For anyone familiar with FYA's annual March Madness tradition: we know, we know.
Fortunately, this year's tournament is well worth the wait. In past years, FYA readers have chosen their favourite book, movie, TV show, heartthrob, and OTP. And now it's time for Teen BFF Madness 2017.
Over the next several weeks, 64 sets of friendships will face off in head-to-head matchups until one is crowned the ultimate teen BFFship. (Best Friends Forever... ship? Best Friendship Forever? Whatevs, y'all know what we mean.) And because so many of our fave teen friendships come from YA, we've included BFFs from books as well as movies and TV shows.
At long last: THE BRACKET. (A printable PDF version will be released after the wild card winner has been determined.)
(1) Gansey/Ronan/Adam/Noah/Blue (The Raven Cycle) vs. (16) Tracy/Penny (Hairspray)
(2) Cher/Dionne (Clueless) vs. (15) DJ/Kimmy (Full House)
(3) Rory/Lane (Gilmore Girls) vs. (14) Kevin/Paul (The Wonder Years)
(4) Matt/Landry (Friday Night Lights) vs. (13) Felicity/Elena (Felicity)
(5) Will/Tiny (Will Grayson, Will Grayson) vs. (12) Tara/Kat (Dance Academy)
(6) Scott/Stiles (Teen Wolf) vs. (11) Taylor/Raffy (Jellicoe Road)
(7) Macy/Kristy (The Truth About Forever) vs. (10) Jessica/Hope (Jessica Darling)
(8) Cory/Shawn (Boy Meets World) vs. (9) Ophelia/Jules (Sweet/Vicious)
(1) Harry/Hermione/Ron (Harry Potter) vs. (16) Clarissa/Sam (Clarissa Explains It All)
(2) Anne/Diana (Anne of Green Gables) vs. (15) Dill/Lydia/Travis (The Serpent King)
(3) Ryan/Seth (The O.C.) vs. (14) Brenda/Kelly (Beverly Hills, 90210)
(4) Veronica/Wallace (Veronica Mars) vs. (13) Lisa/Jessie/Kelly (Saved by the Bell)
(5) Damian/Janis (Mean Girls) vs. (12) Cath/Reagan (Fangirl)
(6) Merlin/Arthur (Merlin) vs. (11) Monty/Jasper (The 100)
(7) Liz/Maria (Roswell) vs. (10) Rose/Lyssa (Vampire Academy)
(8) Jess/Jules (Bend It Like Beckham) vs. (9) Daria/Jane (Daria)
(1) Buffy/Willow/Xander (Buffy the Vampire Slayer) vs. (16) Emma/Manny (Degrassi: The Next Generation)
(2) Blair/Serena (Gossip Girl) vs. (15) Jenna/Cameron (Sweethearts)
(3) Bee/Carmen/Lena/Tibby (The Sisterhood of the Traveling Pants) vs. (14) Skylar/Dylan/Chris (I'll Meet You There)
(4) Betty/Veronica (Archie/Riverdale) vs. (13) Clark/Pete/Chloe (Smallville)
(5) Aria/Emily/Hanna/Spencer (Pretty Little Liars) vs. (12) Simon/Leah/Nick/Abby (Simon vs. the Homo Sapiens Agenda)
(6) Jen/Jack (Dawson's Creek) vs. (11) Cook/Freddie/JJ (Skins)
(7) Roberta/Teeny/Samantha/Chrissy (Now and Then) vs. (10) Mia/Lilly (The Princess Diaries)
(8) Brooke/Peyton (One Tree Hill) vs. (9) Alec/Jace (The Mortal Instruments/Shadowhunters)
(1) Kristy/Mary Anne/Claudia/Stacey/Dawn (The Baby-Sitters Club) vs. (16) Wild card winner
(2) Maddie/Queenie (Code Name Verity) vs. (15) Samantha/Annamae (Under a Painted Sky)
(3) Sam/Neal/Bill (Freaks and Geeks) vs. (14) Kami/Angela (The Lynburn Legacy)
(4) Elena/Bonnie/Caroline (The Vampire Diaries) vs. (13) Mary/Cassanda/Roland (Saved!)
(5) Angela/Rayann/Rickie (My So-Called Life) vs. (12) Evie/Mabel (The Diviners)
(6) Ponyboy/Johnny (The Outsiders) vs. (11) Cassie/Diana (The Secret Circle)
(7) Karou/Zuzana (Daughter of Smoke & Bone) vs. (10) Gen/Eddis (The Queen's Thief)
(8) Ferris/Cameron (Ferris Bueller's Day Off) vs. (9) Rae/Chloe (My Mad Fat Diary)
"What about the 16th seed in Perfect Pals? Are you still asking this rhetorical question after 5 years, like we don't already know the drill?"
The wild card is, of course, reserved for the readers' choice! Y'all get to decide which friendship will get the final spot in the tournament, and we want your nominations! (More deets below.)
"Why would y'all include [BFFs who I don't like] from this show, instead of [BFFs who I do like]?"
In order to be as comprehensive as possible, FYA HQ limited ourselves to one definitive friendship per title/franchise. (There was a loooot of back-and-forth re: which BFFs would represent some shows, TRUST.) However, your wild card nominations do not have to abide by this rule at all!
"Do the BFFs all have to be best friends with each other?"
"Do the BFFs all have to be teenagers?"
Well. Yes. Meaning:
• no combining separate BFFs together due to a common friend (e.g., Gilmore Girls' Rory/Lane would be separate from Rory/Paris),
• no frenemies (at least, 'friend' should outweigh 'enemy' -- sorry, Plastics and Heathers), and
• no grownups (e.g., Gilmore Girls' Rory/Lorelai).
"Can the BFFs have a not-so-platonic friendship?"
Yes, but they should really be evaluated on friendship rather than romance. And there's no assuming that couples automatically become BFFs.
So which teen BFFs should be added to this tournament? Nominate them in the comments -- with their names and a photo or GIF, if possible. Just one pairing per comment, please, so that we're clear about which teen BFFs you're talking about. Upvote and lobby for your favourites!
The top two candidates will battle for the final spot in the play-in game on Thursday (aka tomorrow!), with the winner announced along with bracket challenge instructions on Friday, and Teen BFF Madness officially starting next Monday.