Challenge romances sometimes boast the shelf life of a dairy product (or less), but Challenge bromances — when they’re done right — might just last forever.
On the latest season of MTV’s favorite competition series, exes, enemies and scorned teammates are all competing together for the huge prize money. But among the social mayhem — and very encouragingly — is new and old proof that true camaraderie can weather the storm.
Just look at Johnny Bananas and Leroy, who’ve been close for nearly a decade. The guys swore they’d fight for each other, and while it didn’t necessarily work in their favor this time around (at least where Bananas is concerned), it’s pretty much a sure thing they’ll continue to remain in each other’s corners. And the bromance isn’t exclusive to longtime players — JP and Turbo, too, have forged a seemingly unshakable bond though their Brazilian and Turkish roots, respectively, are worlds apart.
True, many bromances have fallen apart or buckled under the test of time, but some have managed to endure the game’s pressures. Check out the eight most memorable bromances below — some born out of longtime friendship and others, the results of buried hatchets — and keep watching The Challenge: War of the Worlds on Wednesdays at 9/8c.
Hunter and Nelson
The self-proclaimed Young Bucks have ushered in a new era of Challenge bromance, but even stronger than their brawn is their Are You the One? bond, which has been a staple of the series since Invasion of the Champions. Routinely, they’ve found their backs against the wall whenever more veteran players get a hold of the game, but Hunter and Nelson have always been able to count on each other for support.
Eric and Mark
It’s been awhile since either of these guys have popped up on MTV, but any Challenge fan will remember the Road Rules and Real World OGs had a nearly inseparable bond across the show’s earlier seasons. They hosted Battle of the Seasons together, played side-by-side as the over-30 duo in Battle of the Sexes and repeated their bromance in BOTS2.
Johnny Bananas and Leroy
They first officially met on Rivals eight years ago, but their connection seems lifelong. JB and Lee have an unspoken agreement to never vote each other into elimination rounds, and while both have been screwed over big-time by friends, (Tony and Cara, to name just two…), neither has ever turned on the other. They’ve even appeared on Fear Factor together!
Wes and Devin
Because of Wes’ style of gameplay, he rarely makes friends on The Challenge, particularly among his male castmates. But when Are you the One? export Devin joined the Challenge circuit, Wes finally found a like-minded, strategy-oriented mirror image, and the two got close across Champs vs. Stars. Wes and Devin have become so tight, in fact, that Devin was at Wes’ June 2018 wedding.
Mike “The Miz” and Abram
Long before Abram developed his contemporary reputation — the proud weirdo who punches his own head as a means to pump himself up — he was a Challenge rookie on The Gauntlet who just wanted to go toe-to-toe with Mike in a wrestling match. Ultimately, the two would wind up in an elimination round together, in which Mike would take Abram out. Still, their buddy-buddy routine was fun to watch for a handful of seasons to come.
Landon and MJAppio
The two Real World: Philadelphia housemates made a splash on their first season together — Gauntlet 2 — where they successfully kept each other out of harm’s way until the final mission (and they just so happened to win, too). Their bromance extended until Duel II, but sadly, neither survived until the game’s end. Their friendship, however, remained alive and well.
Zach and Knight
The Real World: San Diego alum and his late pal — a fan-favorite member of Real World: New Orleans — first met on Battle of the Seasons, and while their friendship wasn’t always a fixture of the show, it was clear they’d forged a hell of a bond behind the scenes. And after Knight’s 2014 death, Zach told MTV News that Knight was unlike any other guy, noting, “He was the kind of kid you felt like you knew your whole life, your best friend. We were from similar parts of the country, our dads raised us in similar ways -- you know, very stern. And we were rebels in our own right.”
Kyle and Brad
Once upon the time, the American and Brit were the worst of enemies, but their Final Reckoning journey was like a bit of couple’s therapy, and by the time they were ultimately eliminated from the game, they’d forged a real friendship. You’ll forever be able to identify them in a crowd by their matching headbands.