Best friends forever

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This article is about the type of friendship. For the South Park episode, see Best Friends Forever (South Park). For US TV comedy series, see Best Friends Forever (TV series). For Indian TV teen drama, see Best Friends Forever?.
The words "Best Friends Forever" written on the Golden Gate Bridge (Guillaume Paumier, CC-BY)

"Best friends forever" ("BFF") is a phrase that describes a close friendship.[1][2] Such friendships are characterized by intimacy, trust and a sense of permanence.[3] The contacts between the close friends tend to be frequent and be based upon shared experiences such as attendance at the same school. Relationships described as such are common in high school but, rather than lasting forever, tend to deteriorate when the parties go to college.[1] The term BFF does not convey exclusivity; people can have more than one BFF.[4]

A large survey of friendship in the UK in 2003 found that people had nine close friends on average.[3] In elementary and middle school, best friendships often last less than one full academic year.[5]

Barbara Delinsky describes a BFF as "someone you don't have to see every day to still connect with, someone who loves you whether you talk often or not, someone who would drop everything and catch the next flight if you needed her. It's someone who couldn't care less where or what she eats, as long as she's with you."[6]

The acronym "BFF" was added to the New Oxford American Dictionary on 16 September 2010, defined as, "A person's best friend".[7]


Although the concept of having or being a "best friend" is ageless, the acronym BFF was popularized as a quick way for friends to sign off and express their positive feelings for one another---while instant-messaging (IM-ing) on the computer or sending a text message on cell phones.[4]

The New Oxford American Dictionary states that the acronym BFF originated in 1996.[7]

Commercial use[edit]

Companies like Coca Cola have used the expression on some of their Cola products. Their cans say "Share a Diet Coke with your BFF".[8]

Popular culture[edit]

In a 1997 episode of Friends, Lisa Kudrow's character, Phoebe Buffay, uses the term.

Paris Hilton's My New BFF, also known as My New BFF, is a competitive reality television show in which Paris Hilton searches for her new BFF.

Best Friends Forever was an American television comedy series that ran on NBC from April 4, to June 1, 2012.[9]

In 2009, social networking service Myspace launched "BFF", an online game show series that tested how well best friends knew each other.[10]

Best Friends Forever (South Park) is an Emmy-winning episode of Comedy Central's South Park, which first aired 30 March 2005, based on the Terri Schiavo case.

Academic studies[edit]

Eileen Kennedy-Moore says that parents can help children cope with a friendship rift through strategies such as empathizing, discouraging retaliation, and encouraging relationship repair.[11]

In 2010, the BFF concept was made part of a BFF contract "to encourage the signatories to work through their differences before splitting up."[12]

In their article "Friendship and Natural Selection" in the July, 2014 "Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences of the United States of America", Nicholas Christakis and James Fowler reported a positive correlation between close friendships and common genotypes, indicating that DNA similarities may be a causal factor in establishing friendships.[13]


  1. ^ a b Debra L. Oswald, Eddie M. Clark (2003), "Best friends forever?: High school best friendships and the transition to college", Personal Relationships 10 (2): 187–196, doi:10.1111/1475-6811.00045 
  2. ^ Susan Ager (January 26, 2007), "Clueless no more about BFFs", Detroit Free Press, retrieved March 25, 2014 
  3. ^ a b Irene S. Levine (2009), "Ch. 1: Understanding Female Friendships", Best Friends Forever, Penguin, ISBN 9781590203705 
  4. ^ a b "BFF: DOB 1996 - Welcome to the Oxford English Dictionary". Psychology Today. 
  5. ^ Berndt, T. J., Hawkins, J. A., & Hoyle, S. G., (1986). Changes in friendship during a school year: Effects on children's and adolescents' impressions of friendship and sharing with friends. Child Development, 57, 1284-1297.
  6. ^ "What is a BFF?". 
  7. ^ a b "My BFF just told me "TTYL" is in the dictionary. LMAO. - OUPblog". OUPblog. 
  8. ^ Coca-Cola Celebrates a Summer of Sharing, Coca Cola Press Release June 10, 2014
  9. ^ Seidman, Robert (February 21, 2012). "'Community' Returns March 15 at 8pm + Premieres for 'Bent,' 'Best Friends Forever' and 'Betty White's Off Their Rockers'". TV by the Numbers. Retrieved February 21, 2012. 
  10. ^ "MySpace Launches "BFF," Online Game Show Series", Bloomberg, April 2, 2009, retrieved March 25, 2014 
  11. ^ Kennedy-Moore, E. (2012). Make new friends but keep the old...or not.
  12. ^ "The BFF Contract makes friendships a lasting proposition", Sarasota Herald Tribune, February 11, 2010: B1, retrieved March 25, 2014 
  13. ^ Nicholas A. Christakis. "Friendship and natural selection".