Some friendships are so tight, nothing can come between them, not even death. Sure, one or both friends may slip off this mortal coil, but since when has that stopped true friendship? As part of our ongoing Day Of The Dead special coverage, The A.V. Club has put together a collection of six cinematic and television relationships so close, the Grim Reaper himself couldn’t stop the bonds of affection.
This post is sponsored by el Jimador Tequila as part of its Day Of The Dead Special Coverage section on The A.V. Club.
When you’ve got rock ’n’ roll and a dream, there’s no way you’re going to be separated from your best buddy by something as incidental as being murdered by your robot doppelgangers from the future. After our heroes are killed in an effort to stop their forthcoming musical output from putting an end to war and strife, Bill and Ted (Alex Winter and Keanu Reeves) stick together in order to beat Death and regain their lives. It’s the ultimate display of BFF power: Putting one over on the Grim Reaper by beating him at Twister.
While backpacking across England, best friends David and Jack have the unfortunate luck to stumble across a werewolf, who kills Jack and claws David, meaning he, too, will soon transform into the supernatural creature. But Jack is such a good guy, he’s not about to let his friend become a mindless killer. Instead, he haunts him—but in a nice way, in order to let him know what happened, and suggest he may want to end it all before hurting anyone. Because true friendship means making sure your buddy knows killing himself is preferable to ripping apart a bunch of innocent people.
In a town as packed full of supernatural creatures as Vampire Diaries’ Mystic Falls, it’d be a shame to let a little thing like death get in the way of a good friendship. Luckily, besties Elena, Bonnie, and Caroline manage to stick it out through vampirism (Caroline), witchdom (Bonnie), vampirism again (Elena), magical ghost powers (Bonnie), and any number of mutual crushes and relationships with the town’s most eligible undead bachelors. In fact, the only force powerful enough to tear them apart was Nina Dobrev’s desire to leave the show; even then, Bonnie and Caroline went on recording Elena’s titular journals for her for the rest of the series’ run.
When your hand gets possessed by a murderous spirit and kills your two best pals, it would be easy for them to hold a grudge. Not so in Idle Hands, where they hold to the bonds of friendship, instead. After Anton (Devon Sawa) finds his right hand possessed and responsible for the deaths of Mick and Pnub, he understandably freaks out. But his buddies are there for him, and forgo heaven to reanimate their dead bodies. Anton lops off his deadly hand, and together with his mates, they fight and defeat the evil spirit. Best of all, when Anton stays on Earth to be with his girlfriend, Mick and Pnub become his guardian angels—the very definition of the perfect wingmen.
The best romance is with someone you consider your best friend—and in Ghost, friendship lasts beyond the grave. After Sam Wheat (Patrick Swayze) is killed by a mugging gone wrong (or so he thinks), he sticks around Earth, refusing to leave until he can make certain his true love Molly (Demi Moore) is safe. Eventually, with the help of a reluctant psychic (Whoopi Goldberg), Sam uncovers the true about his murder, saves Molly from the clutches of his Iago-like amigo Carl (Tony Goldwyn), and generally saves the day. Even when he finally goes to heaven, he makes sure Molly is cool with it first. Take that, Dirty Dancing.
When you combine the bonds of friendship and family, you get BFFs that know each other just as deeply in death as in life. Brothers Antoine and Kenny are NCAA basketball players, dedicated as much to each other as to being the best players possible. But when Antoine dies of a heart attack, his brother’s grief brings him back—and he starts helping out on the court. Eventually, Kenny has to learn to do things on his own without his brother’s assistance, but by the end, their bond is deeper than it even was in life.
When Liv Moore goes to a boat party because she needs to live a little, she doesn’t realize that she’ll come away unable to live at all. Tainted Utopium, a party drug, turns everybody into zombies, and Liv wakes up in a body bag, her life—such as it is—completely changed. Her best friend, Peyton Charles, doesn’t know what to make of the new Liv, who abandons a promising career as a doctor to work in a morgue, where she has easy access to fresh brains. They hit some rough spots when Peyton learns Liv’s deathly secret, but ultimately, friendship prevails. The end of season two left a lot hanging, but Peyton has accepted Liv as a zombie, so whatever terrors face Seattle next, the two will face them together.