Credit: ABC

Grey’s Anatomy‘s Cristina Yang and Meredith Grey are not besties. They are not friends forever. They are not twinsies. They’re each other’s person. They’re the Twisted Sisters. And that’s what makes them the best female friends on television.

In the television realm, it’s rare that two females form a lifelong bond out of being “dark and twisty,” but that’s precisely what Cristina and Meredith have done. In the beginning, they broke the mold because they didn’t spend their days shopping and talking about their crushes. They spent their days working and talking about their slutty mistakes. They were competitive with each other on a professional level, and they pushed each other to be great. They weren’t overly sensitive. They were smart. They were strong. They were, and still are, a very rare representation of females.

For a long while, neither of them knew if they wanted kids, and to this day, Cristina still doesn’t. And guess what? That doesn’t make her any less of a woman. When she’s upset, she climbs in bed with her best friend, where they don’t have a pillow fight and they don’t hug it out. They drink tequila, they dance it out, and they skip the bullsh–.

Cristina and Meredith are not passive-aggressive. They’re not “catty.” They are fully formed individuals who are good at what they do, have a dark side, and never have to pretend with each other. If Meredith has to put on a bridesmaid’s dress to support Cristina, fine, she’ll be there. But she won’t like it, because Cristina and Meredith are surgeons first. They’re people second. And they’re “stereotypical women” … never. And that’s what makes them so great.

When they fight, they really fight. And all that dark-and-twisty nonsense? Well, they are dark and twisty partly because they allow each other to be dark and twisty. There’s nothing they shy away from and nothing they can’t forgive. If Cristina has to be there to talk Meredith back from the dead, she will. If she has to hold her back from a gunman, she’ll do that too. Because she’s her person.

There’s nothing fake about Meredith and Cristina, which is a rarity in how female friends are portrayed on television. They don’t fight over the same guy, and they don’t “gossip.” They have intelligent conversations. Sure, sometimes they drink a little too much wine and talk about inappropriate things, but they do it with an edge and with honesty. They don’t giggle; they laugh.

Even now that they’re out of the “dark and twisty” phase, you won’t find them huddled in a corner cutting coupons or planning a home-cooked meal. You’ll find them being a good mother or a good aunt and, even still, a great surgeon.

Cristina and Meredith are the best female friends on TV because they don’t try to be. They’re well-rounded characters who fully accept each other. There are no hidden meanings or ulterior motives. And even though they’d never dare get sappy enough to say it, they’re soul mates.

All of this is to say that Cristina’s exit in Thursday night’s episode will be especially painful, because we won’t just be losing one person. We’ll also be saying goodbye to half of this friendship.

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Grey's Anatomy

Meredith. Alex. Bailey. The doctors are definitely in on Shonda Rhimes' hospital melodrama.

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