'Broad City' quiz: Are you the Abbi or the Ilana in your friendships?

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Think of a friendship that is very important to you: are you the Abbi or the Ilana?


The second season finale of Broad City airs tonight at 10:30 on Comedy Central. The show's twentysomething best friends (played by IRL BFFs and series creators Abbi Jacobson and Ilana Glazer) complement each other beautifully. Ilana is an unabashedly sexual, unabashedly weird free spirit. Abbi is an aspiring artist stuck cleaning toilets at a trendy gym. To borrow another pop culture taxonomy, Abbi is Paul plus George and Ilana is John plus Ringo.

Arrested Development alum Alia Shawkat, who recently appeared on Broad City as Ilana's doppelgänger hookup, told Salon that she sees herself as "more of an Ilana" than an Abbi.

"I hope that becomes a household question," she said. "Instead of 'Are you a Samantha or a Carrie?' people are like, 'Are you an Ilana or an Abbi?'"

Shawkat's onto something here. We're convinced that every friendship, every relationship, can be mapped onto the Broad City model. One person typically plays the part of the brave, mischief-inciting Loki figure (Ilana!), while the other serves as a more grounding, practical, and neurotic influence (Abbi!). Consider your best friend or your significant other: I think you'll find that you already know which role they fill in your life.

That's not to say your loved ones will necessarily agree with you. I believe I'm the Abbi to my college roommate's Ilana; she believes that she's the Abbi to my Ilana. My boyfriend and I are stubbornly convinced that we are each other's Ilanas, which, if anything, is probably proof that we are both Abbis.

I asked my friends how they identify themselves in the great Abbi-Ilana dichotomy. The verdict: it varies, depending on the relationship.


"Generally Abbi, but I play the Ilana in at least one key friendship," wrote one. "I'm the Abbi and Ilana to different people," said another.

I suspect that it's generally easier to relate to Abbi, because we witness more of her anxiety and insecurities, whereas Ilana floats through the city trailing a beautiful cloud of weed smoke. But deep down, we all have traits of both women. If Ilana embodies our id, Abbi embodies our ego — but she's still a long ways off from our superego.


So, are you the Abbi or the Ilana? Ask your friends for guaranteed interesting brunch conversation. In the meantime, take our quiz.


Molly Fitzpatrick is senior editor of Fusion's Pop & Culture section. Her interests include movies about movies, TV shows about TV shows, and movies about TV shows, but not so much TV shows about movies.