A television friendship is not like a real friendship. Sure, Joey and Chandler will always be there for the rest of the Friends, but that's only because it's important for a television friend to make amends and forgive at the end of an episode/storyline. After all, if friends stop being friends, viewers won't keep watching.
Whatever the action, whatever is said and done, at the end of the episode a reset button is hit and the friendship just keeps on as it always has.
We see evidence of this in this week's episode of The Orville. It's part 2 of the storyline Identity in which we find out that the beloved crew member/cold unfeeling robot Isaac has in fact been lying this whole time about why he is on the ship - he's really been part of a cunning plot by his alien robot race to take control of the ship and murder all humans.
But everyone on the show loves Isaac. The viewers love Isaac. There's no way he's still going to be a bad guy next week (or will he....?).
In real life, friendships don't come back from that. If you find out your friend was part of a plot to kill all of your friends/wipe out humanity, you're probably not catching up for beers with them the next week. But TV is different.
The following is a list of TV friendships which endured an act so terrible that there was no way that they would want to continue having anything to do with each other ever again:
Michael Scott vs Pam Halpert
In the sixth season episode of The Office 'The Lover', office manager Michael Scott tells his staffer (and friend) Pam that he is dating her mother. As one would expect in the show, Pam does not take this particularly well.
This is a friendship destroying act in its own right. But, it only gets worse two episodes later when Michael ends up dumping Pam's mother in the middle of her birthday lunch. But, of course, after that the relationship just reverts back to the way it was.
Bart Simpson vs Milhouse Van Houten
It's difficult enough when a friend doesn't like their friend's new girlfriend/boyfriend. But when said friend does what they can to destroy the relationship, they're not just breaking up a coupling - they're ruining the friendship. It is difficult to believe that Milhouse came to forgive Bart as quickly as he did over the whole Samantha Stanky affair.
After Milhouse engaged in the low-act of allowing himself to be absorbed by his new relationship at the expense of his friends, Bart decides to do something about it. Tired of seeing Milhouse and Samantha hugging and smooching in their treehouse, Bart reported the affair to Mr Stanky. Her father quickly moved Samantha to an all-girls school.
There's no coming back from that sort of poor-form behaviour by Bart. And yet the friendship continued.
Rory vs Lorelai Gilmore
There's a reason fights among friends resolve quickly on TV shows - if the argument goes on too long, it's just too hard to watch. On one of the very rare instances of two characters fighting for more than 2-3 episodes, there was an almost season-long storyline on Gilmore Girls in which mother/daughter/best friends Rory and Lorelai fought over the criminal acts Rory committed for a boy. It betrayed all of the sacrifice that Lorelai had made for her daughter. Their fight lasted five months, three weeks, and 16 days. And it was HORRIBLE. Who can even bear to think about it?
Thankfully, a reunion happened and it was the most cathartic moment to ever happen in
my life on television.
Scully vs Hitchcock
Life-long traditions are important. Every Sunday after church, Scully would meet Hitchcock at their favourite bar Wing Sluts where they would feast on ribs and drink white Russians while watching Undercover Boss. But as soon as Scully violated their tradition and the 'bro-code' by faking an illness to instead take his new lady-friend Cindy there instead.
Life-long friendships have ended over far less.
Will the crew from The Orville forgive Isaac for his transgressions? You may think you know, but to find out for sure you'll need to watch the latest episode of The Orville at SBS On Demand (and keep watching Friday nights on SBS VICELAND at 9pm):
And you can, of course, listen to SBS' fan podcast ORVILLELAND: