Black Best Friend
"Nothing is more racist than having one black friend. Somehow, having zero black friends is less racist than having one black friend!""Some of my best friends are sassy black people!" So, you're hip. You're smart. You've got class. And when you say "Some of My Best Friends Are X", you want people to know that there is credibility behind that statement. What's the best way to show it? By having a black best friend! Your black best friend is sassy. She's never too busy to lend an ear, or come along on your wacky schemes. She is flawless to the point of being unreal. (Unless there's the occasional situation of either having a problem with her race or her relationship with you.) Is it because she has no love life, no apartment, and no family? It's hard to say, but there's one thing for sure. She has a cell phone, and never ignores your calls. Note: This is a black character whose role either A) revolves almost entirely around a white character or B) serves as a conscious effort for a white character/writer to appear inclusive. Simply being black as well as friends with a white character does not automatically make a character this trope. A black character who's shown to be just as relevant as their white counterparts does not count as this trope. Black characters with their own story, their own distinguished identity and goals; characters who undergo personal growth shouldn't be listed. In addition, black people in Real Life should definitely not be listed. Living beings do not exist in accordance to another person based on ethnicity. See also Magical Negro, Token Minority, Satellite Character, and Gay Best Friend. May also be Black and Nerdy.
— Kevin Hart on Saturday Night Live
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Anime & Manga
- A rare anime example is Tapp Oceano from Metal Armor Dragonar. In a strange twist, he is a rather grounded individual who came from a childhood of relative poverty living in New York, compared to his friends Kaine Wakaba, the somewhat overzealous hero who grew up in a strangely traditional Japanese village, and Light Newman, The Smart Guy who happens to be a certified British nobleman (he doesn't like to talk about it).
- Atsuko, the childhood friend-turned-nemesis of Michiko in Michiko & Hatchin. However, Atsuko receives a good amount of screen time and character development in her own right, and as mentioned above, is no longer friends with Michiko.
- Danny, Chris' best friend from Sonic X.
- Misa Hayase's Cool Big Sis Claudia LaSalle /Grant from Macross / Robotech. In Robotech continuity, there's also Dana Sterling's childhood friend (and Claudia's nephew), Bowie Grant.
- In the Robotech Expanded Universe, Dana and Bowie were raised practically as siblings by Rolf Emerson, while their respective parents were away in space. This matches their relationship on-screen, inseparable but completely platonic.
- Bob Makihara from Tenjou Tenge.
- Kennedy/Kenichi is black in the 2003 Astro Boy adaptation; he seems to serve as The Lancer when the kids as a group are in focus and gets more development than any of Astro's friends save Reno.
- The President of Central High's Vice President in Daily Lives of High School Boys. Subverted in that the Vice President finds the President just as annoying as everyone else does.
- Ojamajo Doremi gives us Beth, Momoko's best friend from back in the USA who pops up a few times as if to say, "Momoko lived in America, and there were black people there!"
- Inverted in Eyeshield 21. We actually know quite a bit about Patrick "Panther" Spencer, but as for his best friend Homer, well... He's white. And nice. That's about it. Of course, it can be argued that Panther is Sena's black friend.
- A variation can be found in The Dagger Of Kamui. In order to travel to California, Jiro has to take a Western boat. Since Westerners weren't that fond of Japanese people at the time, Jiro befriends Sam, a slave of the captain, after rescuing him when he's left behind by his crewmates. He asks for passage on Sam's ship, the California. Sam decides that he owes the ninja his life, and Jiro buys Sam's freedom when the captain forces the ninja to disembark in Alaska.
- Smokey Brown, Joseph Joestar's buddy from Part 2 ("Battle Tendancy") of Jojos Bizarre Adventure. If anything, his fast befrieding with Joseph and Erina shows how open-minded the Joestar family is during World War II era. That, and he acts as a part-time narrator and gives typical reactions to Joseph's very bizarre journey.
- Jim Rhodes: friend and employee of Tony Stark aka Iron Man. The personal pilot of the billionaire who became the second Iron Man and then got his own armor as War Machine. Even before he got the suit, he still managed quite well as a Badass Normal in Stark's adventures.
- Davida Kirby, from Spider-Girl: Sure, she's a great friend who's hip and always willing to lend an ear, but also... almost lost her friends due to anger and jealousy, strings boyfriends along, and is a little insensitive and pushy sometimes. Plus she's getting suspicious of her best friend's lame excuses.
- Subverted in Captain Atom with Sgt. Jeff "Goz" Goslin. Goz is black, and is Cap's best friend, but he is a fully realized character, and he certainly has a love life. At one point, in fact, he was involved with Cap's daughter, a plot-line the writers used to explore Cap's attitudes about race.
- The heroine of the western manga Rhysmith has one of these.
- Machiste who, despite being king of his own land, spends most of his time as the loyal companion to Travis Morgan in The Warlord.
- Captain America had the black hero, The Falcon. They were so tight in the 1970s that Cap's series was retitled as Captain America and the Falcon for years.
- As revealed by artist/writer John Byrne on his message board: It was the habit in the [Marvel] Office to refer to CAPTAIN AMERICA AND THE FALCON as Captain America and the Fowl Coon.
- When Cap quit being Cap and a new one was appointed by the US government, the replacement John Walker, in that brief interlude before he started getting evil, also had a black best friend, Lemar Hoskins, who was given the costume of and codename of Bucky, Original Cap's World War II sidekick. The comics people rapidly realized that there were Unfortunate Implications, and in an unusual move addressed these within the comic, as the Lemar explained to Walker that 'Bucky' was an unfortunate slang term for black men, and there was something demeaning about a grown man being named after a dead white teenager, so he'd like to pick a new codename. Walker agreed and Lemar became Battlestar.
- Bill Foster (AKA Black Goliath, AKA Giant-Man II, AKA Goliath), the friend and lab assistant of Hank Pym. Despite not being as popular or well known as War Machine and the Falcon, he actually predates both of those characters as one of the Marvel Universe's earliest examples of this trope.
- In the Mysti comic books, Mysti has a black best friend named Peaseblossom (though for the first few volumes, she is a white best friend).
- The Badger's best friend, Riley Thorpe, hits on most cylinders of this description, but he is given a good bit more personality and independence than the average black best friend.
- Subverted in Horndog, where the main character, Bob's best friend, Leonard, happens to be black, but in addition to the fact that Bob actually dates a black woman (Charlene), both Charlene and Leonard are portrayed realistically and with fully developed characterization.
- J. Jonah Jameson has Joe "Robbie" Robertson. True to form, Robbie is the more mellow and approachable of the two (not that that's hard), generally acting as Jonah's Lancer / Morality Chain.
- This leads to a brilliant moment in an issue of She-Hulk in which she helps Spider-Man sue Jameson for harassment. While on the stand, Spidey says that JJJ keeps harassing him because he's black. Jameson's reply is to stammer out that "Some of my best friends are... uh..." It's a statement that's ACTUALLY TRUE because of Joe Robertson and it only adds to the hilarity. The lawsuit only failed because they tried to call Peter Parker as a witness, which would've forced Spider-Man to testify against himself.
- Quantum and Woody. A variation, since they are forced to stay together by circumstance despite really getting on each other's nerves. Also, Quantum, who is black, is much more straight-laced and uptight than Woody.
- Power Man and Immortal Iron Fist. Notably, Luke (Power Man) was originally the title character, and Danny (Fist) was introduced as his white best friend. Also notably, while Danny is still reasonably popular, Luke is the much more popular of the two these days.
- The Incredible Hulk used to hang out with a homeless man named Crackajack Jackson and then teenage runaway Jim Wilson, feeling a kinship with them because they all felt like outcasts. Jackson died in the same issue he was introduced. Wilson eventually drifted out of the Hulk's life (as the Hulk's friends tend to do), and then returned years later, dying of AIDS.
- The Beano's Roger the Dodger (a strip that started in 1953) and his best friend Dave (who only started appearing some time during the late 2000s). Also in The Beano is Ball Boy and his friend Benji who began appearing in the comic in the 1970s around the same time as Bally Boy's strip started. Although Benji's name suggests he maybe Asian rather than Black so he may be more of an Ambiguously Brown Best Friend.
- Jak and Todd from The Dandy. Jak originally appeared in the late nineties but in 2004 was thrust onto The Dandy's cover along with a new black best friend called Todd, complete with Funny Afro, as part of The Dandy's revamp at the time.
- In Superman/Shazam: First Thunder, Billy Batson has one named Scott Okum. An odd case, since he's never seen in any of the main Shazam stories that are supposed to be set after this one. There's a reason for that.
- Valerie from Josie And The Pussy Cats to Josie and Melody.
- Molly from Showgirls. The second person main character Nomi meets, she immediately offers her shelter and helps her get a job. She then serves as the voice of reason, though she is constantly ignored. She is the only character with no hidden motive, and the only character of moral integrity. By the end of the film she has been violently gang raped and beaten and is barely alive in a hospital.
- Sky High:
- Penny to Gwen.
- Poor Ethan, on the other hand, looks for a while like he might be Will's new best friends if Will and Laila hook up, only for the Jerk with a Heart of Gold to be that.
- Bennet from The Sorcerer's Apprentice is one of the greatest offenders. He only has a couple of scenes, usually for a bit of Plucky Comic Relief, where he shares the bedroom with the hero and seems to be the ''only'' person who talks to him and when he does is to say that Dave has to get a girlfriend and introduce a Chekhov's Gun that is going to be used by the Big Bad. Then, when he's having a date, Dave calls him for help and he leaves in the same instant, meets the hero, he says he's willing to do anything to help him and then he VANISHES without any explanation whatsoever. The point that NOBODY seems to remember this character makes it even more obvious.
- Lily, Andy's best friend in the movie The Devil Wears Prada.
- Grand Canyon: Jane (Alfre Woodard) is this to Dee (Mary-Louise Parker)
- Lynette from the film version of The Nanny Diaries.
- Annie from the Sandra Bullock vehicle Premonition.
- Bob Parr & Lucius Best from The Incredibles.
- Sithandra from Ĉon Flux, who unfortunately has monkey-like hands/feet.
- Trey in Superhero Movie.
- Bubba is this to Forrest Gump.
- Brenda Meeks from the Scary Movie series is a send-up of this trope.
- Sayers is this to Piccolo in Brian's Song, although this isn't a standard use of the trope because the film focuses on both characters equally rather than making the white guy the "main character" and the black guy "the friend". But the implications of having a best friend and roommate of another race are touched on, even though it never shows either man actually experiencing racial remarks from anyone else over the issue.
- In The Proposition, the only cop other to be trusted by Cpt. Stanley is Jacko, an Australian Aborigine. On the other side of the law, Arthur Burns' right-hand man is another Aborigine named Two-Bob. Two-Bob considers Jacko to be a sellout, and knifes him to death.
- The High School Musical TV and big screen movies have Chad as Troy's Black Best Friend and Taylor as Gabriella's.
- Gina, Honey's best friend in the movie Honey.
- In District 9, they are not exactly friends, but Wikus' black bureaucratic co-worker got along well enough with him. Furthermore, that co-worker is so inspired by Wikus' sacrifice that he investigated and exposed MNU's evil scientific experiments on the aliens to the world to strike his own blow and willingly pays the price doing so.
- Ella's Asian Best Friend in Ella Enchanted. The character is played by Parminder Nagra (of E.R. fame), which makes her painfully obvious sidelining all the more so.
- Hallie, new BFF to Sidney Prescott in Scream 2.
- Star Wars Episode V: The Empire Strikes Back and Star Wars Episode VI: Return of the Jedi''. General Lando Calrissian, played by Billy Dee Williams, who manages to ooze almost as much charm and charisma as his old pal Han Solo himself. In Real Life, Williams had been considered for the role of Solo and he and Harrison Ford (at least at the time) were actually best friends.
- The Skeleton Key: Actually serves the plot as she introduces the protagonist to the Hoodoo that was practiced in her family. (And at the end it's how we know she's going to be the next victim of body-snatching Mama Cecile who had said earlier that she wants a black woman to inhabit.)
- Bo Peep to Snow White From Happily N'Ever After 2. Also, Little Red Riding Hood seems to be Snow White's Arab Best Friend, complete with headscarf-esque hood.
- Nicole seems to be the Spice Girls' only friend in Spice World. Her newborn baby is still "white and smegaless", though.
- Inverted in the 2010 The Karate Kid in that as soon as Dre moves to China a local blonde starts being his friend but barely has a line in the film.
- Jason is the Black Best Friend of Charlie and Duncan in Mystery Team. Slightly averted in that he's the protagonist, and doesn't have the same characteristics as most examples of these tropes.
- In the movie of Matilda, her best friend, Lavender, is black.
- In one of the earliest examples in film, Sam is this to Rick in Casablanca.
- A rare inversion in Independence Day. The hero is a black fighter pilot and his white best friend is the wise-cracking comic relief who's also one of the first to die. It's worth noting that the hero wasn't written as a black character, but in one of Hollywood's rare moment of race-blind casting, the role went to a young Will Smith, who has been one of the only black actors Hollywood will trust with a leading role in a mainstream film ever since.
- In the film Chronicle, Steve Montgomery is the Black Best Friend of the two white protagonists who also develop superpowers. He's done a bit more justice than the typical Black Best Friend, though - he's the most popular, sociable and outgoing member of the trio (and is suggested to be a positive influence on both of them), is a well-rounded character who doesn't exhibit any particularly stereotypical attitudes or behaviors, and the development of the friendship between the members of the trio is treated as a meaningful plot arc.
- Harlan in Adam is the only friend of the protagonist.
- Ripcord to Duke in G.I. Joe: The Rise of Cobra.
- Roadblock to Duke in G.I. Joe: Retaliation, but not as much as Ripcord. More like black good friend.
- Mace from the 2014 remake of Endless Love.
- In X-Men Origins: Wolverine, John Wraith teams up with Logan after he visits him in Vegas.
- The plot of Strange Magic is largely caused by Sunny refusing to just be this to Princess Dawn.
- Fred and George from Harry Potter have Lee Jordan.
- The Baby-Sitters Club features Jessi to the other girls.
- The Silence of the Lambs features two of these — Clarice's roommate Ardelia and the orderly Barney, who appears to be one of the few people Hannibal Lecter respects.
- The Stephanie Plum novels have Stephanie teamed with black ex-hooker Lula.
- Parodied in the Johnny Maxwell Trilogy with Yo-less, who is "technically black".
- Yo-less was once asked if it was racist for him to be Baron Samedi for Halloween. He says no, it can't be racist if it's him doing it.
- The nickname, incidentally, is because he is so chronically unhip that it goes far beyond not conforming to stereotypes; he's actually "whiter" than his aggressively Anglo friends.
- Older Than Radio: Jim from The Adventures of Huckleberry Finn might be the original Black Best Friend, from way before it was cool. On the other hand, Jim and Huck don't always see eye-to-eye on some issues, such as their discussions over the wives of Henry the Eighth, the many different languages in the world, or the Solomon's decision to cut a child in half.
- Even older than previous example, works by Jules Verne frequently featured African and Aftican-American characters as sidekicks of the protagonists.
- Jessica, from the Betsy the Vampire Queen series. She is undeniably sassy, and despite having no supernatural powers (unlike many other characters in the series), she is something of a Magical Negro, due to her stupendous (inherited) wealth.
- Hawk in Robert B. Parker's Spenser (a/k/a Spenser For Hire) detective series. (The novels were also the basis for a TV series in the mid-'80's. Robert Urich played Spenser; Avery Brooks played Hawk.
- Melanie is this to April in The Egypt Game, providing an early example from The Sixties. The Sympathetic P.O.V. is actually assigned to them about equally, although April still registers more strongly as a protagonist. On the other hand, April is definitely the sassier of the two, which would have been an Inverted Trope had the stereotype been codified.
- Melody in Bailey School Kids
- Josh to Kevin in The Eyes of Kid Midas.
- Becky to Sara in A Little Princess.
- Only black in some versions, but always lower-class and desperately grateful for the chance to be in Sara's company, even as her servant.
- In the Dear America book Look to the Hills: The Diary of Lozette Moreau, a French Slave Girl the main character Zettie, though six years younger, is her mistress's loved and trusted companion.
- The premise of the American Girl series with Marie-Grace and Cecille.
- In Eleanor And Park, Eleanor's only two friends are Beebi and De Nice who say, "Mmm hmm," too much and make sassy wisecracks and have no life outside of the main character.
- Defied by Regine, the black secondary character from More Than This. She calls Seth out on thinking that everything revolves around him and that Regine and Tomasz are some sort of props to help him on his journey.
- Rafael, Greg's study partner in an Israeli yeshiva in the middle third of A Wolf In The Soul, is a black convert to Judaism. His older brother, also a convert, appears later and earlier in the book.
- Christina from Divergent is a better example than most, since she is a pretty well-rounded character that interacts with and has strong friendships with people other than Tris. However, she isn't a very flawed person.
Live Action TV
- FindingCarter. Bird (played by Vanessa Morgan) seems to be a typical version of this at first, then later becomes a complete subversion of it.
- James "Lord Bowler" Lonefeather of The Adventures of Brisco County, Jr. while starting out as a rival bounty hunter he eventually became the partner and best friend of Brisco.
- Francie, Sydney Bristow's best friend, on Alias. She had her own plot about a cheating fiance that only served to show Sydney had a normal non-spy-related friend. In the second season, she had a restaurant startup subplot, and even interacted with people Sydney knew outside of their mutual friend Will. But then, she ends up killed and replaced by someone who's been genetically altered to look like her.
- Ally McBeal: Renee, until they gave her Chuck Cunningham Syndrome.
- Wes and Gunn on Angel for a while.
- Later on, they actually subverted this pretty well — part of the reason Gunn winds up spiraling toward the dark side in later seasons is because the rest of the team have a tendency to absentmindedly treat him like a secondary character. While the characters do, however, the show itself rarely does.
- This was actually the plot, or at least part of it, of the Lifetime original series Any Day Now. Despite their racial differences, Mary Elizabeth (Annie Potts) and Renee (Lorraise Toussaint) became best friends while growing up in 1960's Alabama, and the show jumped between their present-day lives and flashbacks to their childhoods.
- The classic Battlestar Galactica
- Tigh to Adama
- Boomer to Apollo and Starbuck
- Boy Meets World had two at different points in the show's run: Angela Moore for Topanga Lawrence and Eli Williams for Jonathan Turner. However, in Angela's case, her primary role was as Shawn's girlfriend and her friendship with Topanga grew out of her relationship with Shawn.
- Forrest to Riley on Buffy the Vampire Slayer.
- Although he could hardly be considered friendly.
- Subverted by Cirilo in Carrusel. He is friends with practically everyone- but not the sidekick of anyone in particular.
- Clueless: Dionne "Dee" Davenport in the sitcom version (and the movie).
- Parodied in The Colbert Report. When discussing racial matters, Stephen would frequently show a single picture of him with a black staff member named Alan. After Colbert saw Alan participating in an anti-war protest, he was demoted to a "black acquaintance", and Colbert started looking for a new black friend before dropping the bit completely.
- There was actually a montage in which he showcased all his token minority friends. Stephen also has an Asian best friend, a Mexican best friend, and a Jewish best friend (Jon Stewart). In all cases, the "friends" are wearing the same resigned expressions as in the picture at the top of the page.
- Community: One thing that gets Pierce out of his suicidal funk is that he has "a young African-American friend". Troy is in no way this trope, but it fits Pierce's racist world view to think he is.
- The Cosby Show, which has a predominantly black cast, inverts this trope with Cliff's white best friend, Jeffrey, played by Wallace Shawn.
- Nick and Warrick on CSI.
- Original Cindy from Dark Angel; she's also a lesbian, giving you a twofer.
- Subverted in that Original Cindy has a healthy and acknowledged sex life and frequent subplots involving her life and relationships.
- On the other hand, since Max herself is both Latina and a cyborg "cat-girl", wouldn't she be the Twofer Best Friend?
- The first episode that Hazel is the main character in Degrassi The Next Generation leaves her usual part of being an extention of the queen bee Paige and goes to her claiming that she's black because she's from Jamaica, not the Muslim African nation that she is from.
- Avoided in Eureka: Henry is Carter's best friend, but he has his own subplots, his own agenda, and his own secrets. A typed BBF would never erase memories from the white protagonist.
- And considering that the woman that Carter is in love with is black, uh, yeah. Henry's as far from a token as can be.
- Not a perfect example, but the trope is played for laughs in Father Ted where, in an attempt to appeal to the Chinese people of Craggy Island when they all start to believe he is a racist, Ted organizes an event to celebrate their culture. A slide-show is the main event where, before he gets to a cringe-worthy display of examples of "Chinese culture" (including Ted claiming that you can see the Great Wall of China "from anywhere in the world" and Mr. Miyagi) he shows a picture of himself with his arm around a black man and the pair smiling. To this he says "I forget his name now, but I got on very well with him..." before moving on.
- The Facts Of Life, Natalie and Tootie
- Felicity: Elena Tyler
- Nick on the 2007 Flash Gordon, though thus far he's functioned mostly as a Butt Monkey.
- If you count Dale Arden's cameraman/confidant, there are two of these.
- Andrea Moreno is the black best friend of Melinda Gordon in Ghost Whisperer.
- In Glee, Mercedes is this to Kurt.
- In Nashville, Zoey is this to Scarlett. While she may in time come to have her own desires that do not revolve around helping Scarlett or Scarlett's ex-boyfriend, right now Zoey fulfills the trope. It is also notable that she entered the show as Coleman, the only African American cast member at the time, was written off the show. It could be argued that Coleman fulfilled this trope for a few characters on the show.
- Ivy Wentz on Good Luck Charlie is Teddy's black best friend. Also P.J.'s best friend Emmett is Black and Nerdy.
- Averted in Homicide: Life on the Street as Frank often shoots down any attempts at Friendship Tim shows despite Tim calling Frank His best Friend. This is more to do with Pembleton's Characterisation as a self-assigned Loner.
- Honest features Reza, a South Asian Best Friend. Subverted in that he's not all that smart.
- How I Met Your Mother: Lily's best friend from high school in the episode "Sand Castles in the Sand".
- Her friend also has an extremely thick, stereotypical "black" accent...and when Lily is talking to her, so does she. At one point, Lily leaves her friend alone with the main cast, and it turns out she doesn't normally have that accent either—they just bring out that side of each other.
- Deacon on The King of Queens.
- Satirized in The LA Complex when Raquel goes out for the role of the protagonist's best friend in a new TV show and is told that they're looking for a Black Best Friend.
- On Las Vegas, we have Mike Cannon, who is pretty much cool personified, and frequently chases tail. He's also an MIT graduate, idolizes Stephen Hawking, and is one of the smartest guys on the show. (James Lesure and Josh Duhamel are actually real-life friends.) There's also Detta, who was Delinda's British BBF, and Sam Marquez, a sassy Hispanic woman(And I use the word "sassy" generously).
- Ramona Platt in Less Than Perfect.
- Malcolm's best friend in Malcolm in the Middle is Stevie, who is also Black and Nerdy.
- For the first eight or so seasons of Married... with Children, Al worked alone in the shoe store. Starting in season 9, his friend and fellow NO-MAAMer Griff became his co-worker. In many respects, Griff was a black version of Al, with a bad car and an even worse job, their major difference being that Griff was divorced. Al would probably consider him better off, but as Griff told Bud in one episode, she got the car, the dog and the money. I got the right to remain silent.
- He actually worked with a white guy in the first season of the show, then went a couple of of seasons working alone, before hiring a kid that was from Polk High named Aaron. Then he got a intern named Dexter (played by Chi McBride) for one episode. Then Griff came along. Plus, the only cop in Chicago who seems to like Al is Officer Dan.
- Steven Matrix has Billy Hicks.
- In My Boys, this appears in a downplayed form because the main character is the hip one and her black best friend is overly feminine.
- The Mystery Science Theater 3000 episode that features the movie Werewolf mocks this when the only black person in the film, seen for a few seconds, is introduced at a party as "my good friend Elgin."
Mike: Elgin is my black friend.
- Neds Declassified has Simon 'Cookie' Cook, who is Ned's nerdy black best friend. Due to a desire to avoid common racial stereotypes, a lot of kids' shows tend to have this geeky Urkel type of black friend.
- Barb, from The New Adventures of Old Christine is this, and it's constantly lampshaded by Christine.
- One of Michael Scott's quirks from the US version of The Office is his bizarre belief, in the face of all evidence, that sales rep Stanley Hudson is a stereotypical "sassy black mentor" and that Stanley is therefore one of his best friends from work (since Michael is, of course, the protagonist of his little pop-culture fantasy world). Michael has a magical ability to completely ignore all of Stanley's real personality traits while imagining him as a Black Best Friend, imagining him as a wisecracking happy-go-lucky athletic "urban" man with working-class roots , when Stanley is in fact sedentary and out of shape, laconic to the point of catatonia, frequently depressed, raised in a small town and just as if not more solidly upper-middle-class as anyone else in the office.
- Bizarrely, this is why Michael, despite his blatant racism, seems to genuinely like Stanley to the point of being willing to fight Corporate to keep him as an employee, even though everyone else sees Stanley as one of the less likable (or even memorable) people there, and Stanley himself has nothing but disdain for everyone around him. The thing about Michael is, he's a racist because he's an idiot.
- The titular Jimmy of Out of Jimmy's Head has a Black Best Friend, Craig. This is a change from the original movie were Craig was Asian.
- Gus on Psych, though he exerts a lot of effort into not getting involved in Shawn's latest case. He's also probably a subversion, considering his general dorkiness, especially when compared to Shawn. What's his normal day-job when he's not helping Shawn solve crimes? He's a pharmaceutical sales rep. He's also gotten significant character development and almost always provides a reasonable offering to the plot of each episode.
- Patti from Rita Rocks.
- Sabrina the Teenage Witch: Dreama from (Also a Token Black.)
- Spoofed in The Sarah Silverman Program episode "Batteries" when Sarah meets God depicted as an African-American man and she asks him "Are you God's black friend?"
- Scrubs: Parodied with J.D. and Turk. J.D. is a total dork whose best friend is a black guy, but Turk is only slightly less, if not equally, dorky despite also possessing several jock characteristics. Generally said, Scrubs is one of the rare shows that handles the topic "racism" openly, and isn't afraid to do so. Examples are jokes about the white, geeky stereotype or the black Surfer Dude stereotype. They are very, very aware of this trope, frankly. Their nicknames for each other are 'chocolate bear' and 'vanilla bear'. In another episode they went to a frat party with J.D. in blackface and Turk in whiteface, J.D. obviously more worried about the implications than Turk was. Turk got caught up elsewhere and J.D. was left to the mercy of the black fraternity leaders.
(after J.D. and Turk share a hug)Ted: I need one of thoseJ.D.: A hug?Ted: No, a black best friend. It would make me a lot cooler.Turk: I should be offended, but he's right.
- Alex Mack from The Secret World of Alex Mack has Raymond as her black best friend.
- Parodied in an episode of Seinfeld in which George offends his black boss when he says he resembled Sugar Ray Leonard(He really did). He goes as far as trying to find any black person he's had contact with recently to prove to his boss he's not a racist. He ends up inviting Jerry's black
plumberexterminator to a dinner with his boss and pretending they're old high school buddies. Obviously, it blows up in his face.
- The Hamiltons of 7th Heaven, an entire family with a black best friend for every Camden family member.
- Pete in the early seasons of Smallville. The first character outside the Kent family in whom Clark confided about his powers.
- Made all the more transparent by the fact that Pete Ross was a blond, blue-eyed white boy in the comics.
- After he learnt about Clark's powers, he does rescue Clark for a good number of times, but then became an achingly obvious Token Minority and was eventually Put on a Bus. The role of Clark's best friend was quickly assumed by the much more interestingly written and acted Chloe Sullivan. It should be noted that Chloe learned Clark's secret after Pete left, though.
- Unlike everyone else Pete never had a place (barn, talon, torch office, kitchen) and his only problem was living in Clark's shadow so he left for good reason.
- The worst offender is the extremely WASPy and nationalist and hateful family from Small Wonder where the jerkass protagonist kid has a black best friend in Jerry.
- La Donna Frediricks of Square Pegs was valley girl Jennifer Di Nuccio's best friend and shared the "most popular girl" mantle with her. In spite of her cliché sassy blackness, she thankfully never fell prey to the more boring Positive Discrimination laws of the day that would've castrated her Mean Girl evil. While proving marginally smarter and more accomplished than the other popular kids, La Donna was a bully at heart, and was just as cruel, selfish, and shallow as the rest of her clique — La Donna's catchphrase was an always uncalled for "I hate that," and she routinely referred to the two protagonists derisively as "that fat girl" and "that fat girl's friend".
- Huggy Bear to Starsky & Hutch.
- Summerland; had Susannah, the black best friend of Ava.
- Owen on Supah Ninjas.
- That's So Raven: Inverted with Chelsea who's the Best White Friend
- Lampshaded in 30 Rock. When Liz tries to make friends with Tracey's wife, Angie, she asks "Are you looking for a sassy black friend?" When Liz stumbles for words, Angie continues: "Because you just found one, girlfriend!"
- Kenny on Til Death.
- Tara and Lafayette (who is gay and black, so he gets the twofer label), Sookie's best friends on True Blood, though Tara falls more into this category.
- This is almost a subversion, as Tara not only gets substantial characterization, but her own, season-long plot arcs that sometimes barely intersect sookie's at all. Same with La Fayette.
- Bonnie to Elena and Caroline on The Vampire Diaries. She's not a perfect example because she's a fleshed-out character with plotlines of her own, is more aware of and capable of handling what's going on in the Town with a Dark Secret than many characters, and is even a Magical Negro, but she's sassy, black, and a good friend, so it's still worth mentioning.
- The "sassy" part is unfair, since everyone in this show is sassy. Except Elena and Stephan sometimes.
- Wallace on Veronica Mars. He gets his own story in season 2...which results in him leaving the show for several episodes...and is promptly written into the background of season 3. Weevil might also count as a sassy latino associate, but he's got enough of his own motivations that he might count as independent of Veronica...except he needs her help frequently to get him out of jail. Wallace got a few storylines in Season 3. The show tried a little harder than most shows to make the minority best friend more three-dimensional.
- (Also, Neptune, the town where the show takes place, is divided into classes which look at the money you make and frequently also the colour of your skin (some exceptions, but as a rule the white kids are on top) - Wallace wasn't so much the black best friend to give the main character a black best friend, rather he was black because she wouldn't be able to make friends with someone who wasn't also spurned as a social outcast to some degree, and with the town being a little racist as well as money obsessed, it made sense for it to be the black boy she felt sympathy for.)
- Wonderfalls has an odd case with Mahandra, who, unlike other examples, has a love life and the occasional wacky subplot.
- In a Saturday Night Live sketch Louis C.K. stars as Abraham Lincoln in a parody of his show Louie. He tries to make new black friends at a bar by mentioning how he emancipated them. It doesn't go well.
- Derek Morgan and Spencer Reid in Criminal Minds, especially in the first three seasons. More often than not, Morgan's interactions with Reid are about addressing a concern Reid is having or to highlight a trait of Reid- you never see Morgan get help from Reid.
- This trope is referenced and mocked in Orange Is The New Black. When Taystee is thinking of new hairstyles that would help her appeal, one of the other girls recommends that she go the "Black Best Friend" route with her hair. They list off a few from recent movies such as Regina King in Miss Congeniality and Legally Blonde, as well as Viola Davis in Eat, Pray, Love.
- While Teal'c gets many "Warrior-centric" episodes he stars in, and plenty of plot development, group episodes of Stargate SG-1 typically relegate him to Jack's one-word Straight Man Black Best Friend. Often for hilarious lampshading effect.
(during a ship-wide battle drill)
Ship Captain: Weapons officer, (a quick shot of the weapons officer at his station) Prepare to fire on my command.
O'Neill: (to Teal'c) As the weapons officer you'd think he'd already be prepared.
Ship Captain: (to O'Neill and Teal'c) The bridge isn't exactly where you're supposed to be during a battle drill.
O'Neill: No, I've been meaning to talk to you about that.
Ship Captain: Can it wait? 'Till we're not in the middle of a drill.
O'Neill: When are we not in the middle of a drill?
(the captain glares at O'Neill and says nothing; O'Neill holds his hands up)
O'Neill: Okay. We'll talk about it later. Teal'c, prepare to assist in damage control.
Teal'c: I am prepared, O'Neill.
O'Neill: See how melodramatic that sounds, it's unnecessary!
- Before showing a sketch the audience Key And Peele talk about how the only roles in movies they get to read for are for the "black best friend" who's purpose is to make the white main character seem cool and to offer him wise advice.
- More of a case of What Could Have Been, as in Series/Teen Wolf, Rebecca "Harley" Harlowe is a character who during the pilot, one would think she was built up to be this trope to Scott and Stiles. The two talk to her and later in the pilot, she expresses concern when Scott acts out of it. The original script for the show even states that she seems to be their only friend. But after that, she's rarely seen again.
- Marcus in FoxTrot is both Jason's Black Best Friend and Black and Nerdy.
- Franklin in Peanuts, although he's depicted as Shermy's best friend, rather than the protagonist Charlie Brown's.
- Originally, Franklin was a kid from the next neighborhood over who apparently knew Charlie Brown from school and was visiting the Peanuts Gang. He proceeded to become the Only Sane Man when he realized that all the kids in the neighborhood were so eccentric that he could never possibly be friends with them. (He obviously changed his mind later, though.)
- Being in the same class as Peppermint Patty with all her silliness helps.
- Prince Lothar from Mandrake The Magician is one of the oldest examples of the Trope. (The strip started in 1934.) He became an Ensemble Dark Horse and got more Character Development than usual, though.
- Lawrence is Michael's Brazilian (and gay) friend in For Better or For Worse. Usually he's pulled out to show how tolerant the Pattersons are.
- The team of Glacier and Ernest "The Cat" Miller teamed together in WCW in 1997 in the Blood Runs Cold feud against Mortis, Wrath and manager James Vandenberg. It is a Justified example, as both Glacier and Miller are martial artists and Miller was Glacier's only friend in WCW. Because Miller did not develop his Large Ham/Small Name, Big Ego "I'm the greatest" act until sometime after the team had dissolved, it was not a case of Salt and Pepper. In fact, one of the problems that hurt the feud's chances of getting over was that no one really displayed a personality that could transcend their gimmicks.
- Subverted with Robin Quivers. She's been the news anchor and a co-host of The Howard Stern Show since 1981, although originally she was only given the job of newsanchor by executives in the hopes that she would calm Stern down and fulfill the normal role of Black Best Friend. As common with Stern, this only served to increase his wild tendencies, and he interacted and involved Quivers with the show so much through the years that it's obvious she's a fully realized person with flaws, likes, and dislikes... and sometimes she's the only person to take a stand against Stern.
- Barret from Final Fantasy VII is this to Cloud. You can see them having a man-talk moment if you choose him for the tram ride cut-scene.
- Big Bo to Dan Marshall in Binary Domain.
- Nakili Abuto in the Purple Moon verse hits every note of this, save for not being your best friend — instead, she's part of a social clique that the player character wants to join. You know, girl?
- 8-Ball, Lance Vance, and Little Jacob in Grand Theft Auto. 8-Ball is probably the least stereotypical of the three, unfortunate since he's the oldest character (they first appear in GTAIII, Vice City, and GTAIV respectively).
- Little Jacob is Jamaican, so whilst he is black he comes from a totally different culture to a black American.
- Dwayne from GTAIV (provided you let him live), who is one of the nicest characters in the game. He isn't directly a stereotype, but if you take him to Cluckin' Bell (KFC) he admits that it may be a stereotype but he still loves the food.
- Anthony Higgs in Metroid: Other M.
- In the Soldier/Demoman update comics, the RED Demoman is this to the BLU Soldier.
- It was hinted that Dee Jay may have been this to Fei Long in the Alpha continuity, since there were some mentions to them having worked together and Dee Jay defended Fei Long's image when he was told by Yun that Fei Long may be involved in drug trades. There haven't been any allusions to this in other continuities, though.
- Magick Chicks: Jacqui is best friends with Melissa and Cerise, and is the nice one of the bunch. She cares for both of them and offers them her support when they need it... so long as there aren't any boys around to distract her.
- Sketch Comedy: It would seem that Paul's sole purpose is to help James realize how ridiculous his elitist opinions are. It's not exactly working.
- In The Gamers Alliance, Ismail is Belial's best friend. They met each other for the first time when Belial began spending time with Sultana Razia whom Ismail served as the captain of the guard in Vanna. The two men instantly got along and actually began teaching each other about their respective cultures, gaining mutual respect over the years which turned into a lasting friendship. When Razia's twin sister Adela usurped the throne, Ismail was sent into exile. Belial immediately offered him and the other exiled people a sanctuary in his Maar Sulais home, and Ismail returned the favour by becoming Belial's bodyguard as well as the mentor of Belial's son.
- At the start of the Zero Punctuation review of 50 Cent: Blood on the Sand, Yahtzee explains that he's not a racist. This photograph◊ flashes up for just one frame.
- Then flashes up again. And again. Including after the last line of the video, which cuts off a... not very nice word for black people.
- When talking about the "sensitive issue of race" The Nostalgia Chick parodies this by saying that its okay, because her best friend is black. Cut to the definitely white Nella:
Nella: I'm adopted. Fo' shizzle.
- In the Whateley Universe, Jericho is this to Diamondback and Razorback. Given that Diamondback looks like a naga and Razorback looks like he's mostly velociraptor, not a lot of people want to be their friend.
- King Caesar in Monster Island Buddies.
- Happens a lot on animated shows. The lead white character will almost always has a black best friend, or at least a non-Caucasian best friend. If the best friend is black, then said-friend is often either straight out sassay or the more bookish type (or sometimes a little bit of both).
- And in most animated shows, especially ones set in a school environment, the main character and his/her two best friends will make up a Token Trio: the (usually white) protagonist with the (usually black) best pal of the same sex and the (usually platonic) friend of the opposite sex.
- Trixie of American Dragon Jake Long.
- Miranda on As Told by Ginger is Courtney's best friend. Miranda's extremely popular and generally very cool..
- Terry McGinnis' friend, Max, in Batman Beyond, one of the few besides him and Old Man Wayne who know his secret identity. Before her introduction, Jared Tate might count, as he was Terry's only male friend.
- Jamie James from Carl Squared.
- In Codename: Kids Next Door, Numbuh Five is usually considered the Token Black, but also fills this role this to pretty much all four other members of the team, especially Numbuh One especially. (One episode claims she used to be the leader of the team, and it is suggested that the reason she resigned that post is because the incident where he lost his hair was her fault.) She's also the Only Sane Kid on the team and the voice of reason, more often than not.
- Jackie of Cyberchase technically fulfills this role for both Matt and Inez but more-so the latter due to both of them being girls.
- Danny Phantom has this as part of a typical Token Trio set-up; Tucker's a Techno-Geek, and they're all Cool Losers.
- Jonathan Reed is one of the earliest examples of this trope in Davey and Goliath.
- Eema the Styracosaurus is probably this to Baylene the Brachiosaurus from Disney's Dinosaur, judging by her accent (Baylene has a British accent).
- Word of God has Skeeter from Doug as this, despite the fact he's blue in the series.
- Played in Family Guy in its parody of The Shawshank Redemption:
Andy: Oh, we've only had one conversation, but I can tell we're gonna be life-long friends. And since you're black, and I'm white, that makes it more especial for the audience!
- AJ on The Fairly Oddparents is the black friend to both Timmy and Chester, though in a bit of a subversion he's probably the smartest and most level-headed of the three.
- AJ is definitely the smartest both academically (he gets LOTS of A's while Timmy and Chester pretty much fail exclusively) and in terms of common sense, though his attempts to get Timmy to not make ridiculously bad decisions don't really work.
- Fillmore!: Averted. Fillmore is the main character; Ingrid is his white (and female) best friend.
- In Futurama's Show Within a Show All My Circuits, Calculon's best friend is a human—who doesn't have a name and is only known as "human friend." Similar in spirit.
- Discovery Kids' animated series Growing Up Creepie has Beuregard "Budge" Bentley III, though like many black characters on shows aimed at younger kids, he's not overly portrayed as black.
- Carrie Baker is this to the title character in the Holly Hobbie And Friends releases.
- Iron Man: Armored Adventures averted this with Rhodey, who's Tony's best friend, confidant, and moral compass for most of the series. He is by far the most calm and mature out of all the main characters. He's also the only person who calls Tony out when he does morally/intellectually questionable things and is basically the main cast's voice of reason. During the Time Skip between seasons, Tony gave Rhodey his own armor to use to protect New York with because Rhodey is, according to Tony 'the only thing that makes sense'. Although the series' main focus is on Tony (he is Iron Man, after all) Rhodey undergoes a personal morality arc wherein he examines his actions, his struggle to be the moral center, and what ultimately is moral.
- Rhodey's mother Roberta would be this for Howard, Tony's father, if it's weren't for the fact that the second season gave an Author's Saving Throw to explain a large chunk of their friendship is based on her accepting his change of heart from weapons' dealer to altruistic scientist and that she's his only friend. If she wasn't married it'd be a pretty good romance backstory.
- Monique from Kim Possible. Sassy and Kim's only gal-pal.
- Quincy from My Dad The Rock Star is this to the male lead Willy. Unique in that he is not portrayed as cooler than the already nerdy-looking Willy. In fact, he's a subverted Jive Turkey who tries to talk in street slang and appear hip hop, but comes off as a clear poser to everyone else
- Claire is this to Julie in Motorcity. They're also a Tomboy and Girly Girl.
- Vince from Recess is this to T.J. (And the rest of the gang, though he's more "buddy-buddy" with T.J.). Ashley B. is this to Ashley A.
- Cloe of Sabrina: The Animated Series to Sabrina. In the sequel she is Put on a Bus.
- In Static Shock there's what you could call an inversion. The protagonist is black, though his race rarely comes up unless the show is actually talking about racism. However, his best friend is Richie, who you could call...'White Best Friend'. Richie is, perhaps deliberately, as white as a character can be. Being a geek, completely uncool and utterly...well, white. Although, to be fair, Static is equally geeky.
- And gay. Not that this is ever mentioned on the show, though.
- In Stickin' Around, Bradley is precisely this for Stacy.
- Libby Folfax from The Adventures of Jimmy Neutron: Boy Genius to Cindy Vortex.
- Parodied with The Grim Adventures of Billy & Mandy, where Billy's Black Best Friend Irwin tries to be cool, but is a complete and almost hopeless dweeb with an obsessive crush on Mandy.
- Abby in The Replacements.
- DJ in Total Drama to Geoff, giving pointers on talking to Bridgette.
- Voltron Force Vincent is Daniel's best friend. Unusual case in that the Black guy is the best friend of an Asian guy!
- The short lived Wish Kid starring Macaulay Culkin had the main character Nick have a black best friend named Darryl, he acts as the straight man to Nick and was the only other person who knew of the magic baseball glove.
- A parody website called Black People Love Us!. It goes on about how "well-liked [they are] by Black people," and hangin' out with their black friends.
- Devin Freidman wrote an article called "Will You Be My Black Friend?" on how he realized at a cocktail party that most of his friends were white. He tried to remedy this by putting an ad for himself on Craigslist for a black friend. Oprah's producing a movie with Chris Rock based on it.
- Chris Rock makes fun of this in one of his standups when he says "All my black friends have a bunch of white friends, and all my white friends have one black friend!"
"A white friend could be the difference between a ticket—" [black driver is handed a ticket as white friend watches sympathetically; arrow caption says "Ticket"] "—and a bullet in the ass." [black driver is forced to the ground and a pistol is pointed at his cranium; arrow caption says "Not A Ticket"]
- Also inverted and parodied in "How To Not Get Your Ass Kicked By The Police" with this advice: "Get A White Friend."