30 Most Iconic Duos in Movie History (Ranked)

30 Most Iconic Duos in Movie History (RANKED)

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From the silver screen’s earliest days to contemporary blockbusters, cinema has given us duos that have become etched in the annals of film history. These iconic pairings, whether through electric chemistry, impeccable comedic timing, or heart-wrenching drama, have captured the hearts and imaginations of audiences worldwide. They remind us that sometimes, two is indeed better than one. Dive with us into a journey celebrating the most unforgettable duos that have graced our screens, and see how they’ve shaped, defined, and revolutionized the world of film.

30. Issa Dee and Molly Carter- Insecure (2016)

30 Most Iconic Duos in Movie History (RANKED)

Issa (Issa Rae) and Molly (Yvonne Orji) have been friends since college and are two independent women in their late 20s striving to make it in the world — or at least in Los Angeles. Their characters are also extremely realistic, especially to African-American audiences, and provide an honest portrayal of what it’s like for ladies navigating personal and professional ups and downs.

The two have a tight connection, and they deal with internal issues, friendship, and the African American community throughout the episode. Issa works for “We Got Y’all,” a non-profit that helps middle-school kids of color. Lawrence, her long-term lover, has been slacking in their relationship since his start-up firm collapsed, and she is struggling to reignite the flame in their relationship.

Molly is a successful corporate attorney who has trouble dating men despite her professional success. The half-hour series delves into social and ethnic concerns that affect black people today.

29. Lenny and Squiggy -Laverne and Shirley (1973)

30 Most Iconic Duos in Movie History (RANKED)

The eponymous couple is played by a tough-talking Penny Marshall and a constantly cheerful Cindy Williams, but Laverne & Shirley is just one of many comedies where the annoying neighbors steal the show. Leonard Kosnowksi and Andrew Squiggman, for example, are recognized for their tiny nicknames, signature “Hello!” entrance, greaser style, and persistent stupidity.

Shirley Feeney and Laverne DeFazio were best friends and housemates who had to deal with dates, neighbors, and each other. They worked as bottle cappers for Shotz Brewery in Milwaukee in the late 1950s and early 1960s. When they were displaced in the brewery by an automatic bottle capper in 1965, they relocated to Burbank, California to start a new life.

28. Kelly Robinson and Alexander Scott -I Spy (1965)

Kelly Robinson and Alexander Scott are an undercover American spy and his tennis coach who travel the world as a cover for their real job. Their work is serious, with no showy megalomaniacal villains or dazzling devices, yet the two have a strong bond.

With competence, humor, and some serious concerns about their profession, this duo of American spies manages their tasks. Kelly Robinson is a former Princeton law student and Davis Cup tennis player; Alexander Scott, Kelly’s boyfriend, and buddy is a Rhodes scholar and Kelly’s trainer, as well as a language specialist.

Scott wasted his pioneering work here – he was the first African-American male to win an Emmy for Best Actor in a Drama — with his heinous behavior off-screen, which is reprehensible in more ways than one. However, for a while, these two were the coolest cats on television.

27. Wyatt And Billy -Easy Rider (1969)

30 Most Iconic Duos in Movie History (RANKED)

After making a tidy profit on their latest drug deal, hippies Wyatt and Billy decide to outfit themselves with, among other things, motorcycles – Wyatt complete with what they refer to as his Captain America gear and a similar motif on the bike – and, abandoning all other commitments in their lives except the desire to attend Mardi Gras, cycle from their home base of Los Angeles to New Orleans for the event in just over a week.

They are not planning to spend their money on this journey; instead, they are saving it for a more carefree life in Florida afterward, and they will be sleeping in the great outdoors along the way. While Wyatt is more laid-back, believing in the karmic nature and practicality of helping others when they can and asking for help when they need it, Billy is wary of the people they meet, especially when it comes to hiding their wad of cash stuffed into Wyatt’s bike’s gas tank, money that will be their future.

They’ll discover that not all counter-culturalists think the same way and that spiritual and practical ties to others may be found in the most improbable of places and individuals. They will, however, ruffle some feathers just by being hippies, presumably out of dread of what they symbolize rather than of them as individuals. Throughout it all, Wyatt considers if the journey will fulfill his expectations or desires for his life.

26. Smith and Carlton Banks- The Fresh Prince of Bel Air (1990)

30 Most Iconic Duos in Movie History (RANKED)

One of them is the most recent. The other, though, is a different story. These cousins squabbled at first but eventually made a formidable team. They didn’t always mingle, but when they did, they were nearly one person. Both had blind spots when it came to their shortcomings, but they were ready to call them out to one another.

Will Smith (in his debut acting role) is a street-smart adolescent from West Philadelphia who is transferred to live with his affluent relatives at their Bel-Air home in Los Angeles, California by his mother after getting into a confrontation with some gangsters while playing basketball.

Will’s severe and gruff uncle, Philip Banks (played by James Avery), is a successful lawyer (later Judge), and Will’s no-nonsense, straightforward, and career-minded aunt, Vivian Banks (played by Janet Hubert and subsequently by Daphne Reid), is a University Professor.

Will’s preppy and arrogant cousin, Carlton Banks (played by Alfonso Ribeiro), Hilary Banks (played by Karyn Parsons), Will’s attractive but dull-witted eldest cousin, Ashley Banks (played by Tatyana Ali), Will’s youngest cousin who often looks up to Will, and Geoffrey, the family’s cynical Butler are among the other members of the Banks family.

Will’s working-class upbringing clashes in a variety of amusing ways with the upper-class world of the Banks, usually getting him and other family members into trouble.

25. Sherlock Holmes & Dr. Watson- Sherlock (2010)

30 Most Iconic Duos in Movie History (RANKED)

The friendship of Sherlock Holmes and Dr. John Watson predates all of the other couples on our list, but the BBC breathed new life into it by giving the classic detective narrative a modern touch.

A modernized series of adaptations of Sir Arthur Conan Doyle’s Sherlock Holmes books. An army doctor, John Watson (Martin Freeman), gets injured in Afghanistan and is forced to leave the service. When he returns to London, he finds an apartment to share with Sherlock Holmes (Benedict Cumberbatch), a brilliant but quirky private investigator.

When the police are at their wits’ end, they turn to Mr. Sherlock Holmes and his unusual techniques of the deduction for help. Sherlock seeks to solve some of the country’s most interesting riddles with the help of Doctor John Watson, a newly returning Afghanistan vet. They work together to solve perplexing and frequently strange murder mysteries. They also have to contend with Holmes’ arch-enemy, Moriarty, the criminal genius.

24. Jimmy McNulty and ‘Bunk’ Moreland- The Wire (2002)

30 Most Iconic Duos in Movie History (RANKED)

A special investigation assignment assigned to William “The Bunk” Moreland meant that despite being partners, Jimmy McNulty and The Bunk Moreland spent more time apart than together throughout The Wire’s five seasons (and the harbor unit). However, their near-telepathic connection was immortalized in what has become known as “the fuck scene,” in which the team travels to a murder site and cracks a homicide while communicating only with f-bomb variants. Genius.

23. Ren & Stimpy- The Ren & Stimpy Show (1991)

On the surface, it shouldn’t work, but pairing a psychotic chihuahua (Ren) with a sweet but obnoxious cat (Stimpy) resulted in some of the best-animated television of the 1990s. With plenty of dark comedy and Ren’s emotional and totally unstable, yet hilarious, outbursts — typically directed towards Stimpy — it’s still Nickelodeon’s edgiest program.

A passionate, hyperactive chihuahua (Is there another kind?) and a happy-go-lucky, empty-brained cat go on strange and frequently unpleasant adventures together. Hairballs, dirty litterboxes, “magic nose goblins,” sentient farts, jars of spit, outhouses, eating dirt, monkey vermin, and any other conceivable unpleasant material are all common occurrences.

These two odd friends go on a series of amusing experiences, including selling rubber nipples, locating property for Canada, spending the night in a scary home, and just seeking work.

22. Lee and Carter- Rush Hour trilogy (1998-2007)

30 Most Iconic Duos in Movie History (RANKED)

Buddy-cop flicks have thrived on the tension between two men who have a single objective but can’t seem to get on the same page since the genre’s inauspicious start with 48 Hours in 1982. Lee and Carter exemplify this, not just in terms of methods, but also in terms of cultural and linguistic dissonance (it’s been said that when Jackie Chan and Chris Tucker met, each told the director that they couldn’t understand a word their co-star was saying).

To begin with, miscommunication and annoyance make for excellent comedy; add in Chan’s martial arts acrobatics and Tucker’s mile-a-minute tongue, and you’ve got box-office gold.

As the two officers from different worlds discover one thing in common: they can’t tolerate each other, cultures collide and tempers boil. As time runs out, they must band together to apprehend the crooks and evil men.

21. Jack Bauer and Chloe O’Brian- 24 (2010)

Without the cool-headed computer genius who is his closest partner and greatest friend, where would the flammable counter-terrorist Jack Bauer be? That’s where you’ll find me. Mary Lynn Rajskub’s comedic background gave her the ideal counterpoint for Kiefer Sutherland’s dead serious action guy, ensuring that the iconic War on Terror–era thriller always had an unexpected and amusing platonic pairing at its center.

20. J.D. Dorian & Christopher Turk- Scrubs (2001)

Many of these duos might be classified as “bromance,” but none have defined the term as well as J.D. and Turk. Their passion for each other often outweighed Turk’s marriage, resulting in some of the show’s greatest jokes.

Set at the fictional Sacred Heart hospital in California, John “J.D” Dorian navigates the confusing world of medicine with the assistance of his closest friend, fellow rookie physicians, and the pompous but smart attending physician he considers his mentor.

19. Woody & Buzz – Toy Story (1995)

30 Most Iconic Duos in Movie History (RANKED)

Pixar’s debut feature picture, the buddy comedy Toy Story, was released in 1995, and it included this animated couple. When people are present, anthropomorphic toys pretend to be lifeless but come to life when they leave the room. The core narrative of the film revolves around the friendship between Woody, a traditional pull-string cowboy doll (voiced by Tom Hanks), and Buzz Lightyear, a futuristic spaceman action figure (voiced by Tim Allen).

The connection between the two main characters grows from rivals fighting for Andy’s affections to friends working together to reunite their family of toys with Andy after being separated during relocation to a new house. In the late 1990s and early 2000s, the film produced two sequels, with a third in the works, and made the duo household names.

18. Bill and Ted- Bill and Ted’s Excellent Adventure (1989)

Bill S, Preston ESQ., and Ted Theodore Logan, two almost brain dead adolescent lads from San Dimas, a tiny town just outside of Los Angeles, had a fantasy of forming their rock and roll band named the “Wyld Stallyns.”

Unfortunately, they are still in high school and on the edge of falling out, and if they do not pass their forthcoming history report, Ted’s father will send him to military school, and they will be separated. But Bill and Ted are unaware that they must remain together to rescue the future. As a result, Rufus, a guy from the future, arrived to assist them in passing their report. As a result, both Bill and Ted began to acquire historical data for their study.

17. Andy Taylor and Barney Fife- The Andy Griffith Show (1960)

These two didn’t have to like each other because they were forced together by blood (they’re cousins) and job, yet they made an excellent team. Andy was the level-headed professional, whilst Barney was the jerk.

Sheriff Andy Taylor, a widower, and his son Opie reside in Mayberry, North Carolina, with Andy’s Aunt Bee. Andy spends most of his time philosophizing and calming down his cousin Deputy Barney Fife because there aren’t many crimes to solve.

16. Spongebob Squarepants and Patrick- Spongebob Squarepants (1999)

30 Most Iconic Duos in Movie History (RANKED)

For the last 17 years, he’s been living in a pineapple beneath the sea, where he’s become Nickelodeon’s highest-rated, most licensed (and lucrative) longest-running property. But without the help of his good-hearted, dim-witted starfish neighbor and closest buddy Patrick, the success of the squeaky-voiced, endlessly optimistic sea sponge known as Spongebob Squarepants would be unthinkable.

SpongeBob SquarePants is a character-driven animated series that follows the nautical and often absurd adventures of SpongeBob SquarePants, an incurably cheerful and sincere sea sponge, and his underwater buddies.

SpongeBob lives in a two-story pineapple a few fathoms beneath the tropical isle of Bikini Atoll in the sub-surface metropolis of Bikini Bottom. Instead of adopting the rational approach to common problems, SpongeBob takes a strange and unusual attitude to life.

SpongeBob’s good intentions and enthusiastic attitude to life generally cause turmoil in his underwater environment, whether he’s looking for the ideal spatula to improve his burger flipping skills at the Krusty Krab or simply hanging out with his closest buddy Patrick (an amiable starfish).

15. Itchy and Scratchy – The Simpsons (1994)

Throughout The Simpsons’ quarter-century-plus run, the animated cat-and-mouse duo has given hours of savage pleasure to Bart and Lisa.

The Simpsons visit Itchy and Scratchyland, a theme park based on the violent television show, where Bart and Homer are both imprisoned for bothering Itchy-dressed performers. When the robot characters get aggressive, like they did in ‘Westworld,’ and the crew flees, the Simpsons save the day by destroying the robots with camera flashbulbs.

14. Bonnie & Clyde – Bonnie & Clyde (1967)

30 Most Iconic Duos in Movie History (RANKED)

Many of the other duos on this list were inspired by the breakthrough 1967 picture Bonnie and Clyde, starring Warren Beatty and Faye Dunaway. The picture, which was based on the true story of legendary bank robbers Clyde Barrow (Beatty) and Bonnie Parker (Dunaway), violated numerous cinematic taboos, including sex and violent violence, and was a hit with younger viewers.

The film is set during the Great Depression, and the two meet as Clyde is attempting to steal Bonnie’s mother’s automobile. Bonnie, dissatisfied with her mundane existence, is drawn to Clyde and chooses to join him as his partner-in-crime. The two begin small with a few short holdups, but the thrills and cash aren’t enough to quench their need for adventure and wealth.

13. Fred Flintstone & Barney Rubble – The Flintstones (1960)

Mr. Flintstone and Mr. Rubble were neighbors, coworkers, closest friends, and Loyal Order of Water Buffaloe’s members. Fred and Barney demonstrate that males have always been macho with a soft side, dating back to the Stone Age.

The Flintstones were a family from the contemporary Stone Age. Fred Flintstone lived in Bedrock and worked an unsatisfactory quarry job before returning home to his gorgeous wife Wilma and daughter Pebbles. Fred, a golf and bowling enthusiast, also loved tormenting his next-door neighbor Barney Rubble, whose sassy wife Betty was Wilma’s best friend.

12. Prince Akeem and Semmi – Coming To America (1988)

Prince Akeem is stopped masterfully by Semmi (Arsenio Hall), who is horrified by their charade of behaving like destitute immigrants in a strange new nation, in probably Eddie Murphy’s most toned-down portrayal. The duo’s ignorance of American culture and proclivity for mispronunciation provide plenty of laughs throughout.

11. Chandler Bing & Joey Tribbiani – Friends (1994)

30 Most Iconic Duos in Movie History (RANKED)

The roommates/best friends exceeded the degree of closeness among their classmates while being members of an ensemble group. It would be an understatement to call their connection a “bromance”; they were so much more. Because they were the ideal combination of opposites and similarities, they were able to play off each other so brilliantly.

Six young individuals from New York City (Manhattan), who are on their own and trying to make a living in the real world, find the company, comfort, and support they receive from one another to be the ideal antidote to life’s stresses. As they learn what it means to be a friend, this ordinary bunch of pals experiences tremendous mayhem, family drama, past and future loves, arguments, laughter, tears, and shocks.

10. Elwood and Jake Blues – The Blues Brothers (1980)

John Belushi and Dan Aykroyd feature as brothers Jake and Elwood Blues, respectively, in John Landis’ musical comedy classic The Blues Brothers (1980). The film’s narrative is a tale of redemption, with paroled criminal Jake and his brother Elwood going off on a “mission from God” to save the Catholic orphanage where they grew up from foreclosure, based on a musical comedy by the Blues Brothers that appeared on Saturday Night Live in the late 1970s.

The couple reunites their R&B band and organizes a performance to raise the $5,000 required to settle the orphanage’s property tax bill. As the film progresses, they are chased by the local police force while being pursued by a destructive “mystery woman,” Neo-Nazis, and a country and western band. The picture contains excellent action, humor, and music, as well as some amusing on-screen exchanges between John Belushi and Dan Aykroyd.

9. Walter White and Jesse Pinkman – Breaking Bad (2008)

30 Most Iconic Duos in Movie History (RANKED)

Walt White (Bryan Cranston) may be the brains behind the enterprise, but Jesse (Aaron Paul) is the one who keeps things going as his partner’s voice of reason. Their connection evolves beyond student-teacher, with White becoming increasingly erratic while Jesse learns that it’s okay to feel sorry.

The misadventures of two drug dealers trying to make a living in the complicated and corrupted world of crime, which led them from working for money to working to survive; it all began with an honest high school teacher trying to make money for his family after learning that cancer had left him with little time. While the men are compelled to continue the operation, they gradually begin to plot a way out as quickly as possible and at any cost.

8. Batman and Robin – Batman (1997)

This dynamic combination first featured in early DC Comics issues, but it was with Batman: The Movie in 1966, following the conclusion of the first season of the Batman television series, that they made their cinematic debut. The classic crime-fighting tandem, Batman and Robin, have been the template of crime-fighting teams throughout film history.

With Batman at the helm and the enthusiastic Robin at his side, these strong crimefighters take on The Joker, The Penguin, The Riddler, and The Catwoman.

7. Rick and Morty – Rick and Morty (2013)

30 Most Iconic Duos in Movie History (RANKED)

Rick is an eccentric and drunken crazy scientist who refuses to conform to numerous social norms, including education, marriage, love, and family. Morty, Rick’s 14-year-old grandson, is a kind-hearted but easily disturbed child whose naive but grounded moral compass serves as a counterweight to Rick’s Machiavellian ego.

Rick enters Morty’s apartment and begs for assistance on an interstellar adventure. Morty grudgingly accepts and embarks on a never-ending journey across time, space, and dimension. Rick is causing chaos everywhere they go, so Morty must keep him in control. 

Throughout the show’s multiverse, different versions of the characters occupy different realities, and their personal qualities might differ from one reality to the next. About his originating world, the show’s original Rick identifies himself as “Rick Sanchez of Earth Dimension C-137,” although this does not necessarily apply to every other member of the Smith household.

6. Fox Mulder and Dana Scully – X-Files (1998)

TV’s most powerful male-female combo Mulder (David Duchovny) and Scully (Gillian Anderson) are two of the most popular small-screen collaborators in science fiction television history. Scully and Mulder, like a few others on this list, began as coworkers and acquaintances before developing a love connection while dealing with the paranormal and extraterrestrials.

The X-Files are shut down by the government after five years of investigating paranormal phenomena. FBI Agents Fox “Spooky” Mulder and Dana Scully are transferred to more basic tasks, such as bomb detail. Despite this, Mulder continues to get evidence that confirms his beliefs about extraterrestrial involvement on Earth and a hidden, worldwide cabal of individuals guarding the information. The agents are given hints by an outbreak of metamorphic extraterrestrial activity in Texas.

5. Seth and Evan – Superbad (2007)

30 Most Iconic Duos in Movie History (RANKED)

Seth and Evan, close friends and high school seniors, were counting down the days till they parted ways and decided on the greatest distraction: losing their virginity before moving off to college. Of course, since this is easier said than done, the team’s third-wheel pal, Fogell, and rivers of booze are the only things that can help them wow the opposite sex at the summer’s largest party, which is just a few hours away.

As the lads begin their desperate hunt for alcohol at the town’s liquor stores, an unexpected run-in with the authorities threatens to put a stop to their steamy dream. The clock is ticking, the stakes are high, and their bold strategy must yield fruit by midnight. What does it feel like to be superbad?

4. Felix Unger and Oscar Madison – The Odd Couple (1968)

“The Odd Couple,” based on the successful play and film of the same name, worked well on the small screen as well. Both Jack Klugman and Tony Randall, who played the slobbish, fly-by-the-seat-of-his-pants Oscar and the straight-laced Felix, flourished in a television set, especially after the program began filming in front of a live studio audience. It was especially fascinating to see each of them struggle to fit into the other’s world.

Felix Ungar just divorced his wife. He is despondent and attempts suicide, but is saved by his buddy Oscar Madison. Oscar encourages Felix to move in with him, at least temporarily, because he has nowhere else to go. The only issue is that Felix is clean, tidy, and neurotic, whereas Oscar is sloppy and inattentive.

3. Cheech and Chong – Up in Smoke (1978)

30 Most Iconic Duos in Movie History RANKED 02

Richard “Cheech” Marin and Tommy Chong are an award-winning comedic team who originally gained a following in the 1970s with their stand-up routines and stage sketches. Throughout the 1970s, the pair released numerous albums, including Los Cochinos, which received a Grammy for Best Comedy Album in 1974. Cheech and Chong’s act was based on the hippie and free love movements of the 1970s, with cannabis as the major topic.

Many of their stand-up routines were adapted for the cinema, including the iconic “Dave’s not here” joke from their debut film, Up In Smoke (1978). The funny couple had great chemistry and were so good in their performances that you couldn’t tell how much they were playing. Cheech and Chong went on to feature in a slew of low-budget cult films that are still entertaining audiences today.

2. Riggs and Murtaugh – Lethal Weapon (1987)

Lethal Weapon, arguably the most well-known buddy cop picture of all time, stars Martin Riggs (Gibson) and Roger Murtaugh, two mismatched LAPD detectives (Glover). Riggs, who is extremely unstable, and Murtaugh, a 50-year-old veteran of the department, are opposites, and their differing policing tactics result in some excellent on-screen confrontations.

The film’s popularity inspired many sequels and a current television version, thanks in part to the on-screen chemistry between the two protagonists. Above all, Riggs and Murtaugh are as witty and entertaining as any other pair on this list, helping to reinvent a genre that many felt was doomed to mediocrity.

1. Tom and Jerry – Tom and Jerry (1911)

30 Most Iconic Duos in Movie History (RANKED)

Tom and Jerry, two well-to-do brothers, have been working together in business for years, and the bond they have is extraordinary.

A house cat (Tom) and a mouse, two longtime adversaries, battle it out in this animated series (Jerry). Each short’s narrative generally revolves around Tom and Jerry’s numerous attempts to outdo each other, as well as the mayhem and damage that ensues. Despite Tom’s smart plans (whether they work or not), determined and energetic attitude, huge stature, and outstanding overall intellect, he seldom succeeds in defeating Jerry, owing to Jerry’s crafty talents, luck, and lack of reckless inclinations.

They have, nevertheless, shown real camaraderie and care for one other’s well-being on many occasions. In the shorts Busy Buddies and Tot Watchers, Tom and Jerry put aside their competition to pursue a shared objective, such as when a baby escapes the watchful eye of a neglectful babysitter, leading Tom and Jerry to chase the infant and keep it safe. Despite their constant attacks, they have always rescued each other’s lives when they were genuinely in danger.

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