1. They don’t make you feel like a horrible person for passing on invitations because you have to do things important to your education, career or the betterment of yourself in general. Sketchy is the friend who legitimately bashes you for choosing work over play.
2. You feel comfortable enough at their place to raid the refrigerator or go number two in their bathroom – probably in that order.
3. You’ve discussed and agreed that hypothetically, if one of you were to get bit by a zombie, you’d hold off on killing each other until you actually began turning into a member of the walking dead. (Also, if they aren’t 100% certain you’re dead, they’ll hold off on hooking up with your spouse.)
4. They’ve answered a call you made between the hours of 2-6am groggy and disoriented, but prepared to listen to or meet you for help with your emergency. And it better have been a damn disaster if you barged in on their REM cycle with phone-on-nightstand vibrations and Marimba on full blast.
5. Much like with family members, you can go extended stretches of weeks or months without talking and hanging out consistently, yet there’s no doubts about your relationship. Schedules get busy, circumstances arise, but your friendship remains fully intact.
6. They’ve helped you move. (If they help you move during the summer, they’re the realest friend, and you better buy them some type of friendship ring or at least the 2 for $20 at Chili’s.)
7. If you throw a huge party that results in your place being trashed, look around at cleanup time. Anyone so much as stacking red SOLO cups or pouring out half-drunken beers is worthy of considering a friend.
8. Any little favors they’ve done for you in the past aren’t kept on track of, and vice versa.
9. All of your posts on social networks are guaranteed a comment, like, favorite, or SOME TYPE OF ACKNOWLEDGMENT from your friend. It may sound stupid, but in this day and age, you can’t leave a pal’s post response-less – not even the 47th picture of their nephew or their 4th selfie of the day.
10. If someone slings their name through the mud, you take offense, interrupt and kill any bashing immediately – and they’ll do the exact same for you.
11. They are sincerely happy to see you have any type of success. Not the lying-through-my-teeth fake smile and bogus “(Screw you, why not me?) Ohhhh, well good for you!” – but legitimate excitement and congratulations.
12. If you’re being an a-hole, they’ll make you aware of it to your face.
13. You don’t constantly find yourself scolding them for putting unflattering photos of you online, because they know better than to post an eyes closed, unprepared, bad candid snapshot of you.
14. When a friend knows painful information (e.g. your crush hates the way your face looks), they’ll tell you. Maybe slightly modified to soften the blow, but they won’t leave you in the dark with false hopes, or headed down a disastrous path.
15. Your interaction naturally begins and ends with casual insults the majority of the time.
16. Even when involved in relationships, they don’t fall off the grid or blow your friendship off entirely. Yes, new love commands a lot of attention but don’t pull an Andy from Toy Story and just straight up neglect your clique.
17. When you stop to tie your shoe, they actually wait for you to finish as opposed to leaving you in the dust. Or they keep walking and openly vocalize and laugh at the fact that you’re being left behind.
18. They’ve taken the dreadful, guaranteed to cause massive drama step of informing you that you’re being cheated on.
19. Rarely do you discover anything about what’s going on with them on social networks. You don’t need Facebook to tell you it’s their birthday, or Instagram to see who they were with and where they went last night.
20. They don’t let you do anything stupid – at least not by yourself. If you wind up hammered, singing the Fresh Prince of Bel-Air theme song solo on karaoke night, reevaluate the friendships of everyone you were with that night. Someone should’ve intervened or started to sing.
21. You’ve borrowed each other’s stuff that normal acquaintances probably wouldn’t share. Cars, spare rooms, expensive electronics, etc.
22. They’ve dropped you off at or picked you up from the airport. This is especially meaningful if you have something like a 5am flight.
23. You’ve changed the music playing on their radio or iPod and lived to tell about it.
24. During the lowest of lows, they don’t give up on you even if you’ve given up on yourself.
25. There are silences, but they don’t feel the least bit uncomfortable or awkward. If you can sit down and shut up with a person, never feeling obligated to fill that hushed void, you’ve got a special connection.