There are an awful lot of great things about Arrow and The Flash sharing a universe on The CW. Crossovers allow Team Arrow to deal with more of the fantastical and Team Flash to face the darker side of superheroism, and the world being larger for all of the characters allows for greater creative story potential for both shows. Besides, since Cisco has become the Flarrow-verse version of James Bond’s Q, the teams have more fancy gadgets than they know what to do with. The very best thing about Arrow and The Flash sharing a universe, however, is the bromance between Oliver Queen and Barry Allen. With Oliver as the curmudgeonly big brother and Barry as the upbeat little brother, the duo never fails to be hilarious and heartwarming together. So, here are ten of the most bromantic moments between Arrow and The Flash that should hit the spot.
10. Hugging It Out In Central CitySome people are just not huggers, and Oliver Queen is evidently one of them. Sure, he’s been known to bust out the hugs from time to time, but he’s much more likely to manfully nod and go into a flashback than open his arms. Still, even Oliver couldn’t refuse Barry when Barry happily reminded him that he can just sneak hug him with his superspeed, and the boys hugging it out in the light of day in Central City was a great moment in the Arrow half of the latest major Flarrow crossover. They may not have been 100% on the same page vis-à-vis Oliver’s baby mama drama, but the hug was a nice reminder that at least they’ll always have each other.
9. Arrow To The RescueOliver does like to make an entrance as a vigilante, and he made a heck of a good one in the Flash half of the first crossover extravaganza. When Barry and Joe were on the verge of being blown away by a shotgun blast, the Arrow made a timely appearance and fired a pair of arrows into the arms of the shooter. While it wasn’t Oliver’s most epic save in the history of either show, Barry’s grin at seeing his favorite archer showing up in Central City was enough to make it seem like Oliver had just taken down Deathstroke. Joe’s bemused expression at the guy in green leather with the bow and arrow while Barry beamed just makes the scene better.
8. Training SessionBarry getting a taste of how Oliver conducts himself as a hero during their training session was a fun twist on typical Flash shenanigans. Oliver playing straight man and chastising Barry for not being properly disciplined while Barry laughs about their Rocky-esque training sequence brought the laughs while still showing that trouble was brewing for Barry. As Oliver is wont to do when things aren’t going 100% his way, he just went ahead and shot some arrows at the problem. Oliver’s “I heard you heal fast” comment after Barry’s incredulous “You shot me?!?” turned the violence into something darkly funny. It was Oliver’s way of showing love, and it was awesome.
7. Barry Won’t Leave OliverThe second Flarrow crossover extravaganza saw the teams dealing with immortal evildoer Vandal Savage instead of their usually very mortal villains of the week, so it was no surprise that Barry and Oliver made some missteps. Still, one of their missteps did result in Central City being destroyed and most of the main casts of Flash and Arrow being incinerated onscreen, but everybody makes mistakes! Barry's refusal to leave Oliver when they were both on the verge of incineration was a touching reminder of how far they’ve come as comrades and friends. Plus watching Oliver force Barry to ultimately run to save himself proved that he was willing to protect his pal to the very end. Luckily, the man to survive the fiasco happened to be the one who could time travel to fix it.
6. Starling City ScrimmageTeam Flash’s first trip together to Starling City wasn’t nearly as funny as Team Arrow’s trip to Central City, but it did make for some great conflict and resolution between the Emerald Archer and the Scarlet Speedster. Despite some differences of opinion about torture, Barry gave Oliver the pep talk that he needed to remember that hanging on to his humanity despite the hells he’s been through is what made him a hero to bond them back together again. The episode ending with Oliver deciding that they need to battle it out as the Flash vs. the Arrow was the perfect tag to a fun crossover event. The episode may not have shown the winner of the scrimmage, but we have to assume that Barry emerged victorious. After all, he didn’t exactly come out on top in the showdown on his own show.
5. Guys Like ThemAlthough Barry and Oliver spent most of the first crossover installment at odds, they did manage to come together for a chat at Jitters by the end. Oliver offered to listen whenever Barry needs to talk and Barry admitted that he still has a lot to learn as a crimefighter, which showed that they both learned some valuable lessons. Then, Oliver telling Barry that “Guys like us don’t get the girl” was a nice touch after Barry had to listen to Iris moon over Oliver’s dreaminess earlier in the episode. Was Oliver giving Barry terrible advice based on his own stubbornness? Yes, he was. But it was still very bromantic.
4. Stealing Oliver’s ThunderOliver’s inner peace and contentment thanks to his relationship with Felicity wasn’t enough to make him entirely agreeable with Team Flash during the second crossover, but he did respond well to Barry zipping in during his toast to steal his drink and his sentiment. Sharing a toast right after Oliver admitted that he was wrong about guys like them not getting the girl was exactly the high note needed before everything fell apart and Vandal Savage showed up to ruin to impromptu party. They’ve rarely felt more brotherly than they did when they shared a toast, and it’s a sign of growth that Oliver didn’t make a joke about carding Barry before letting him have alcohol.
3. PartnersThe scene in Jitters that led up to Oliver and Barry shaking hands on their new partnership is a gem. Starting with Oliver admitting that he helped out his little bro by shooting a bad guy with arrows for information and then progressing when Barry had to listen to the girl he loves reveal that Oliver is on her list of guys she gets to cheat on her boyfriend with was interesting. But the culmination when Oliver agreed to help Barry despite his own misgivings made the entire interaction infinitely re-watchable. Honestly, Oliver's audibly heaving a sigh before shaking a grinning Barry’s hand sums up their entire relationship. It was a balance of Flash and Arrow in one scene.
2. Barry Becomes The FlashBarry never would have become the Flash in time to save Central City from the Weather Wizard’s tornado if he hadn’t gotten his very first game-changing pep talk from Oliver Queen. It made perfect sense that Barry would dash a few hundred miles to confide in the Starling City vigilante before deciding whether or not he could become one himself, and Oliver giving words of encouragement was a mature shift from how he had treated Barry when they first met. Just as Barry left Oliver the mask that marked him as a hero rather than the Hood, Oliver gave Barry the courage and support that he needed to become the Flash.
1. Oliver Believes In BarryPossibly the single most epic fight sequence in either Flash or Arrow to date was the showdown of superpowers vs. skills as a rage-filled Flash battled the Arrow on the streets of Central City. Barry’s arrogance got the better of him as Oliver’s discipline allowed him to get the upper hand enough times that he could have killed Barry if he was so inclined. It all paid off thanks to Oliver’s attitude that Barry didn’t have enough control. Plus, Oliver affirming that he still believed in his speedster buddy was as close to an “I love you” as Oliver has delivered to anybody other than Felicity or his family. They beat the stuffing out of each other, but Barry and Oliver still left the scene together. Was it partly because they were both too injured to walk upright? Sure. But the bromance was strong.
Sorry, though, Cisco. It totally wasn’t a tie.
The Flash airs on Tuesday nights at 8 p.m. ET, and Arrow airs on Wednesday nights at 8 p.m. ET.