I love a good story about the Power of Friendship (TM). I think I like them even more than love stories. I don't know why, except that I've never seen a love story that mirrored my own or even felt genuine. But I've seen my close friendships modeled in stories relatively often.
In no particular order!
1. Jane and Daria (Daria)
I talk about Daria and Jane so often I'm surprised I don't have more images of them uploaded to Blogger! The show holds up to rewatching, and one of the things I appreciate about it is that even though Daria and Jane are outsiders, they're not really bullied or harassed by the popular ("popular") students. Other popular students (Jodie and Mack) even seem to like them, despite their differing social roles and attitudes about the high school social world in general.
I guess this might be a controversial opinion, as I'm not naive enough to believe that bullying doesn't happen in American high schools. But I was our school's Daria and no one ever harassed me about it, even if they didn't really get me, either.
But I love Daria and Jane. I just do. Not much to say about that.
2. Becky and Enid (Ghost World)
I need to go back and re-read Ghost World (it's been over ten years, so it's been long enough) but I remember really liking it. Becky and Enid are essentially a proto-Daria and proto-Jane. Again, even if they're outsiders, they're not really bullied about it. The one thing that I didn't like about the story (which also happens with Daria and Jane) is stupid drama over a boy.
3. Mikey and Margalo (Bad Girls)
First of all, can you handle that 90s realness in the cover? This was the exact copy I had and loved when I was a kid.
This is a little obscure, maybe. Voigt won a boatload of awards for novels in her "Tillerman cycle" of novels but this one seems to have gone largely unnoticed. In fact, I didn't realize there were sequels to Bad Girls until I was an adult. I might pick them up one day, when I just want something distracting I can burn through in a day or two.
Anyway, Bad Girls is about the budding BFF-ship between Margalo and Michelle (who goes by Mikey). They're both smart and loners and, if you want to stretch, budding critical thinkers. A lot of their story is about their critical engagement with social norms, mostly gender roles. And they're just fifth-graders! If you find this somewhere, pick it up.
4. Sal and Phoebe (Walk Two Moons)
This one was one of my elementary school favorites. I read the next few books by Creech (Chasing Redbird, Bloomability) but they seemed like pale imitations of Walk Two Moons. While the story is mostly about Sal and her history with her mother, there's a good deal of backstory with her and Phoebe. Even if they're not exactly BFFs, I liked the two of them together.
5. Everyone in Linda, Linda, Linda
If you haven't seen this movie, you need to. It's time for the end-of-year festival at a Japanese high school, and an all-girl punk band (tribute to iconic Japanese punk band The Blue Hearts, whose song "Linda Linda" is the inspiration for the movie title) might not be able to perform. They enlist the help of a Korean exchange student at the last minute and work furiously to get everyone ready for the big show.
There's a lot more to it than that, really, but it's all about high school nostalgia and friendships: maintaining them, growing them, and breaking them.
This was a harder 5 Fandom Friday than I thought it would be! Shout out to The Babysitter's Club, Anne and Diane (Anne of Green Gables), and Bridesmaids as honorable mentions.
What are your favorite womances?
*Fun fact: Swedish has gone many years without distinguishing between muffins and cupcakes; the advent of the word "cupcake" has been very recent.