he tries to come back to Rory after it’s revealed he cheated on her – one of the smackdowns of the century, people.

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