When the chemistry is right, the pairing of two characters in a television comedy or drama can turn the series into a hit. (Pairings can be successful in other areas, too. These are the most iconic musical duos in history.)
To create a list of the most famous duos in TV history, 24/7 Tempo researched series in which friendships, partnerships, rivalries, and/or romantic relationships are key on sites including IMDb, an online movie and TV database owned by Amazon; Rotten Tomatoes, an online movie and TV review aggregator; and Uproxx.com. Cast information also came from IMDb.
TV’s famous duos can be relatives, friends, neighbors, co-workers, even enemies whose relationships evolve into something else. They are often found in comedies. That has been true from the beginning of television.
Think of Lucy Ricardo and Ethel Mertz on “I Love Lucy” and fraternal-organization pals Ralph Kramden and Ed Norton on “The Honeymooners” in the 1950s; Felix Ungar and Oscar Madison in “The Odd Couple” in the 1970s; and Karen Walker and Jack McFarland in “Will & Grace” in the 1990s and 2000s. (See where you can stream the best classic shows right now.)
Animation is not without its duos. “Tom and Jerry,” “The Flintstones,” and “Ren and Stimpy” all feature memorable pairings, too.
Successful pairings in drama include detectives Benson and Stabler in “Law & Order: Special Victims Unit”; Mulder and Scully in “The X-Files”; and Seeley Booth and Temperance Brennan in “Bones.” All three shows feature male/female partnerships with suggestions of something more, which appeals to audiences.
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