#1 Rory & Lorelei (Gilmore Girls) v. #16 Robin & Lily (How I Met Your Mother)

Division III: Friends from Childhood, Neighbors, & the Unexplainable

Wow, this is a tough one. The R & Ls. R + L = J, amiright?

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On the one hand, you have Robin and Lily, the power female friendship in a show mostly about men–male friendship and male heterosexual dating.

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On the other, you have the titular Gilmore girls, the mother-daughter duo who operate more like friends than a parent-child.

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I’ve been known to diss this relationship as a viable parenting model in real life, but no one can deny that it’s entertaining and heartwarming to watch on the screen.

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Robin and Lily are delightful because they’re kind of unexpected. Robin has no idea how to form female friendships, and Lily shows her how.

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I love their occasional homoeroticism and genuine support, but ultimately this show is about Ted and about pairing men and women into romantic pairs. Many of their best friendship moments are Lily advising Robin on her various romantic relationships. Only occasionally do we get to see them defy the Bechdel test (to be fair, the male characters on HIMYM don’t often pass the Bechdel test, either).

So I’m going to have to go with Rory and Lorelei on this one. They love and support each other unconditionally, despite their flaws (although this point makes a fair case for disqualifying relatives when evaluating friendships, but I’ll allow it).

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