The Best Besties in Sitcom History

Sitcoms aren’t shy about their underlying formula: take a protagonist who’s thoroughly average in every way, give her a colorful best friend, and set their pun-laden exchanges to a laugh track. Not all shows sink to those depths of formulaic cheesiness, but even the greatest ones know it’s hard to misstep with the one-two punch of a pair of strong characters made even better by the depth of their friendship. After the jump, check out our favorite sitcom besties and be sure to chime in with the the ones we missed in the comments.

Clarissa and Sam, Clarissa Explains It All

TV rarely dared to portray a guy and a girl as merely friends for some time, but it did it — and did it right — with Clarissa and Sam on the ’90s Nick classic Clarissa Explains It All. To be fair, they did go on one date, but it came more out of an innocent curiosity than anything romantic, and it ended terribly. Sam was your typical, go-with-the-flow teenage boy of the ’90s, with a most impressive haircut (check out the wave on that bad boy!), who checked Clarissa’s dramatic reactions to even the most minor daily disturbances. Plus, he always entered her room by climbing in on a ladder, which is pretty badass and, in retrospect, also kind of unsettling.

Classic Moment: BFFs in prison