Some of my best friends exist only within the pages of books. From time to time I pull out my favorite novels and reread them just so I can visit Harry Potter, Frodo Baggins, Elizabeth Bennet, and all the other heroes so real it feels as if I know them. Because after spending so much time reading about their adventures, you kind of do know them… at least a little bit. Enough to be considered an acquaintance, at the very least.
But not only do these characters feel like friends, they also demonstrate true friendship. WhWhere would Harry be without Hermione and Ron? And Frodo wouldn’t be the same without his bestie, Samwise Gamgee. Even Elizabeth Bennet demonstrates true friendship in her relationship with Charlotte Lucas, showing how women can support one another even in Regency era England.
However, not all of these literary friendships are created equal. Whereas some of these friendships are shining examples of how to be supportive and awesome besties, others are basically manuals on what not to do. From the classics to modern-day novels, here are some of the most iconic literary friendships, ranked by how much the reader should want to be a part of them.
15. Ralph and Piggy From Lord Of The Flies
This "friendship" starts out as mediocre and ends horribly. Poor Piggy.
14. Nick Carraway And Jay Gatsby From The Great Gatsby
Nick is more of an observer in Gatsby's life than a true friend, and he never manages to become an equal, instead always lingering on the edges as a narrator. For his part, Gatsby is mostly using Nick. Ultimately the whole encounter doesn't end well for either man. Still, Nick gains some inspiration from Gatsby's enchanting romanticism, even if the spell is short-lived.
13. Serena Van Der Woodsen And Blair Waldorf From Gossip Girl
These two can never seem to work things out, and it seems that liking the same guy puts too much of a strain on their relationship. If only there were more guys to choose from on the Upper East Side... thankfully, the show remedies this by increasing the presence of Chuck Bass, so Serena and Blair can be the besties they were meant to be and leave Nate Archibald out of it.
12. Betty And Veronica From Archie Comics
The leading ladies of Archie are some of the most classic best friends. Still, the friendship's kind of one-sided, because while girl-next-door Betty is always there for Veronica, Veronica doesn't consistently reciprocate. She's likely to ditch Betty for Archie, making her a less than perfect BFF.
11. Tom Sawyer And Huck Finn From The Adventures Of Tom Sawyer
These two are nothing but trouble when they get together, but ultimately Tom has Huck's best interests at heart. Even if they create chaos, they're still better together.
10. Elizabeth Bennet And Charlotte Lucas From Pride And Prejudice
These two friends from Pride And Prejudice are both intelligent, spirited women, but they don't see eye to eye on matters of the heart. Elizabeth chides Charlotte when she marries for convenience, and Charlotte rebukes Elizabeth for her stubborn opinions, but their friendship outlasts the conflict. Still, Lizzy can never fully subscribe to Charlotte's viewpoint, even if she respects her as a person.
9. Anne Shirley And Diana Barry From Anne Of Green Gables
Anne calls Diana her "bosom friend," but Diana doesn't reciprocate with quite as much enthusiasm. She doesn't have the imagination that Anne does, and Diana could have done a lot more to defend her friend during the whole drunk-on-cordial incident. However, they're able to move past it, and in the end they're kindred spirits once more — plus, maybe it's good in the end that Anne has a down-to-earth bestie to keep her somewhat grounded.
8. Lena, Tibby, Carmen, And Bridget From The Sisterhood Of The Traveling Pants
The leading ladies of The Sisterhood of the Traveling Pants support one another through good times and bad, but things kind of go awry by the end of the series. Still, their friendship mends, one way or another. Plus, they have magical pants, which has to be a sign of true friendship.
7. Betsy, Tacy, And Tib From Betsy-Tacy
These three friends are the stars of Maud Hart Lovelace's Betsy-Tacy series, and their friendship is literally one for the books. However, their friendship isn't at the forefront by the end of the series, when they're all seeking different paths, so even though they keep in touch, they all seem to move on. Still, their bond is strong, and they all support one another in their different life choices.
6. Matilda And Miss Honey From Matilda
Miss Honey encourages Matilda's intelligence and love of learning, while Matilda helps Miss Honey free herself from Miss Trunchbull. They need one another to finally live the lives they're searching for — the mark of true friendship.
5. Sherlock Holmes and John Watson From The Adventures Of Sherlock Holmes
Detached yet brilliant Sherlock gains an emotional backbone in his friend John Watson: the two make the perfect duo. After all, Watson narrates most of the books, so us readers would be totally lost without him, too.
4. Scout Finch And Boo Radley From To Kill A Mockingbird
Though Scout doesn't every get to repay Boo, he's always watching out for her, and this unlikely pairing ultimately makes a difference in both their lives. He's the guardian angel she didn't know she had.
3. Frodo And Sam From Lord Of The Rings
If every friend were as loyal, caring, and brave as Samwise Gamgee, the world would be a better place.
2. Harry, Ron, And Hermione From Harry Potter
This trio sums up #SquadGoals. They take down everything from trolls to the Dark Lord together, and we all know that Harry wouldn't have gotten anywhere without his two best friends. Their skills perfectly complement one another, and they always have each other's backs, until the very end.
1. Calvin And Hobbes From Calvin And Hobbes Comics
This comic pretty much defines friendship. The last panel where they ride off in the snow on a sled makes me tear up every time. It's truly a magical world, when you've got best friends like these.