On Galentine's Day, let's look back at some of our favorite lady TV friendships
It is time to wish all those beautiful, rule-breaking moths out there a very happy Galentine's Day.
One of the most enduring legacies of "Parks and Recreation" began during the second season, when Amy Poehler's Leslie Knope showers her female friends with thoughtful gifts and asks the camera, "Oh, what's Galentine's Day?"
"It's only the best day of the year," she explains. "Every February 13th, my lady friends and I leave our husbands and boyfriends at home and just come and kick it, breakfast-style. Ladies celebratin' ladies. It's like Lilith Fair, minus the angst - plus, frittatas."
Leslie repeats the tradition later in the series, and it has since become a real-life holiday for many women (like, Target paraphernalia-level official). Galentine's Day has resonated with so many because it is acknowledgment that friendships between women are important, incredibly enriching and deserve to be celebrated.
So in the spirit of ladies celebrating ladies, I asked fellow Washington Post staffers to gush about some of their favorite female TV friendships. Below are some of their answers:
Rory Gilmore and Lane Kim ("Gilmore Girls")
"There's one scene where Rory and Lane are helping Lane's conservative Korean cousin get ready for a wedding, and the two of them retrieve a stash of forbidden makeup from underneath Lane's floorboard. They do it automatically, and in a sort of coordinated ballet that makes it clear they've done this exact weird thing a dozen times before. It's the perfect illustration of the grooves and comfort of a long friendship - when you not only understand each other but also the specific quirks of each other's families. It reminds me of going to my best high school friend's house and knowing exactly where the good snacks were and which ones we'd get in trouble for eating. It's rhythm that only comes over time."
- Monica Hesse
Paula Proctor and Rebecca Bunch ("Crazy Ex-Girlfriend")
"It's relatable, even if it can be hyperbolic. Like IRL friendships, the two women go through ups and downs (notably in Season 2 when a blowup leads Paula to get barricaded in Rebecca's bathroom). The show makes it clear that lady friendships take work to maintain, but when they commit to doing that work, they learn from and empower each other. Their tendencies to overshare, support and shower each other with compliments remind me of the bonds I have with my closest friends."
- Sarah Parnass
Issa Dee and Molly Carter ("Insecure")
"As we get older it seems like the less friends we are able to keep. It takes a while to realize it is not about quantity, but quality. Molly and Issa have a ride-or-die friendship that would prevent anyone from feeling alone. They are not only great listeners, but they are fearless in their love for each other, meaning they are not afraid to call each other out. Any friend willing to call 'Malibu' on me when I am lying to myself is a keeper."
- Ashleigh Joplin
Daria Morgendorffer and Jane Lane ("Daria")
" 'Daria' aired on MTV as I left middle school and entered high school, which, for me, was an intense period of believing that I stood alone against everyone else. School felt like visiting the world's most terrifying zoo. I saw that worldview reflected in Daria; my melancholy eighth-grade self could relate. But 'Daria' wasn't an important show to me for this reason. Instead, it ended up teaching me that no matter how much of a 'people person' I wasn't, I still needed - and deserved - the mutual love of close friendship.
You see, Daria was rarely alone: She had Jane, her best friend. They'd eat pizza, they'd watch 'Sick, Sad, World' together. Daria, the ultimate loner, needed Jane, who was better at certain tricky life skills. You know, like acknowledging the existence of human feelings and talking to people. They made each other better."
- Abby Ohlheiser
Blanche, Dorothy, Sophia and Rose ("The Golden Girls")
"These sassy dames presented a game-changing kind of friendship. Suddenly there was a road map for a completely fulfilling alternative to 'When I'm 64.' There's nothing wrong with renting a cottage every summer with your sweetheart on the Isle of Wight. But would it be as fun as living with a bunch of wacky ladies in a group house where you could float around in a caftan, chugging wine and chatting it up on the lanai? 'Golden Girls' was a necessary reminder that marriage may be temporary but great friendships are forever."
- Stephanie Merry
Meredith Grey and Cristina Yang ("Grey's Anatomy")
"Meredith and Cristina have such a wonderful lady friendship, one that lasts through death and destruction and a plane crash and a long-distance experience. They're each other's person. They're brutally honest when they need to be. They're judging everyone else in the room but they also empower each other to be great. Cristina telling Meredith she is 'the sun' will always feel like an important message for me. Any friend can support you and your relationship, but it's also important to have friends who remind you to care for and push yourself first and foremost."
- Paulina Firozi
Maxine Shaw and Khadijah James ("Living Single")
"You know it's the real thing when your BFF treats what's yours as hers and what's hers as, well, still hers - and you don't mind. Maxine, the hard-edge lawyer who met magazine editor Khadijah in college, was basically the fourth wheel of the 'Living Single' house despite allegedly living somewhere next door. When she wasn't in the courtroom, Maxine was in Khadijah's kitchen, and no one seemed to mind."
- Helena Andrews-Dyer
Monica Geller and Rachel Green ("Friends")
"Sure, they were all technically 'friends,' but it was the bond between Monica and Rachel that actually stood the test of time. Their friendship survived everything from different high school cliques (Monica, a nerd teased for being overweight, and Rachel, the popular cheerleader) to attempts to date the same man (Jean-Claude Van Damme, naturally, which resulted in a fight that involved sweater-destroying and vengeful sauce-into-purse pouring). They grew up together and lived together, and while it was a bumpy road at times - have you ever tried to ask someone to move out without any drama? - the end result was always a reminder of how much they loved and were committed to each other. They were proof that just because a friendship isn't perfect doesn't mean it's not worth it. Forget Ross: Rachel was Monica's lobster."
- Caitlin Moore
Grace Hanson and Frankie Bergstein ("Grace and Frankie")
"Rivals turned roommates turned besties turned business partners, Netflix's Grace and Frankie are hilarious, which is maybe to be expected with Jane Fonda and Lily Tomlin at the helm. But there is nothing cute or fun about aging. With the help of sweet potato lube, turning panic buttons into fashion statements, and online dating debacles, Grace and Frankie blow right past the stereotypes of 'a woman of a certain age.' They laugh through everything (really, everything), and their slight codependence reminds me of my friendships, constantly proving that age is really just a state of mind."
- Meg Kelly
Peggy Olson and Joan Holloway ("Mad Men")
"They had little in common, and they often weren't actually all that nice to one another, but they showed a more complicated side of female friendship than we're used to getting on television: How women with very different values can ally themselves against the ugly forces against them. 'I learned a long time ago not to get all my satisfaction from my job,' Joan tells Peggy, who replies, 'That's bull--.' And they laugh, because the thing they do have in common is that even in a place that often minimized their accomplishments, they both love, love, love their work."
- Jenny Rogers
"The relationship between Peggy and Joan is best described as 'complicated,' but the two hard-nosed women settled into (contentious) understanding in the final season. The highest ladies of 'Mad Men' were at each other's throats for nearly the entire series, but they also knew they were in that sinking, misogynistic ship together."
- Angela Fritz
Abbi Abrams and Ilana Wexler ("Broad City")
"They are the perfect embodiment of a true feminist millennial friendship. They know every gross and unflattering detail about each other and never hold anything back, especially when it comes to sex. Unlike traditional sitcom ladies that attempt to tamp down the crazy in their friends, Abbi and Ilana encourage each other to let their freak flags fly and build one another up with 'yaaas queens' till the sun comes up. Every woman deserves a friendship as loyal and genuine as theirs."
- Grace Raver
Jane Villanueva and Petra Solano ("Jane the Virgin")
"Although the relationship between Jane and Petra started out as one of enemies, watching the friendship develop between these two driven women over the last season and a half of 'Jane the Virgin' has been gratifying. This complex friendship shows women can put aside their differences and focus on holding each other up when it really counts, something that helped both women grow as characters."
- Shira Stein
Liza Miller and Kelsey Peters ("Younger")
"One might argue the bond between Liza and Kelsey on TVLand's 'Younger' is fatally flawed because it's built on a lie: When they first meet, Liza is a 40-year-old mom pretending to be a 26-year-old so she can get a job in publishing. But as they go from co-workers to BFFs - Kelsey brings Liza out of her shell, Liza helps Kelsey grow up - it's clear their delightful friendship is rooted in something very real."
- Emily Yahr
Buffy Summers and Willow Rosenberg ("Buffy the Vampire Slayer")
A testament to the Paula Abdul adage that 'opposites attract,' Buffy and Willow - the superhero and the super-nerd - were a match made in girl-power heaven. Not only were the high school besties the marquee members of their own personal 'Scooby Gang' at the fictional Sunnydale High, the pair weathered ups and demons together through college and beyond. Remember when Willow, all suped up on witch power, tried to straight-up murder Buffy, the vampire-slaying chosen one? All water under the bridge for true friends.
- Helena Andrews-Dyer
Leslie Knope and Ann Perkins ("Parks and Recreation")
"Last, but not least: the Holy Grail of female friendship, and a very rare one for TV. Ann and Leslie never try to tear the other down, and they're always concerned with helping the other live her best life. The constant praise Leslie showers upon Ann? ('Ann, you beautiful tropical fish. You're smart as a whip, and you're cool under pressure.') The way Ann always has Leslie's back, but also calls her out when she's acting bonkers? And how they make sure to honor and protect their bond, even when they have serious romantic relationships? Leslie and Ann's friendship inspires me to be better a friend to the women in my life, to unabashedly express my love for these friends and to actively show them my gratitude for their support. Happy Galentine's Day, to all my lady friends."
- Elahe Izadi
Story by Elahe Izadi. Izadi is a pop culture writer for The Washington Post.