It might not be polite to admit it, but some friends are just better than others. We all know it. You might cancel plans just to hang out with Nate, while you’ll lie about a dentist appointment just to end a conversation with Max. You would still describe them both as your friend if anyone asked you, right? I took the time to evaluate and compare my closest friendships, once and for all.
30 — Keith
Hoo boy. Uh, Keith. I mean, what is there to say? He bribed the DJ at my wedding to play “Cotton Eye Joe,” even though it was on the no-play list. Also, his dad was one of the coaches on my Little League team and put Keith at third base even though I was way better. Plus, he’s been a little bit sensitive lately, which is definitely a turn-off.
29 — The Mailman
I’ve smiled and nodded at him a few times as I entered my building while he was delivering mail. I may have even said, “Hi,” once. Still beats spending time with Keith.
28 — Joe
He talks about how much he loves Brazilian Jiu Jitsu all the time. “Oh, it’s great. You’d love it, Kyle. You should train BJJ.” Then when I ask him what gym he goes to, he tells me I won’t fit in, but he could recommend other places. Am I not good enough for you, Joe? That’s bullshit, man.
27 — Emily
Emily was my friend, then her and my wife hit it off. Now she’s my wife’s friend? How does that work? Why couldn’t she steal Keith instead?
26 — Andy
Okay, I’m just gonna say what we’re all thinking: Andy fell off. Sure, he’s leading a fulfilling life as a wonderful husband and father. All of those things are true. But he and I never sit around in a dorm room and make poop jokes anymore. We just send poop jokes to a group text once or twice a year. And this guy is supposed to be one of my closest friends?
25 — Pat L.
Pat was having a good year and really climbing up the friend rankings — until my bachelor party. We all know what happened, so I won’t spend too much time on it. It suffices to say that if you are curious about what sealed bottles of Corona will do in a fire pit, you should know that they will explode, and it will not be impressive to watch.
24 — Brendan I.
Brendan is a good dude. I really shouldn’t hold anything against him. Except for the fact that he was always a skinny kid way back in high school, and therefore way faster than me. I consoled myself by saying that I was stronger than him. Since then, he’s started lifting weights, and is now both faster and stronger than me. What the fuck, man?
23 — Zell from Animal Crossing: New Leaf
I need to be very clear here: I am referring to the instance of Zelle that exists on my primary copy of “Animal Crossing: New Leaf” for the 3DS, specifically. Any of my satellite Zelles, particularly the dull fellow on my island in New Horizons, would not outrank anyone on this list, with the possible exception of Keith.
22 — Zach T.
Zach is a very good friend of mine who works at a major game publisher. He could, though, be a great friend of mine who works at a major game publisher and gives his buddy Kyle review codes. The choice is his.
21 — Kevin
Kevin was the best man at my wedding. I don’t regret that decision, per se. If I’m being honest, though, I don’t think he would have provided much resistance if anyone tried to kidnap my wife, which is the original purpose of a best man. As a result, I was pretty anxious on my big day. I’m not ready to forgive him.
20 — My High School Bully
I ran into him the other day at Home Depot, where he works. He recognized me right away and was super nice to me. Did he get cooler with age, or was I just a sensitive little baby in high school? I’m glad I grew out of that phase, unlike some people at the bottom of this list. Keith. I’m talking about Keith.
19 — Steve
In real life, Steve is easily a top five friend. Unfortunately, I play a lot of board games with Steve. In that arena, he’s a total piece of shit, and will ruthlessly manipulate you into acting against your best interests. The worst part is that he’ll do it in a way where he technically never lies to you, so he comes across as honest, even though he’s being a total piece of shit. Man, if he weren’t such a good dude in reality, he would be way lower on this list.
18 — Pat C.
We all know Pat: a blast to be around, but never available. It’s like being a father of two and a doctor take priority over being a good friend. I’ll never understand it.
17 — HammyBoy from Discord
Man we used to play a lot of PUBG together but I guess he’s playing a different game now or something and I never hear from him. No idea who he really is.
16 — Lauren
Lauren is technically my wife’s friend, but she lets us use her Paramount+ subscription, so I feel we’ve gotten pretty close. Also, she’s funnier than my friends. Well, at least her recently watched shows indicate that she is.
15 — Mike R.
Nice guy. A little loud.
14 — Kyle
2023 was the year I really learned to understand and accept someone who I’ve kept at arm’s length my whole life: myself.
13 — Casey
Sure, Casey is funny, talented, and very fashionable. But what really puts him in the top half of this list is that mustache. Seriously, folks, a little facial hair can go a long way. Maybe Keith should try growing one — oh wait, that’s right. He can’t.
12 — Steph
Steph was my best friend throughout most of high school. She was stubborn, funny, and dramatic. Now, she has three kids who are just like her, and I gotta say — it’s a little much.
11 — Mort
Mort is my cat. He would normally be higher, but he’s been favoring my wife lately. Bad Mort.
10 — Tom
Tom moved far away, but still writes to me sometimes. Like, actual letters and postcards. This isn’t a joke, I’m just telling how you can be a better friend to the people you care about. You’re not a bad friend for not doing it, but why shouldn’t you start?
9 — Michael P.
Michael is a big shot lawyer, but I won’t hold that against him. Maybe he can help Keith beat the “being lame” charges. Who am I kidding? No one could manage that feat.
8— Paul F. Tompkins
Actor and comedian Paul F. Tompkins isn’t my friend yet, but he should be aware that there is a top ten spot with his name on it whenever he’s ready.
7 — Nick
Nick had a real shot at the top spot on this list. I love Nick. I even asked him to be the officiant at my wedding. He did a great job. Too great. All anyone talked about at the reception was how funny my friend Nick was. It was my day! It was supposed to be about how funny I am!
6 — Ryan
We all know Ryan, a middle school band director, accomplished saxophonist, and all-around nice guy. Everybody loves him, and rightfully so. Why isn’t he number one? I’m not gonna win any friends with this take, but it’s time to lose the ponytail, Ryan.
5 — Brendan S.
Brendan was on Jeopardy — twice. I’m an unabashed starf*cker, so he makes the top five.
4 — Zack R.
Zack was initially ranked way lower. I had a whole thing about how his name is really Zachary, and he wasn’t cool enough to spell his nickname with a “K” anymore because he was a husband and father with a boring office job. As I was writing this list, he sent me a text where he offered to steal something really cool for me. Go ahead, Zack. Use that “K.” You’ve earned it, even if you were the best man at Keith’s wedding.
3 — Mike H.
Mike is my favorite kind of friend: the one you run into occasionally at the bar right as you’re leaving. You get that little bump of dopamine, but aren’t expected to hold an actual conversation. It is human interaction, perfected. I’ve been due to catch up with Mike “next time” since 2016, but I live in the comfort of knowing that I’ll never really have to.
2 — Jordan
He might not be my oldest friend, but he is the guy who most recently asked me to join a band. And if we’re being honest, isn’t that what friendship is really all about?
1 — My Dad
My dad is a solid dude. Love that guy. When he was my Little League coach, you can bet that Keith was riding the bench.