The word "bromance" gets thrown around a lot nowadays, which is sad because "bromance" is a terrible word. It is useful, though — we need a word to describe a relationship between two men that exceeds mere friendship, but doesn't involve sex; when two men love and understand each other in a way others can't, but aren't "in a relationship." The word is terrible, but the relationships are not, especially when they're formed beyond the stars. Here are seven couples whose bromance spans the universe.

1) Kirk and Spock, Star Trek
Kirk may have been boinking dozens of women of differing race and skin hue. Spock may have been cold and illogical. But the two fulfilled each other in a way that no woman or logic ever could. Kirk and Spock completely understood each other, which helped both of them when they were under the influence of various entities, such as Omicron pod plants. Kirk risked his entire Starfleet career to get the Pon Farr-crazed Spock to Vulcan, without even a second of hesitation. And while Kirk was never afraid to show his fondness for Spock, Spock — despite his cold, emotionless Vulcan heritage — eventually learned to do the same. Suffice it to say, if Kirk had not had Spock (or vice versa) Star Trek would be less than half the phenomenon it is today.

2) The Doctor and Captain Jack, Doctor Who
There's something special that only two people who are basically immortal can share, a world view – er, universe view, a sense of self, or even just an understanding of what it means to live on when everything else around you dies. The Doctor and Captain Jack Harkness are the one exception to this rule for each other, since the Doctor is a Time Lord who can regenerate and Jack is just immortal (thanks to a bit of time vortex wackiness). While their time together in the Doctor Who TV series is limited, their interactions and familiarity indicates they've had many, many more adventures together. And it probably doesn't hurt that Jack is a terrible flirt.

3) William Adama and Saul Tigh, Battlestar Galactica
With the end of the human race practically around the corner, what's the guy in charge of keeping the few remaining people safe from killer robots to do? Get drunk. And when Commander Adama drinks, he drinks with Colonel Saul Tigh, his second-in-command and best friend. The two hard-nosed military men can only truly open up with each other, and they help each other face their (all too plausible) fears, which almost certainly helped indirectly save the Galactica a few times. Despite all the heartache Adama suffers, it's learning that Tigh is actually a Cylon in disguise that causes him to completely breakdown. But such is strength of their friendship that Tigh still sides with the humans, and Adama even made Tigh the commanding officer of the Galactica again. And then they got drunk together again.

4) Obi-Wan Kenobi and Anakin Skywalker, Star Wars
When most people think of bromance in the Star Wars universe, they think of Han and Chewbacca. But why? They were partners and co-pilots, but they weren't nearly as close as Anakin Skywalker and Obi-wan Kenobi were in the prequels. It helped that the two were war buddies, and fought most of the Clone Wars side by side, seeing each other at their best and worst. While they started out as master and pupil, their relationship blossomed into a firm friendship where the two fought like spouses, but would do anything for one another, best exemplified in the Clone Wars, where they were brothers-in-arms (with Ahsoka being the annoying little sister they had to babysit sometimes). Obi-wan's anguish at being forced to duel Anakin is palpable, and Obi-wan loves him too much to kill (which would have been a lot more merciful than leaving him a triple-amputee on fire, but them's the breaks)

5) John Sheppard and Rodney McKay, Stargate: Atlantis
Lt. Colonel Sheppard and Dr. McKay are the odd couple of Stargate. Sheppard is laidback, humble, and funny; McKay is uptight, self-centered and fussy. And yet the two complete each other in ways even they admit, when Sheppard explains he lives McKay "in the way a friend feels about another friend." The two are constantly bickering, drinking together, saving each other's lives, and even mild flirting – because despite their difference, the two are always together. If nothing else, McKay once rewrote time to save Sheppard's life — that's not something you do for a regular co-worker.

6) Philip J. Fry and Bender, Futurama
Philip may be in love with the one-eyed mutant Leela, but his strongest relationship is undeniably with his robot roommate Bender. Fry's stupidity and Bender's penchant for crime and cruelty uniquely work together, perhaps in their love of having fun, despite their jobs, the disapproving star of Leela, or several alien invasions. On the episodes where Fry and Bender have been separated, it's shown that the two do not function well without each other; indeed, when Bender becomes a ghost (don't ask) he specifically tries to scare Fry to death, specifically so they can continue hanging out. Despite being a robot who is supposed to lack emotions and definitely lack guilt and respect for the idea of property ownership, Bender has admitted to loving Fry "like a human loves a dog."

7) Willis E. Davidge and Jeriba Shigan, Enemy Mine
They say politics makes strange bedfellows, but war makes stranger bromances — none stranger than the one between human pilot Willis E. Davidge and the lizard-like Drac pilot Jeriba Shigan. When the two crashed on a small planet, the two enemies learned to work together to survive, which in turn developed into an unbreakable bond. The two taught each other their language, cultures and lives. When Jeriba dies, Willis is despondent… but still completely willing to care for Jeriba's child, even risking his life to save it from his fellow humans. Theirs is a bromance that exists beyond race, beyond space, and even beyond death.