The 2000s have given us an entire new lingo, but one of our favorite words thus far has got to be "bromance." Who doesn't love a good pun (and WHAT a good pun!)?
The concept of a "bromance," however, is not revelatory or new. They've been occurring for ages (see: Homer). We've rounded up some of our favorite bromances of all time. NOTE: We don't include any in this list who are actually romantically involved (such as Sebastian and Charles in Evelyn Waugh's Brideshead Revisited), as those don't differentiate from romances. This list is reserved for BFFs only, not lovers!
Here are our absolute favorite bromances in literature:
1. Darcy and Bingley (from Jane Austen's Pride and Prejudice): Bingley tolerates Darcy's bad habits like only best friends can. Despite Darcy being a total downer, as well as totally rude, Bingley still loves the man like a brother. Bingley loves Darcy so much, that he actually listens to Darcy's advice when he suggests that Bingley NOT marry the sweet, shy Jane (luckily, Darcy realizes the error of this advice, and Bingley and Jane end up getting married and living happily ever after). Oh, and they marry sisters, which means that even though they are married, they'll still be seeing lots of each other! Good play, gentlemen!
2. Pip and Herbert (from Charles Dickens's Great Expectations): Sure, they get in a fist fight the first time they meet as children, but that doesn't stop these two from becoming the best of friends as adults. Not only do they live together, but they also do everything together. Pip even secures a fake job for Herbert so Herbert can feel good about himself. And Herbert tries to help Pip get a former escaped convict out of the city. What else are friends for?!
3. Frodo and Sam (from J.R.R. Tolkien's Lord of the Rings series): Sam is seriously the best friend a bro could ask for. As Frodo becomes increasingly weaker under the Ring's power, Sam basically takes on all the grunt work of their journey. He carries bags, he cooks, he does night watch, and he protects and takes care of Frodo. When Frodo is being a total jerk (which is the Ring's fault, obviously), Sam puts up with all of his crap. Sam also rescues Frodo from the Orcs. Basically, Sam does a ton for Frodo, but we guess it's sort of okay because Frodo has the baggage of that wretched ring. Whatever! BFFL.
4. Tyrion and Bronn (from George RR Martin's A Song of Ice and Fire series): OMG, their friendship makes us want to cry because it's so cute. When Tyrion is captured and put on trial by combat, Bronn offers to champion him and fight in his place (because there is no way poor Tyrion would have won that battle on his own). Of course, initially, their relationship is based on money. Bronn is a sellsword and Tyrion is from a super rich family. However, the two eventually become a very close pair. They drink together, they go to battle together, they go to whorehouses together. Best buds for life (well, not for life... Tyrion eventually needs to be defended again in ANOTHER trial by combat, and Bronn won't do it, and takes off to marry some wealthy lady. But they had a really good run!).
5. Theo and Boris (from Donna Tartt's The Goldfinch): SPOILERS AHEAD: In Tartt's coming-of-age novel, these boys are fast friends. We eventually discover that Boris stole "The Goldfinch" from Theo when they were teens. However, Boris makes a reappearance when they're adults, and does everything in his power to get the painting back for Theo. Despite the betrayals, we just can't help loving the boyish, delinquent-y friendship these two had. Their friendship really captures the angst of being a teen.
6. Harry Potter and Ron Weasley (from JK Rowling's Harry Potter series): Ron and Harry are BFF from Book One. Though they have some rough patches (who wouldn't be a little jealous of the person who has been nicknamed "The Boy Who Lived" and is essentially a celebrity?), they stick it out through adulthood (according to JK Rowling's flash forward in the final volume). Childhood friends who remains friends as adults?! It's almost unheard of.
7. Hamlet and Horatio (from Shakespeare's Hamlet): This is probably our favorite bromance of all time. Horatio is pretty much the only character who is utterly and totally loyal to Hamlet for the entire play. Horatio also puts up with all of Hamlet's emotional craziness (we can't exactly blame the guy, but he is pretty all over the place. A lot of friends might just say "Sayonara"). Horatio ends up being the only person that lives to tell Hamlet's tragic tale. And he is also the one who says the classic line, "Good night, sweet prince." SO SAD!
8. Sal and Dean (from Jack Kerouac's On the Road): Dean and Sal are so obsessed with their bro time that they can't really commit to anything else (i.e. relationships, staying in the same city for more than twenty minutes). This whole book is essentially a chronicling of their bromance. Also, when Sal says, "The only people for me are the mad ones," he is referring to Dean. So sweet, we guess!
9. Hemingway and Fitzgerald (from Hemingway's A Moveable Feast): We know, we know. This is also a real life bromance. But we couldn't leave these two off the list. Hemingway writes a lot about their friendship in his account of his expat years in Paris. The two talked about their writing and also, more often than not, girl troubles. Fitzgerald confided to Hemingway that Zelda had complained that his penis was too small. Hemingway actually accompanied him to the bathroom to take a look at it, and then reassured him that it was definitely a good size. If that's not friendship, then we don't know what is!
10. Sherlock Holmes and Dr. Watson (from Sir Arthur Conan Doyle's Sherlock Holmes stories):The two lived together for a time, and they also solved mysteries together. Watson is the perfect match for Sherlock's sometimes abrasive, Type-A behavior. Also, Watson is the person who actually records all of Holmes's triumphs. All but four of the Sherlock Holmes tales are told by Watson, who is outraged that Holmes doesn't get more recognition in the press. He also deals with what a jerk Holmes is rather well. What a good friend!
11. Achilles and Patroclus (from Homer's The Iliad): These two were super tight. Achilles was warm towards Patroclus, even though he was kind of a jerk to most other people. Unfortunately, Patroclus dies. SUPER sad. Achilles kind of loses it for a moment. He fasts and smears himself with ash. However, his good friend's death is the main reason Achilles returns to battle. Although most people during this time fought for fame, Achilles is really only fighting for his friend. He swears that he will avenge Patroclus's death by killing Hector, Patroclus's killer (though the gods warn him that this will cost him his own life).
12. Nick Carraway and Jay Gatsby (from F. Scott Fitzgerald's The Great Gatsby): Look, Nick admires Gatsby enough to tell his entire story! That is dedication! He's also one of the only people to attend Gatsby's funeral, and who wasn't looking for money or some kind of connection from Gatsby. He is the only person that Gatsby can really be honest with or divulge anything to (though he tries to do so with Daisy as well). Nick is also the only person who is loyal to Gatsby.
13. Athos, Porthos and Aramis (from Alexander Dumas's The Three Musketeers): "All for one and one for all!" Are we right or are we right?
14. Lennie and George (from John Steinbeck's Of Mice and Men):Lennie and George see each other through the hard times of the Great Depression by job hopping together. They're travel buddies, migrating from ranch to ranch. They want to own their own land together one day, and while that doesnt exactly happen (George ends up shooting Lennie when he realizes he's a danger to others and himself), they always have each other's best interests at heart.
15. Huckleberry Finn and Tom Sawyer (from Mark Twain's The Adventures of Tom Sawyer): Tom and Huck are both total rascals. They go on lots of rascal-y adventures together and get in lots of trouble (as little bros do).
16. The Hardy Boys, (from the Hardy Boys mystery series, originally created by Edward Stratemeyer): Another mystery-solving bunch, these guys are LITERALLY brothers. But who says brothers can't be friends?! Their cases are often linked to their real-life detective father's (yet another BRO involved in this series). Also sometimes their figurative bros (i.e. their friends) help them solve mysteries. No girls allowed!
17. Jesus and his disciples in The New Testament of The Bible: These guys traveled together, ate supper together, and NO LADIES WERE ALLOWED IN THEIR GROUP. Jesus even trusted Peter enough to ask him to continue his teachings and to build his church! If that's not some brotherly love, we don't know what is!
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