Mariko "Mari" Kumakura is a ShrinkingViolet who doesn't have any real friends. One day Akko, a pretty GenkiGirl in class, decides to spontaneously befriend her. Mari is unsure about being friends with her but ends up going along with it. Inevitably, Akko helps Mari [[BeautifulAllAlong come out of her shell]] while Mari helps Akko with her studies and the two quickly become best friends. With Akko's help, Mari makes many new friends and Mari finds herself happier than she's ever been in her life.

But wait... Mari starts wondering why she's feeling so jealous of the thought of Akko gaining a boyfriend and castigates herself for feeling so possessive. She's starting to blush a lot in Akko's presence and Akko's touch is making her heart race. Could Mari be falling in love with her best friend?

''Girl Friends'' is a finished YuriGenre manga by the female {{Mangaka}} MorinagaMilk, and it is considered a modern classic by a large portion of [[YuriFan fans of the genre]]. New readers should expect lots of {{Gayngst}} and WillTheyOrWontThey. It has been licensed in the US by Creator/SevenSeasEntertainment in the form of two Omnibus Collections, with both volumes debuting in the New York Times Manga Best Sellers list on the week of their release.

Not to be confused with the African American sitcom ''Series/{{Girlfriends}}''.
!!This {{Manga}} contains examples of:
* AnguishedDeclarationOfLove: With rain conveniently setting the mood.
* AnnoyingYoungerSibling: Mari's brother. Though less annoying than most.
* AttentionDeficitOohShiny: Akko
* TheBeard: Mari tries to use Harada to become normal, [[spoiler:and it fails.]]
* BeautifulAllAlong: Mari's cute, but never really put any effort into her appearance until Akko came along with her fashion magazines, haircuts, and make-up.
** [[LampshadeHanging Lampshaded]] in chapter 16 when Tamamin tells Akko that Mari "was able to become cute and fashionable because of your help." Akko responds by agreeing at first, and then reconsidering and stating that Mari had always been cute.
* BigOlEyebrows: Taguchi
* BlackComedyRape: Tamamin drew a rape manga featuring their teacher and a couple classmates.
* BookDumb: Akko. Considers it a major accomplishment the one time she doesn't have to write any make-up exams.
* CannotSpitItOut: Mari, who tries to cover up any slip of her feelings as just being friends. [[spoiler:And then Akko as well, after Mari's confession.]]
* TheCasanova: Sugi seems to be a female version. She always has at least five boyfriends at her beck and call, and her one stab at monogamy only lasted for a couple of pages.
* CensorSuds: Subverted. When Mari and Akko are taking baths at the same time, they send each other photos with their cellphones. Akko starts it with a (somewhat) modest photo. Mari decided to reply after deliberately applying this. Akko finds it extremely cute... and drops a couple (possibly seductive) full-body shots on her.
* ChekhovsGunman: [[spoiler:Harada and Mayu. [[ChekhovsBoomerang From the same flashback.]]]]
* TheChikan: The focus of Sugi's [[ADayInTheLimeLight day in the limelight]]. It isn't the ''molesters'' that are ''her'' problem, though--it's the salarymen that inevitably come to her rescue, ask her for her contact information, and try to be her protector from then on. [[spoiler:And the molester of ''this'' chapter is her first love, her old elementary school teacher]]--awkward...
* ClingyJealousGirl: Kuno, but she finds a boyfriend who likes that type.
** [[spoiler:Both Mari ''and'' Akko towards each other.]]
* CoolTeacher: Naru-chan-sensei as her students call her. She's a bit ambivalent about this in a DudeWheresMyRespect kind of way.
* CosplayOtakuGirl: Tamamin
* CostumePorn: A shining modern-day example.
* ADayInTheLimeLight: A chapter focusing on Sugi and her problems with love.
* DidIJustSayThatOutLoud: At one point, Kuno catches Mari staring at Akko, to which Mari absentmindedly admits it's because Akko is so cute.
* DiggingYourselfDeeper: Subverted. In an attempt to cover up her DidIJustSayThatOutLoud moment, Mari winds up stammering about how soft Akko's skin looks, thinking that just made her crush more obvious, but it diverts the other girls onto a skin care topic.
* DisappearedDad: Akko's dad is mentioned once as a throwaway comment, then never mentioned again.
* DudeShesLikeInAComa: Mari and Akko's first kiss. Mari partly blames it on [[KissingUnderTheInfluence the alcohol]].
* EmbarrassingFirstName: Taguchi thinks her first name of Urara is this.
* EveryoneCanSeeIt: Especially Sugi.
** On the contrary, Sugi is the only one who can see it. Everyone else is oblivious to their relationship.
* TheFashionista: Akko and Sugi
* ForcefulKiss: [[spoiler:Mari and Akko's second and third kisses.]]
* {{Foreshadowing}}: Chapter 21: Tamamin, the otaku of the group, suggests that Harada, Mari's newly-ex-boyfriend, should try cosplay. [[spoiler: WhereAreTheyNowEpilogue: Tamamin and Harada are dating]].
* FuroScene
* {{Gayngst}}: So much... (although mostly from Mari's side)
** Akko eventually inverts it, saying that [[spoiler: them both being girls ''helps'' their relationship, as they can be clingy in public and have people just chalk it up to a RomanticTwoGirlFriendship.]]
** It's mostly abated by now in both their cases, although there's still plenty of {{Angst}}/{{Wangst}}.
* GenkiGirl: Akko
* GreenEyedEpiphany: How Mari realizes she's in love with Akko, [[spoiler:and how Akko realizes she is in love with Mari.]]
* {{Gonk}}: [[spoiler:Naru-chan's baby-daddy... and their baby.]]
* HandsOffParenting: Akko's mom, for the few pages we see her.
* HeterosexualLifePartners: Sugi and Tamamin, though when drunk they like to remove that hetero part. Ultimately though, they are just really good friends.
* IDidntMeanToTurnYouOn: [[TropeCodifier Oh Akko, you tease!]]
* IHaveThisFriend: How Akko tries to get advice from Sugi about her relationship with Mari, more than once. Sugi plays along, but barely--she just can't help teasing them.
* InVinoVeritas: [[KissingUnderTheInfluence Revealed]] some UnresolvedSexualTension between Sugi and Tamamin...
* IndirectKiss
* TheInternetIsForPorn: The first time the Internet was used in the series involved Akko using it to surf for porn [[spoiler:as research for her planned first time with Mari]].
* IWantMyBelovedToBeHappy: Which may be the main cause of Akko's obliviousness to both Mari's feelings as well as her own.
* KissingDiscretionShot: [[spoiler:Akko and Mari's ''fourth'' kiss.]]
* KissingUnderTheInfluence: Sugi and Tamamin strip and make out when heavily drunk. This apparently isn't unusual for them.
%%* LingerieScene
* LipstickLesbian: Akko and Mari. Particularly Akko.
* TheLoinsSleepTonight: Akko's night with a guy after a party, to her great embarrassment and irritation. He has one of the predictable reactions, begging her to keep it secret. [[spoiler: And now he's Kuno's boyfriend.]]
* LonelyRichKid: Akko is shown to be fairly well-off with her mother just giving her money for whatever she wants. Her home life is also shown to be very lonely [[spoiler:before she and Mari hook up]], in contrast to her social life.
** Even in her social life, she doesn't seem to have any long-lasting friendships, as she notes that none of her classmates from junior high have called her since.
* [[spoiler:LoveAtFirstSight: Played with as it's implied that Akko became obsessed with Mari after first noticing her, but didn't fall in love, or at least realize she was in love, with her until long after the two became friends]]
%%* LuminescentBlush
* MarketBasedTitle: In Germany, it's called "Wir Beide", meaning "The Two of Us"
%%* {{Meganekko}}: Mayu
%%* MilhollandRelationshipMoment: Akko finding out about Mari kissing her while she was passed out.
%%* NiceGuy: Harada.
%%* ObliviousToLove: Oh dear. Sometimes, it makes you want to tear your hair out.
* OddFriendship: Tamamin, the Otaku and Sugi, the Fashionista.
* OneeSama: Used in Tamamin's yuri {{Doujinshi}}. Mari gets freaked out about the {{Doujinshi}} because she interprets it as [[BrotherSisterIncest something else]].
** A closer look at the doujinshi cover shows that the two characters look a lot like Tamamin and Sugi. It's also a loose reference to ''RevolutionaryGirlUtena.''
* OneGenderSchool
* OtakuSurrogate: Tamamin
* ParentalAbandonment: Averted with Mari. Possibly played straight with Akko, whose father is a {{DisappearedDad}} and whose mom never has time for her. Case in point: Akko's childhood is depicted as watching TV by herself, and taking shopping trips by herself as well. The kicker comes in the Graduation chapter, when Akko's mom showed up and Akko is honestly surprised.
* PimpedOutDress: Tamamin has a few of these for cosplay purposes.
* ProductPlacement: Almost every chapter. Mostly for makeup/beauty products and perfume, which is somewhat strange considering Girl Friends is serialized in a magazine [[{{seinen}} targeted at men]].
* PublicBathhouseScene: During the class trip. A self-conscious Akko tries to see Mari without letting Mari see her. Unfortunately, Akko passes out in the bathwater, prompting Mari to [[EpicFail carry her out of the bathhouse, dry her off, put on her underwear and pajamas, and tuck her into bed]].
-->'''Akko:''' ''Just kill me now.''
* ReallyGetsAround: Sugi
* SchoolgirlLesbians: A rather realistic portrayal, Akko and Mari are very confused about their feelings at first.
* [[spoiler:SecretRelationship: Mari assumes they will eventually have to tell people but for now its a secret. Though Sugi already knows]]
* SenseiChan: Narumatsu-sensei, AKA Naru-chan.
* ShipSinking: In the final chapter, [[spoiler:it's revealed Tamamin is going out with Harada, sinking the Sugi x Tamamin ship.]]
* ShipperOnDeck: Sugi is a subdued version of the trope. While at first shocked that two of her friends are going out with each other, she enjoys watching the two together and sometimes helps them get some alone time. That said she mostly enjoys teasing them since they don't know she knows.
* ShotgunWedding: [[spoiler:Naru-chan ends up in one. And it's an UglyGuyHotWife marriage at that.]]
* ShoutOut: Several, using cosplay. Tamamin suggests that Harada should {{cosplay}} [[Anime/CodeGeass Lelouch]] in chapter 21.
** In chapter 32 it's stated that a girl in Mari and Akko's class named Hakamada wants to become a mangaka. This is believed to be a shout out to Morinaga's fellow yuri mangaka, Hakamada Mera.
** In the final chapter there's a picture of Tamamin and [[spoiler:her boyfriend]] dressing as [[{{Vocaloid}} Miku and Kaito]].
** Akko says her favourite anime is ''Anime/TengenToppaGurrenLagann''.
** In one chapter, Taguchi expresses her fear of seagulls plucking her eyes out, to which Akko responds "This isn't ''Film/TheBirds''."
** Non-cosplay example: Akko's supposed first time. Her boyfriend is frantically trying to avert TheLoinsSleepTonight, crying out, "[[AshitaNoJoe Stand! Stand up, Joe!]]"
* ShrinkingViolet: Mari
* SingleTargetSexuality: When telling Akko about her feelings, Mari tries to invoke this by saying she doesn't think she's gay but then says she doesn't know.
* TheirFirstTime: Subverted twice, for both Akko and [[spoiler:Mari]]. With Akko, the guy she was with experienced TheLoinsSleepTonight because he'd had too much to drink, and she was too embarrassed to admit to anyone that she couldn't turn a guy on. In the latter's case, [[spoiler:she let Akko believe that she had slept with Harada, for a number of different reasons.]] The truth does come out, eventually. [[spoiler:Moments before the two of them play this trope straight.]]
* TwoTeacherSchool: Naru-chan is the only regular teacher shown though many others are mentioned.
* UnresolvedSexualTension: Lots involving the main couple.
* ViolentlyProtectiveGirlfriend: Akko threatens to stab any would-be train molesters with a safety pin.
* WhereAreTheyNowEpilogue: Showing that [[spoiler:Akko and Mari are still a couple while studying at different schools]].
* WillTheyOrWontThey: Akko and Mari, of course.
** [[spoiler:TheyDo, and the [[YuriFan fandom]] {{squee}}d]]
* WingdingEyes: Mari's after reading Tamamin's yuri manga.
* YuriFan: Tamamin, who collects yuri {{Doujinshi}}.
* YuriGenre