Study Guide

Forrest Gump Friendship

Friendship

FORREST: She was my most special friend. My only friend.

When Forrest reminisces about his childhood, just about the first thing he tells us is that Jenny was his only friend. She's nice to him, so it makes sense that he would develop a deep attachment to her. But it sure doesn't hurt that she's cute.

FORREST: Anyway, Jenny and me was best friends all the way up through high school.

Based on Forrest's memories, Jenny is also Forrest's only friend since we don't get any evidence suggesting there are other friends in the picture. Their loss. Forrest may not be a smart man, but he sure does know how to look after his friends.

FORREST: Bubba was my best good friend. I had to make sure he was OK.

To Forrest, the number-one duty of friendship is to look out for each other, just like he and Jenny (he thinks) do. When things go bad in a military operation, Forrest puts himself in harm's way a half-dozen times searching for Bubba. Take note, high school bullies. This is the kind of guy you want on your side.

FORREST: Then Bubba said something I won't ever forget.

BUBBA: I want to go home.

FORREST: Bubba was my best good friend.

Is a ninja cutting onions in here? The competition for "Most Tear-Worthy Death" is tight in Forrest Gump, but this scene between two friends who have a lot of love to give—and not many takers for it—might top them all. If you can watch this dry-eyed—well, send your extra tissues over to us.

FORREST: A good friend of mine was in the bed right next door.

We've all met those people who don't seem to get when someone doesn't like them, right? That's Forrest here, who's completely oblivious that Lt. Dan hates him for pulling him away from the battlefield. Ha ha, Lt. Dan, the joke's on you—you're going to end up with millions of dollars and a sweet pair of prosthetic legs. Now, that's friendship.

FORREST: She showed me around and introduced me to some of her new friends.

Jenny is smart, but she doesn't have Forrest's talent for friendship. Her new group of "friends" is more interested in big talk than in standing up for her or showing loyalty or kindness. Too bad that it takes Jenny an entire movie to realize what true friendship looks like.

WESLEY: Who's the baby killer?

JENNY: This is my friend I told you about.

Big words from a guy who's two seconds away from hitting Jenny in the face. Forrest may be wearing the uniform of a baby killer, but Wesley is the violent one—and again, we see just how bad Jenny is at judging character. With friends like Wesley, who needs enemies?

LENORE: Is your friend stupid or something?

LT. DAN: What did you say?

Lt. Dan isn't Forrest's number-one fan, but he's not going to let anyone else talk smack about him. (Kind of like how it's fine for you to roll your eyes at your parents, but no one else better look at them sideways.) Lt. Dan might not know how to show it yet, but we're getting the sense that he's recognizing Forrest as a true friend.

JENNY: This is an old friend from Alabama.

At this point, Jenny and Forrest are each other's longest relationships. "Friend" almost seems like too small a word for what they are to each other. Of course, pretty soon they're going to be more.

JENNY: This is my good friend, Mr. Gump. Can you say hi?

FORREST JR.: Hello, Mr. Gump.

FORREST: Hello.

By the end of the movie, we get the sense that the best part of Jenny's character is the part that recognizes the value of Forrest's friendship—and she knows it. By introducing him to her son, she's doing the best she can to give Forrest Jr. a good start on life: giving him a friend (not to mention a father) who will always be loyal and true.

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