Famous “Bro Pairs” In Pop Culture (And Real Life)

Sometimes things are just better in pairs. Salt and pepper, coconut and chocolate, peanut butter and jelly, peas and carrots, beer and chicken wings, the list goes on and depends totally upon your personal tastes. Maybe you don’t like jelly with your peanut butter, maybe you hate both peas and carrots, maybe you can’t stand coconut (a common dislike with food).

Sometimes you can’t even talk about one person without also talking about someone else! Who is Jay without Silent Bob? Where would Elton John be without Bernie Taupin? You can’t even talk about Trey Parker without also mentioning his longtime creative partner and friend Matt Stone (whether you liked the dresses they wore to that one Oscars ceremony or not)! How interesting would the Bill and Ted movies be if it they were about only one of these goodhearted dimwits? Not at all…not at all! Sometimes things – and people – just “go” together.

I’m not talking about married couples or others who are “romantically” involved – you know, the stuff that is endless gossip fodder for People magazine and the TMZ network. Will Brad and Jennifer ever get back together? Have they gotten back together? Personally, I don’t care about any of that (yawn)! Seriously, if they have gotten back together, I haven’t been paying attention! OK, if they have gotten back together, you can tell me (that doesn’t mean I’ll care)!

What I’m attempting to compile in this blog is a fairly comprehensive list of “bro pairs” we’ve all enjoyed seeing through entertainment history – and actual history. Some of them are virtual carbon copies of each other, some of them are actual brothers – either in fiction or real life – or are merely brothers from different mothers. Some of them have an “alpha” and “beta” dynamic, some of them bring out the best (or worst) in each other, but the common thread is they all tend to be better together – than not. Whether they make us laugh, make us cringe, or make us wish we’d want to meet them/be them, they are no doubt all iconic…and memorable!

Let’s start with the “bro pair” that inspired this blog!

Reilly and Jonesy (Letterkenny TV Series)

Actors Dylan Playfair (Reilly) and Andrew Herr (Jonesy) play hockey players on the Canadian TV series “Letterkenny.” Both characters are initially involved in a romantic relationship with Katy, and all Hell breaks loose later on when she decides she only wants to date one of them (which put a real strain on the mens’ respective relationships with each other). They couldn’t stand being apart from each other! Trivia, Dylan Playfair is actually descended from quite a long line of NHL players/coaches.

Bill and Ted (Bill and Ted’s Excellent Adventure and its sequels)

Bill (Alex Winter) and Ted (Keanu Reeves) are fairly similar to Reilly and Jonesy. They are treated as a collective (they get to do their history report together rather than individually) and are virtually inseparable throughout countless adventures through time! In the most recent sequel, Bill and Ted Face the Music, their daughters prove to be chips off the old blocks!

Beavis and Butt-Head (TV characters)

Butt-Head (left) and Beavis (right) being tossed into a trunk by the neighborhood thug Todd (whom both of the boys worship as a hero). Though there is a slight alpha/beta dynamic with this pair (Butt-Head is usually the dominant one), they are treated collectively by their peers and their school teachers and of course, are inseparable (even though they taunt each other constantly and appear to loathe each other)!

John and Horace Dodge (Automakers)

John (left) and Horace (right) Dodge, who founded the Dodge car company. According to lore about them, they refused to respond to mail unless it was addressed to both of them, dressed identically and were constantly together – even until their untimely deaths (both died within a year of each other during the Spanish flu epidemic). John was the marketing/sales guy and Horace was the inventor/mechanic. Both were epic lovers of drink (and the occasional brawling that went along with it). Employees of their company were reportedly treated very, very well.

Jay and Silent Bob (Various Movies)

This slacker duo is content to let Jay (Jason Mewes, right) do the talking while Silent Bob (Kevin Smith) only occasionally chimes in. Their favorite activity is hanging around in front of convenience stores.

Redford/Newman (Butch Cassidy and the Sundance Kid, The Sting)

Paul Newman as Butch Cassidy and Robert Redford as “The Sundance Kid” in the movie of that name, where they were train robbers running from the law. They also appeared together a few years later in The Sting. Damn, they just look good together, don’t they? 🙂

Nick Frost and Simon Pegg (Various Movies)

Actor Nick Frost (left) and Simon Pegg (right) are best friends in real life and it shows in the movies in which they appear! They also frequently play best friends, most famously in the “Three Flavours Cornetto Trilogy” of films (Shaun of the Dead, Hot Fuzz and At World’s End). Though their roles sometimes differ, Frost usually plays the more laid back “slob” type and Pegg plays the more driven uptight sort.

Merry and Pippin (Literature/Movie Characters)

Merry “Meriadoc” Brandybuck (played by Dominic Monaghan) and Peregrine “Pippin” Took (played by Billy Boyd) are a likeable yet mischievous duo in The Lord of the Rings trilogy. They grew up as childhood pals, were kidnapped by Orcs together and separately became esquires of two different kingdoms (and also found their own glories in battle).

Snoopy and Woodstock (Comics/TV characters)

True, Snoopy did just fine on his own from his first appearance in “Peanuts” comics in 1950. But after he was paired with a neighborhood bird named Woodstock in 1967, let’s just say it was good to see Snoopy have a BFF for his many, many adventures (some of them imagined)!

Cheech and Chong (Various Movies)

Cheech Marin and Thomas Chong, who are both friends in real life and on film. Most of their films are about their quest to get high!

Sherlock Holmes and John Watson (Literary/Film Characters)

British detective Sherlock Holmes (here played by Robert Downey Jr.) and physician/former soldier John Watson (played by Jude Law) have always been a fascinating character study. The realistic “everyman” Watson helps keep the eccentric Holmes grounded, and Holmes’ quest for adventures helps keep Watson going and gives him purpose.

C-3P0 and R2-D2 (Star Wars franchise)

C-3P0 and R2D2 appear in several Star Wars films. Although they play droids whom have a friendly bond, the respective actors (Anthony Daniels and Kenny Baker) reportedly did not get along with each other!

Calvin and Hobbes (Comic Strip Characters)

Hobbes (right) is the stuffed tiger belonging to Calvin (right). Whether Hobbes is actually “real” or not is irrelevant to the story in this comic!!! They go on space adventures together, torture neighborhood girl Susie, confound and irritate his parents and keep each other on their toes.

Trey Parker and Matt Stone (creative partners)

Matt Stone (left) and Trey Parker (right) are the creators (and also serve as voice actors) of “South Park,” and have also collaborated on various other productions, not the least of which is the wildly successful “The Book of Mormon.” They have been creative partners since meeting at the University of Colorado at Boulder in the late 1980s, where they bonded over a mutual love of Monty Python, among other fascinations. The rest? History.

Joel and Ethan Coen (Filmmakers)

Filmmakers Joel Coen (left) and Ethan Coen have collaborated on several films, including Raising Arizona, Fargo, O Brother, Where Art Thou, Burn After Reading, No Country For Old Men and True Grit, among others. No one can deny that their creative – and familial – partnership has been very successful!

Elton John and Bernie Taupin (Songwriting)

Photo credit, Getty Images. Lyricist Bernie Taupin with singer Elton John. The two met after answering the same ad in a newspaper in 1967 and have collaborated together on songs ever since. Why am I not including John Lennon and Paul McCartney on this list? Because they didn’t stand the test of time like these lads have done!

Chris Farley and David Spade (Various Movies)

SNL actors David Spade (left) and Chris Farley (right) were co-stars and also friends in real life – they even shared an office at the SNL studios. When Chris Farley died in 1997, David Spade did not attend the funeral, though not for the reasons you might think…he said in an interview 20 years later that he wouldn’t have been able to handle seeing him in a box. They starred together in a few comedies in the 1990s, including Black Sheep, Tommy Boy and Coneheads.

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