No reality T.V. shows, and no cartoons—I’m sorry, but there had to be some rules. This isn’t ‘Nam. But I still went a little cray. Instead of trying to discern which season best represented a certain character, I tried to match them up based on when their show debuted, or when they first impacted America. For the most part, it worked out. Where it didn’t, I doubled up some characters. Deal with it.
2004: Johnny “Drama” Chase, Entourage: Hard to believe his character (re: actual personality) turns 10 this year. Surprise, surprise: He’s the grandpa of the show, and he’s the oldest character on this list. Still, who better to kick off this list than Johnny fucking Drama, amiright? He’s vintage bro: track pants, a wife beater, hair gel—he gets it. VICTORY!
2005: Barnabus “Barney” Stinson, How I Met Your Mother: Up top if you knew he was gonna be on here. There was no way the inventor of the BroCode could be left off the list of Biggest Bros on T.V. Then again, there’s a good chance Neil Patrick Harris is just a true bro, since he’s the same character in everything he’s in. 10 bucks says he plays laser tag and shouts “Legen—wait for it—dary” for each kill.
2006: Andy Bernard, The Office: Dresses preppy. Went to an Ivy. Was in an acapella group. Okay, okay, so he’s more of a wanna-be bro. He’s wanted it his whole life though, clearly. I say in 2006, Andy finally gets to be.
2007: Hank Moody, Californication; Don Draper, Mad Men: Wow, talk about polar opposites. And yet both of these bros dominate, just in very different ways. Moody charms the pants off girls with his words, and Draper wills them off with his smoldering eyes. That’s right, I said smoldering.
2008: Ronald “Mac” McDonald, It’s Always Sunny in Philadelphia: Leave it to Mac to break the rules when it comes to this list. Then again, this show’s always damn good, so it doesn’t really matter what year you list him. Your favorite narcissist is a big reason the show kicks ass, and his tendency to wear cut off shirts is the reason this bro makes the list.
2009 Daniel Tosh, Tosh.O; Kenny Powers, Eastbound and Down: A power couple of people you love to hate, these two bros would shake your hand after doing the dirty with your sister. And you’d smile right back, honored to shake their hand.
2010 Tom Haverford, Parks and Recreation; John Luther, Luther: Is there anything more bro-y than “Treat Yo Self,” Haverford’s short-lived company? I submit that no, there is not. Luther is equal parts bro, but he earns his status through plain, old-fashioned badassery. He’s the kinda bro that’s great to have at a bar, and even better to have in a bar fight.
2011 Jaime Lannister, Game of Thrones: His nickname’s the “Kingslayer.” Case closed. I don’t even need to mention that he has the golden locks of a surfer or a jaw chiseled by diamonds, right? Right.
2012 Sherlock Holmes, Sherlock: Don’t underestimate the importance of wit when evaluating bros—it’s an invaluable tool in a bro’s efforts to charm. Now, Sherlock stops short of charming, since he tends to humiliate and eviscerate with his wit, but he’s still good people. Given the chance, we’d all wanna hang with Sherlock Holmes.
2013 Frank Underwood, House of Cards: Dude’s a manipulative disciplinarian and nothing else, until you see him visit his old school for a reunion. Seeing him hang out, kick back, you realize the Underwood of today isn’t the Underwood of yesterday. Dude knew how to party.
2014: I hesitate to crown someone for 2014, since it’s only April, but there’s no question it’s Rust from True Detective, right? I mean, c’mon. It just is. Actually, Rust’s biggest competition is probably Marty, since he gets with several incredibly hot women throughout the season, somehow. Part of Rust’s badassery, though, is that he could get with these women if he wanted to. He just doesn’t care.
Tolly Taylor is a regular contributor to BroBible.