The elusivity and exclusivity of brohood has always intrigued me, whether it be from the carefully captioned Instagram posts proclaiming mutual love or the matching gym routines. I have always seeked an answer to these carefully affectionate male on male friendships, observing casual interactions from the dark corners of TDR and many frat parties. It’s hard to peel away all those toxic masculine layers to find the bromance, but sometimes you can see that devotion creep out. So, I decided to compile a comprehensive list of the best bro-to-bro interactions seen at AU, submitted by different sources and witnessed by yours truly.
Scene: Unnamed frat house
Characters: Subject #1 in traditional coral shorts, subject #2 in a white Polo top, subject #3 pouring drinks behind the makeshift bar
Summary: Subject #1 approaches subject #2 from behind, stealth mode at full capacity, his eyes locked on his very best friend even from a distance. Subject #2 is talking to subject #3 as he gets a drink from the latter, visibly engrossed in some trivial conversation regarding that one girl in his required gen-ed. Subject #1 reaches subject #2 and tackles him into a huge hug from behind, causing subject #2 to spill his drink all over himself. Despite the wetness, subject #2 is elated and the look in his eyes tells me that it’s always been love at first sight with these two. Subject #1 laments over how little he sees his best bro and the two hug it out for a weirdly long time in the middle of this dark, dank basement of a frat house. Subject #3’s long suffering aura tells me he sees this a little too often.
Scene: Jacobs Gym
Characters: Gym rat #1 in standard muscle tank and bro shorts, gym rat #2 in tight fitting shirt in which you can see literally everything
Summary: Gym rat #2 is highkey struggling with his bench press and is tearfully lamenting his inability to just “lift it over [his] head.” Gym rat #1 is straight up yelling encouragements into gym rat #2’s face and they have clearly been in the scenario many times over. Gym rat #2 is near tears at this point and exclaims (quite loudly): “(gym rat #1’s name), I just can’t do it, dude, I can’t do this.” Gym rat #1 gets up close and personal with his friend and starts screaming a mantra: “Dude! I believe in you! You can do this! There’s nothing you can’t do, this is nothing, I know you can do this!” Gym rat #2 looks like his bro’s compliments have baptized and resurrected him and does his bench press pretty effortlessly and elegantly. Gym rat #1’s face breaks into the biggest smile in the world and the look the two of them share is not something I can just shake off. That was true love.
Characters: Bro #1 in glasses, bro #2 in a state of pain probably due to a hangover, bro #3 still looking incredibly smashed, bro #4 almost asleep and barely hanging on
Summary: Bro #3 and #4 are at the table, barely moving (barely breathing as well) while bro #1 and #2 are roaming TDR like wild animals. Bro #1 sees that bro #2 looks a little green and remarks, “Dude, you should sit down.” Bro #2 nods and goes to join his other bros. Bro #1 is now clearly on a mission. He grabs four waters, some greasy breakfast food, and a plateful of fries. He sets them all down in front of his bros who look delighted and grateful, but not too shocked. Choruses of thank you light up the table and one’s cold dead heart can’t help but be warmed by this display of concern and loyalty. Bros #2-4 sing praises of bro #1 and how grateful they are that he’s the most responsible one. Bro #1 blushes as he insists that it’s “no problem.” There’s no doubt in my mind that bro #1 has been in this scenario many times over, yet his love for his friends never deters him from helping them.
So what did we learn from these weirdly similar encounters that speak volumes about bro culture and how guys shouldn’t let their fear of not looking masculine prevent them from showing affection for one another? Don’t ever be afraid of showing affection towards a good male friend of yours, guys. Life’s too short to worry about your socially constructed masculinity. And finally, ask yourself this: Do not ask what your bro can do for you, but what you can do for your bro.