In no definitive order, because the presence of heterosexuality in the lives of these young women is equally tragic.
Bliss & Pash – Whip It
If part of your film’s plot involves a friendship that is so obviously romantic in nature that other people in the film have started catching on, you can go ahead and kiss any attempts at generating interest in said film’s heterosexual storylines goodbye. Not only do Bliss and Pash have one of the most clearly homoerotic friendships imaginable, but in a cruel twist of fate, acclaimed actress and director Drew Barrymore cast two LGBT women, Ellen Page and Alia Shawkat (both closeted at the time, but still), to bring that friendship to life.
Lady Bird/Christine & Julie – Lady Bird
Greta Gerwig’s directorial debut has received rave reviews, but, as the old saying goes, nobody’s perfect. In Greta’s case, this means omitting almost all evidence of the burgeoning romance between the offbeat, artsy Christine “Lady Bird,” and childhood best friend and theatre geek Julie. If you haven’t had the opportunity to see this truly remarkable film, I won’t get too much into the details, but let’s just say there’s a scene where Lady Bird is heading to prom with her kind-of boyfriend Kyle before she realizes what can only be her undying love for her best friend and takes Julie to prom instead. That’s right folks: they went to prom together. Greta, come on.
Donna & Laura – Twin Peaks
It’s been a while since I’ve seen Twin Peaks, so I’ll be brief: They Were.
Jennifer & Needy – Jennifer’s Body
It’s made obvious from the opening seconds of the movie that Needy and Jennifer are in gay love. Whether that love is ever fully actualized remains a matter of debate: they do make out, but the exact nature of their relationship is left unclear. Needless to say, though, they’re both clearly queer, and far too iconic not to be included on the list.
Paris & Rory – Gilmore Girls
I haven’t seen enough of Gilmore Girls to give any sort of definitive opinion, but Rory’s a journalist, and that’s lesbian, right? Anyways, Peyton says they’re gay, and after reading that lesbian Sherlock Holmes script I believe them.
Frances & Rosemary – Brides of Christ
If you’re not from Australia, you probably have no idea what I’m talking about, and if you are, you might’ve had to watch this in high school. To make a long story short, Brides of Christ is, among other things, about a very young Naomi Watts who goes to Catholic boarding school and spends most of her screentime inquiring about the Church’s stance on marriage – her parents are getting divorced so like, no homo – and crushing on fellow pupil Rosemary, before finally becoming an outspoken journalist campaigning for reproductive rights, which really speaks for itself.
Mia & Lily – The Princess Diaries
I mean, come on!!!
Krista & Nadine – The Edge of Seventeen
The two meet at the age of seven when Krista shows Nadine a caterpillar and tells her, “If you want, you could be his other mom with me.” It’s the start of a glorious, decade-long friendship between two young women that everyone involved in the making of the film woefully misinterpreted as heterosexual.
Momoko & Ichiko – Kamikaze Girls
I’m convinced whoever conceived of this 2004 Japanese comedy did it with the express goal of making a film about lesbianism without ever actually using the word lesbian. Or providing any explicit proof of a relationship between Momoko, a high schooler obsessed with shopping, lace, and the Rococo era, and Ichiko, a young, tough lesbian member of an all girls biker gang. Eat your heart out, Dykes on Bikes. Momoko and Ichiko are pretty much the most obvious depiction of a butch/femme relationship I’ve ever seen, and it certainly doesn’t help that the movie basically ends with a shot of Momoko riding on the back of Ichigo’s motor scooter (her line of credit isn’t good enough for a motorcycle) into the sunset. Did I mention that Ichiko works in a fucking garage?!
Allison & Lydia – Teen Wolf
It’s a love story for the ages: Lydia is a confident, fashion-forward femme, and Allison is her lanky, arrow firing, clearly-butch-but-hasn’t-been-introduced-to-Judith-Butler-yet girlfriend.
Jess & Jules – Bend it like Beckham
Oh, Bend it like Beckham. According to IMDb, Gurinder Chadha’s multicultural soccer romp was supposed to end with Jess and Jules falling in gay love, but producers were afraid that the romance would upset conservative Indian audiences and the ending was rewritten. Such is life, I guess. Luckily, evidence of their original romantic connection is present in virtually every scene of the film, for closeted gays girls everywhere to pick up on at the age of eight, and then type some variation of ‘bend it like beckham lesbian?’ into Google ten years later, read the resulting thinkpiece on AfterEllen and go, “God, I knew it.”