Movies

The 22 Greatest On-screen Female Friendships of All Time

Charlotte, Carrie, Samantha & Miranda, Sex and the City: The Movie

Name a more iconic friend group — we’ll wait. You know which character you are, and all of your friends do, too. Nothing says girls’ night in like sipping Cosmos and living vicariously through this fierce foursome’s ups and downs in the tumultuous New York City dating scene. While the second movie was met with lackluster reviews from fans of the series, the first one is still worth watching — but nothing beats a classic SATC marathon. And what better way to gear up for the show’s highly anticipated revival!

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Thelma & Louise, Thelma & Louise

If you’re looking for the definition of ride-or-die BFFs, these two are it. Running from the law after their weekend road trip takes an unexpected turn, the dynamic duo (Geena Davis’ Thelma and Susan Sarandon’s Louise) hightail it to Mexico. The movie also features a young, shirtless Brad Pitt — need we say more?

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Ryan, Dina, Lisa & Sasha, Girls Trip

After five years apart, four college best friends (played by Regina Hall, Tiffany Haddish, Jada Pinkett Smith and Queen Latifah) decide a girls’ weekend is long overdue and head to the annual Essence Festival in New Orleans. Alcohol-infused adventures ensue as the women rediscover their bond, and their weekend of debauchery is sure to make you long for a post-pandemic return to nightlife with your own girl gang.

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Peik Lin & Rachel Chu, Crazy Rich Asians

Everyone needs a BFF who keeps backup outfits for every occasion in the trunk of her car just in case. Awkwafina’s Peik Lin is the brash and hysterical counter to Constance Wu’s Rachel, who reunites with her closest college friend when she travels to Singapore to meet her boyfriend’s family (who turn out to be, yes, crazy rich).

Faced with a disapproving future mother-in-law, Rachel relies on Peik Lin to help her navigate the upper echelons of society, and the pair bless us with a hilariously satisfying makeover scene.

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Debbie Ocean, Lou, Nine Ball, Amita, Constance, Rose, Daphne Kluger & Tammy, Ocean’s 8

Seeing Rihanna make a rare appearance onscreen (playing a hacker, no less) is enough of a reason to watch anything, in our opinion. But add Sandra Bullock, Cate Blanchett, Mindy Kaling, Helena Bonham Carter, Anne Hathaway and Sarah Paulson to the mix? We’re sold. This star-studded spin-off of the previously male-dominated Ocean’s films sees each woman bringing her unique talent to the table in order to pull off the ultimate heist.

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Tibby, Bridget, Carmen & Lena, The Sisterhood of the Traveling Pants

A well-fitting pair of jeans is hard enough to find; a pair that also fits your three best friends perfectly is some kind of magic. Just before separating for their first summer apart in years, four childhood best friends (played by Amber Tamblyn, Blake Lively, America Ferrera and Alexis Bledel) chance upon a pair of pants that they each take turns wearing — and hopefully washing — as they navigate new adventures on their own. To top it all off, the actresses have held on to their bond in real life, even as their careers and families have taken them in different directions.

This classic coming-of-age story will get you and your girls feeling nostalgic for your snail-mail days at summer camp, and might inspire you to start penning letters to your long-distance pals.

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The Barden Bellas, Pitch Perfect

A group of girls with seemingly nothing in common discover that they sound aca-mazing when singing together. The a cappella girl group quarrels, bonds and literally saves each other’s lives in this hilarious movie trilogy — but it’s Beca (Anna Kendrick) and Fat Amy’s (Rebel Wilson) friendship that truly steals the show.

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Cher, Tai & Dionne, Clueless

Did you think we were going to leave out this iconic ’90s threesome? As if! Popular and shallow, Cher (Alicia Silverstone) and Dionne (Stacey Dash) rule their Beverly Hills high school. The pair is quick to “adopt” Tai (the late Brittany Murphy), a new student they’re eager to make over. Together, the three balance each other out as they take on all the typical teenage ‘firsts’: love, driver’s ed and near-death experiences. A must-watch when in need of ’90s fashion inspiration, or whenever you’re just “rollin’ with the homies.”

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Gloria, Savannah, Bernadine & Robin, Waiting to Exhale

Is there a better Galentine’s Day movie to watch with your girls than one about women bonding over the scarcity of good men? This star-studded cast — featuring Angela Bassett, Whitney Houston, Lela Rochon and Loretta Devine — navigate their increasingly entangled love lives together, and the film features one of the most iconic breakup scenes in movie history. 

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Kate & Angie, Baby Mama

Tina Fey and Amy Poehler are the ultimate laugh-inducing dynamic duo, both on- and off-screen. When Fey’s Kate — a Type A, single businesswoman — hires working class Angie (Poehler) as her surrogate, the two opposite personalities struggle over preparing for the birth and wind up forging an unlikely and heartwarming bond along the way.

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Paulette & Elle Woods, Legally Blonde

We have Elle and Paulette to thank for the bend and snap — and so much more. The bond between Reese Witherspoon’s Elle, a sorority-girl-turned-Harvard-Law-student in an attempt to win back her (lame) man, and her manicurist Paulette (Jennifer Coolidge), is a reminder that friendships — and dance parties — can blossom in even the most unlikely atmospheres.

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The Rockford Peaches, A League of Their Own

Rosie O’Donnell and Madonna playing baseball is reason enough to throw on this ’90s classic. A group of young women is brought together to form a professional all-female baseball league during World War II, and find themselves clashing and growing closer as they navigate their rise to fame.

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The Toros & The Clovers, Bring It On

They’ve got spirit and sass and really great … stolen routines. Gather your besties to cheer on your favorite squad as the Toros take on their rivals, The Clovers (whose routines they’ve been ripping off for years) in the ultimate cheer-off. Also, yet another prime example that Gabrielle Union doesn’t age!

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Elise, Annie & Brenda, First Wives Club

This movie sees three college best friends reuniting to get back at their ex-husbands, who have all left them for younger women. Ariana Grande recreated the film’s iconic dance scene when she debuted “Thank U, Next” on The Ellen DeGeneres Show — and while Grande sings that she’s “grateful” for her exes, this power trio (played by Goldie Hawn, Diane Keaton and Bette Midler) are far from it: they’re out for revenge. A quick cameo from Ivana Trump fills them with inspiration, as she advises them: “Ladies, remember — don’t get mad, get everything!”

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Suyuan, Lindo, Ying-ying & An-mei, The Joy Luck Club

The first Hollywood film to feature an all-Asian cast, The Joy Luck Club follows four Chinese-American women and their Chinese immigrant mothers living in San Francisco, where they gather to play Mahjong and swap stories that are full of happiness, hardship and the culture clashes that arise between generations.

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Romy & Michele, Romy and Michele’s High School Reunion

As their 10-year high school reunion approaches, two best friends realize that they don’t have much to show for in terms of their personal and professional development. But they’ve got each other, and decide to pretend they’ve got it all together. 

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Cleo, Tisean, Frankie & Stony, Set It Off

This beloved 1996 heist film follows four best friends (played by an A-list cast including Queen Latifah, Jada Pinkett-Smith, Vivica A. Fox and Kimberly Elise) who start robbing banks together in order to make ends meet. 

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Jess & Jules, Bend It Like Beckham

Jules (Keira Knightley) convinces Jess (Parminder Nagra) to join her semi-pro soccer (or should we say football) team in London, despite Jess’ family forbidding her from playing. As teamates, the two quickly grow close on and off the field — to the degree that Jules’ mom suspects the two are an item.

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The Spice Girls, Spice World

If you’re looking to “Spice Up Your Life,” or just, you know, your Friday night, dress as your favorite member of the ’90s girl group and relive the magic of their staged tour for your viewing pleasure.

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Lucy, Mimi & Kit, Crossroads

Crossroads gave us Britney Spears’s “I’m Not a Girl, Not Yet a Woman,” which is perhaps the ultimate coming of age song. The movie sees a young Brit and her two childhood best friends (played by Zoë Saldana and Taryn Manning) reunite over a time capsule after drifting apart in high school, and then setting off on a cross-country road trip together. If you watched this movie growing up, you definitely buried a time capsule with your BFFs too — why not do it again now?

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Mia, Lilly & Lana, The Princess Diaries

Every normal high schooler who finds out she’s a princess needs a best friend to stick by her as she navigates her new life and royally embarrassing slip-ups (not to mention foot pops).

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Amy & Molly, Booksmart

Olivia Wilde’s directorial debut stars Beanie Feldstein and Kaitlyn Dever as high school overachievers, who’ve sacrificed letting loose for good grades over the years. The two decide to remedy that by packing four years’ worth of adventure into one extremely chaotic, hilarious night. 

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