50 Best TV Duos of All Time - Rolling Stone
Home TV TV Lists

50 Best TV Duos of All Time

From Arya and the Hound to Mulder and Scully, the greatest small-screen teams

50 Best TV Duos

(L-R) Everett Collection, HBO (2), Comedy Central

When it comes to good TV, it takes two to make a thing go right. Whether you’re talking about great comedy teams, hot romantic couples, unbreakable crimefighting partnerships, or unforgettable hero-villain rivalries, two is the magic number of countless television classics. With that in mind, we’ve compiled the following list of the 50 greatest duos ever to grace the small screen. Husbands and wives, cops and robbers, best friends forever — they’re all here, and they all demonstrate the power of the most elemental equation of all: one on one.

50 Best TV Duos

2. Lucy and Ethel, ‘I Love Lucy’

A great comedy duo is like a well-oiled machine, even when the machine is spinning out of control. So look no further for evidence of Lucille Ball and Vivian Vance's factory-precision teamwork than the legendary I Love Lucy episode where they become workers on chocolate-factory assembly line, keeping the candy moving by any means necessary. That was the secret to Lucy and Ethel's relationship: No matter what hijinks they got into, they truly felt like friends who'd do whatever it took to get each other out of it again.

50 Best TV Duos

1. Mulder and Scully, ‘The X-Files’

Can professional ethics, intellectual antagonism, unyielding loyalty, platonic friendship, and raw sexual tension all get along? I want to believe. Put simply, Dana Scully and Fox "Spooky" Mulder were, and are, the most complex and compelling male-female partnership ever to be put on the small screen. Mulder's fanaticism and Scully's skepticism, her cool and his heat, David Duchovny's irresistible sex appeal and, uh, Gillian Anderson's irresistible sex appeal — X-Files creator Chris Carter could not have created a better pair of FBI agents to embody his series' pre-millennium paranoia, nor cast two better actors to play them. Friends, rivals, partners, lovers — they're every great TV duo all at once, which makes them the greatest of all.

Arrow Created with Sketch. Calendar Created with Sketch. Path Created with Sketch. Shape Created with Sketch. Plus Created with Sketch. minus Created with Sketch.