Today, people all over the world are celebrating the sixth annual International Day of Friendship, which was launched by the U.N. in 2011 "with the idea that friendship between peoples, countries, cultures and individuals can inspire peace efforts and build bridges between communities." Because friendship plays such an integral role in the human experience, and recent research by the University of Carolina actually suggests that maintaining strong social bonds can increase life expectancy by reducing a number of health risks, it's no surprise that we often find ourselves really investing in TV shows which feature at their core, some kind of water-tight rapport. So to celebrate the U.N.'s International Day of Friendship, here's a selection of our favourite small screen BFFs. Kimmy and Titus from Unbreakable Kimmy Schmidt: In an early episode of the hit Netflix comedy, Kimmy Schmidt is told by her new roommate, gay aspiring actor Titus Andromedon, that him giving her a makeover "is the pact between my kind and yours - and in exchange, you buy us brunch sometimes." It's a typically witty line from the Tina Fey-created show, but there's a lot more to Kimmy and Titus's relationship than the clichéd idea of a "gay best friend." His street smarts are crucial to her ability to adjust to a very different life in New York City, while her unwavering optimism helps to sweeten some of his natural cynicism.
Lorelai and Rory Gilmore from The Gilmore Girls: The friendship between mother and daughter is a tricky and very specific one, but The Gilmore Girls' central relationship feels like an inspiring benchmark. Single mum Lorelai Gilmore and daughter Rory are totally on each other's level: they like the same music and movies, share just about everything, and can always match the other with a witty comeback. They’re so in-sync that when Rory moves in with her domineering grandma, she soon realises why Lorelai’s relationship with her own mother is so delicate.
Eddy and Patsy from Absolutely Fabulous: Occasional fashion mag director Patsy Stone could be seen as PR guru Edina Monsoon's life-long hanger-on; in this summer's Absolutely Fabulous: The Movie, we see her asking Eddy for "some of that, um, hand money," so she can pay for a cab fare. But on the other hand, these two women have stuck with each other through the decades, from fad to fad, and they have no intention of giving up the party now. As Patsy famously says to Eddy in a classic episode of the TV series, "And remember, I've known you longer than your daughter, and anything you do is alright by me. You're my best friend, sweetheart. Can I take your car?"
Grace and Frankie from Grace and Frankie: For decades, cosmetics entrepreneur Grace Hanson and art teacher Frankie Bergstein merely tolerated one another because their husbands were such great mates. But when those husbands announce, much to each woman's surprise, that they're actually long-term lovers who now want to get married, Grace and Frankie end up living together at a beach house the two couples used to share. Their friendship develops gradually and organically, as polished but brittle Grace and laidback, hippie-ish Frankie learn to respect, and even admire, each other's differing life choices. It's a welcome reminder that it's never too late to revise your opinion of someone you thought you didn't really like.
Big Boo and Pennsatucky from Orange Is the New Black: The prison-set comedy-drama is filled with fascinating friendships that develop, sometimes unexpectedly, as tensions spread and allegiances shift inside the pressure cooker that is Litchfield Penitentiary. Among the most touching, though, is the unlikely alliance between Tiffany "Pennsatucky" Doggett, a self-proclaimed redneck with old-fashioned Christian beliefs, and Carrie "Big Boo" Black, an equally strong-willed LGBT activist. Big Boo and Pennsatucky become friends not because one succeeds in changing the other's views, but because their growing empathy for one another enables them to look beyond their superficial differences.