While the Fast and Furious franchise might not get the kind of critical appreciation Vin Diesel believes it deserves, there's one thing that no fan can deny: The bromance between Diesel's Dom Toretto and Paul Walker's Brian O'Conner will go down as one of Hollywood's greatest love stories.
Beginning with the duo's complicated and tumultuous relationship in The Fast and the Furious, all the way to their bittersweet reunion in the franchise's fourth installment Fast & Furious, they've been star-crossed bros for years.
In celebration of their iconic friendship, here are seven reasons Dom and Brian have the greatest bromance of our generation.
1. Even as Enemies, They Care About Each Other: At the end of the first film, Brian (an undercover cop) comes to arrest Dom, and ends up drag-racing him through the streets of East L.A. Dom and Brian narrowly avoid a train collision, but Dom fails to avoid a devastating crash with a giant truck, totaling his car. Brian can't bring himself to arrest this man who he's come to respect (and love?) so he gives Dom the keys to his car, and lets him escape to Baja. This is a great start of a beautiful friendship.
2. Even Bromantic Buddies Don't Always Get Along: In the fourth film, 2009's Fast & Furious, Dom and Brian reconnect (after two Vin Diesel-free installments in the franchise), but things aren't all peachy keen. That's the mark of a true bromance: It's not always the honeymoon phase. Here, Dom and Brian race and Dom cheats by knocking Brian into a spin-out. You can see that Dom is barely hiding his feelings of guilt and remorse as Brian yells at him and drives off.
3. They Can Read Between the Lines: In Fast & Furious, Dom and Brian get into a violent fight after Dom learns that Brian was the last person to see Letty (Michelle Rodriguez) before she "died." Brian responds by telling Dom that she had been working with the FBI to clear Dom's name. Brian yells, "She just wanted you to come home!" But Dom can totally tell that what he's really saying is, "I just wanted you to come home."
4. They Know How to Accessorize Together: Just look at how they rock sunglasses together while riding side-by-side. These two are clearly in sync.
5. They Are Willing to Drop Anything for Each Other: After getting away with hundreds of millions of dollars, the Fast and Furious gang have gone their separate ways, until one day Dom shows up telling Brian that his long-dead girlfriend is still alive. As you can see in the emotional scene below, Brian immediately insists on coming along to help without so much as a moment of hesitation.
6. They Know How to Make a Catchphrase Stick: How many of you have been driving with your friends (going 30 to 60 miles per hour on a freeway in a mid-range sedan) and said to your buddy, "Ride or die" without a hint of irony? Thank Dom and Brian for that gift.
7. They're Truly Family: Dom's line in the Furious 7 trailer, "I don't have friends, I got family," has been referenced over and over in the build-up to the film's April 3 release. But this might be one of the truest things Dom has ever said, as only a family that truly loves you would crash hundreds of cars, kill dozens of people and risk their lives time and time again just to help with near-impossible schemes.
In real life, Diesel and Walker were as close as brothers as could be. Walker's tragic death in 2013 hit his Fast and Furious co-stars hard, and they've been open about keeping Walker's memory alive. Recently, Diesel even named his new-born baby daughter Pauline, in honor of his late friend.
According to the action star, Walker's passing during the production of Furious 7 made it one of the hardest and most emotionally draining films he's ever worked on. Check out the video below for more from the star about making the film in Walker's absence.