Every friendship is unique, filled with highs and lows. True friendships, on the other hand, have one thing in common: no matter how far their bonds bend, they always manage to bounce back before they break. On the silver screen, those road bumps so often have to do with men, but there’s a full spectrum of real-life hurdles, from cross-country moves to petty, pointless spats, that have managed to make their way into the movies below, too. Each showcases friendships that are bulletproof—and sometimes literally. (We’re looking at you, Thelma and Louise). Here, the most memorable female friendships in cinematic history, from Romy and Michelle to
Beaches’ Hillary and CC to the recent duo of Molly and Amy, the inseparable teens at the center of , Olivia Wilde’s high school-era directorial debut. Booksmart
Meeting as young girls on vacation,
Beaches follows the decades-long friendship of two very different girls, Hillary and CC. Warning: this one will make you weep.
Cher, Tai, and Dionne,
Cher, Tai, and Dionne make up the ultimate girl squad, navigating driver’s tests, crushes, and concussions together.
The Rockford Peaches,
A League of Their Own
Born out of the need for entertainment during WWII, these ladies were thrown together from all over the country and found lifelong friendships in the process.
Lucy, Kit, and Mimi,
Three childhood friends (including Britney Spears) embark on a life changing road trip, getting to know each other all over again along the way.
Frances and Sophie,
Sophie and Frances were friends forever, but as you grow up, life gets in the way. This story of an evolving friendship is a relatable and realistic coming of age story.
Ryan, Sasha, Lisa, and Dina,
A movie about four best friends on a trip to New Orleans for a weekend of partying and reminiscing is exactly how a girls night should be spent.
Elise, Brenda, and Annie,
First Wives Club
Three friends reunite after the tragic death of their college friend to make sure no woman has to endure being “the first wife” ever again and rebuild their disconnected bond in the process. The dance number in the finale is basically the definition of friendship.
Erin, Abby, Julian, and Patty,
Ghostbusters: Answer The Call
Erin (Kristen Wig) literally dives into demon dimension to save Abby (Melissa McCarthy) while Julian (Kate McKinnon) and Patty (Leslie Jones) hold the rope on the other side to pull them both to safety. If that isn’t friendship, I don’t know what is.
Aibileen and Minny,
This pair of women shakes up Southern society during the Civil Rights movement in the 1960’s by telling their stories of working in the households of white families. The support Aibileen and Minny give each other during these times only strengthens their bond.
Renee, Jane, and Vivian,
I Feel Pretty
We all have our bad days, but with friends like Jane and Vivian, Renee realized that she, and her friends, are beautiful inside and out.
Janice and Cady,
Though Cady and Janice’s friendship was born out of mutual hatred for frenemy Regina George, the two find a true bond beyond destroying The Plastics.
Lady Bird and Julie,
Best friends Lady Bird and Julie go through typical teenage ups and downs, but always have each other’s back in the end.
Judy, Violet, and Doralee,
9 to 5
Three secretaries kidnap their sexist boss and run the company in his absence after he passed them over for promotion and objectified them in the office.
Suyuan, Lindo, Ying-Ying, and An-Mei,
Joy Luck Club
Four women meet every week to play mahjong, tell stories and reminisce about the hardships and victories of the past.
Roberta, Teeny, Samantha, and Chrissy,
Now and Then
This inseparable crew revisits their childhood treehouse and recounts the most unforgettable summer of their lives.
The ultimate signifier of a relationship? Combining your names. Harina overcomes some incredible obstacles, turning to what has bonded them since they were little girls to keep them together.
The Barden Bellas,
In the cut-throat world of acapella, friends are hard to find. The Barden Bellas had a rocky start, but learned that they were the best when they were working together.
Mia and Lilly,
When Mia finds out she is actual royalty in a foreign country, Lilly is right there by her side to help her navigate fake friends and etiquette classes.
Vivian and Kit,
Pretty Woman primarily focuses on Vivian’s relationship with Edward, her friendship with Kit de Luca steals the movie.
Romy and Michele,
Romy and Michele’s High School Reunion
When their 10-year reunion rolls around, Romy and Michele devise a plan to show the popular kids that they are the opposite of their awkward teenage selves.
Tibby, Lena, Carmen, and Bridget,
Sisterhood of the Traveling Pants
A group of very different friends goes their separate ways for summer, but stay connected through long letters and a pair of pants that magically fits each one of them perfectly.
Stoney, Cleo, Frankie, and T.T.,
Set It Off
Having friends that have your back is one thing. Having friends that will rob a bank with you? That’s next level.
Clairee Belcher, Annelle Dupuy Desoto, Truvy Jones, M’Lynn Eatenton, and Ouiser Boudreaux,
A group of Southern women stands by each other through weddings, tragedy, and big hair in one of the funniest movies that will also make you cry.
The Spice Girls,
This wild and wonderful film follows the fictional adventures of every girl’s favorite real girl group as they gear up for a live show in London.
When the head cheerleader gets pregnant, her family disowns her but her squad sticks by her side. The girls devise a plan to rob a bank using classic cheering lifts and teamwork to get enough money for the young mom to start her family (and a scholarship program for teen moms).
Sarah, Nancy, Bonnie, and Rochelle,
This coven of girls find their fourth when newcomer Sarah moves to Los Angeles. Together, they begin practicing magic that escalates quickly. Powerful friends are always good to have.
Thelma and Louise,
Thelma and Louise
The iconic film practically coined the phrase “ride or die” with the unbreakable bond between two best friends who embark on a road trip gone wrong.
Courtney and Christina,
The Sweetest Thing
After meeting a man at a club, Courtney and Christina embark on an adventure to track him down. Like any good road trip movie, montages and debauchery ensue.
Audrey and Morgan,
The Spy Who Dumped Me
The recently released comedy follows the adventure of best friends Audrey and Morgan on a secret mission when Audrey finds out her ex is a spy.
Savannah, Bernadine, Gloria, and Robin,
Waiting to Exhale
Bonding over the difficulty to find a good man, four women stick together through divorce and new love.
Annie and Lillian,
Annie and Lillian exemplify the strength of friendship by weathering some of life’s toughest events, including weddings, money troubles, and food poisoning.
Charlotte, Miranda, Samantha and Carrie,
Sex and the City: The Movie
Whether you’re a Charlotte, Miranda, Samantha, Carrie, or none of the above, there’s no denying the group’s decades-long legacy.
Nettie and Celie,
The Color Purple
Nettie and Celie star in this coming-of-age story, with a little help from Oprah Winfrey.
Olivia Wilde only made her directorial debut with
Booksmart in 2019, but Amy and Molly’s adventure to have the night of their lives is timeless.
Erin, Jenny, and Blair,
The same goes for 2019’s other star BFFs—
Someone Great‘s Erin, Jenny, and Blair—as they embark on giving Jenny a proper send-off before she leaves behind New York City for San Francisco.
Barb and Star,
Barb and Star Go to Vista Del Mar
Get you a friend who tells you that you could model for Chico’s—and fully believes it.
Meg, Jo, Beth, and Amy,
Little Women Courtesy of Columbia Pictures
Sometimes sisters make the best friends.
If your friendship doesn’t involve cracking the Watergate scandal, then does it really go that deep?
Céline and Julie,
Céline and Julie Go Boating
Some friendships are magic—literally.
Lorelei and Dorothy,
Gentlemen Prefer Blondes Courtesy of 20th Century Fox
It doesn’t matter if gentlemen actually prefer blondes or brunettes as long as you have a best friend like Lorelei or Dorothy around.
Idgie and Ruth,
Fried Green Tomatoes Courtesy of Universal Pictures
Idige and Ruth are two friends who become essentially family, even though they were skeptical of one another at first.
Daisy, Kat, and Jojo,
Mystic Pizza Courtesy of The Samuel Goldwyn Company.
Everyone remembers the buzzy, confusing time that is the summer after high school ends, especially these three friends (two of whom are sisters) who work together at a local pizza shop in Connecticut.
There is plenty of cattiness, but some of these on-screen friendships laid the groundwork for nearly a century of movie friendships between women. And hardly any men are in the movie, either.
Destiny and Ramona,
The relationship between Ramona and Destiny is fraught, to say the least. But when else has the line, “Climb in my fur” felt so emotionally charged?
Molly and Ray,
Sure, Molly is a grown-up befriending the girl she nannies for (Ray), but the friendship is sweet nonetheless.
This article was originally published on
Aug. 4, 2019