Every group of friends is a group for a reason. Everyone has their ups and downs, their strengths and weaknesses. Much as sports teams have people playing their own positions as people for the benefit of the group.

While there may be overlap and other positions, here are the five most common and important friends in every friend group.


1: The Leader

Everyone has an idea. Sort of. Maybe we should go here, maybe we should go there. That bar sounds cool, I guess, right? Well maybe isn’t good enough for a plan. Every group needs someone who has enough boldness to make the decisions and take the group out. The leader is the one who makes definite plans while everyone else talks about maybe and he’s the leader for a reason and there should be a silent or not so silent recognition of it. You can’t have a power struggle with your friend leader.

A friend-leader’s duty is to provide for the friend group, figure out the plans, and be the first man in action in case of problems.


2: The Wild Card

If you just went to a party on a monday night that involved Patron shots and german girls rapping and you’re not quite sure how you got there, congratulations: you’re the wild card.

The wild card is the most celebrated member of the group in popular culture but he comes with drawbacks. The wild card is generally less competent than the others, often frustratingly so. This is why your friend-group needs at least as many leaders as it has wild card members. Because the wild card member’s going to need “a little help” more often than you; he’s going to be bad at cleaning, being on time, and might need to borrow four bucks over and over.

But now and then, it’s worth it.

Wild Card friends are free lottery tickets. They’re nice to have around, sure, but mostly they don’t do anything crazy. But sometimes they do, and every friend group needs that now-and-then type absurdity a wild card friend can bring to the table. A good wild card friend can change your night and life wildly, helping both of them take wild and cool turns into strangeness. They’re the ones to push reckless cool ideas, to make friends and introduce them to a bar, and to make things go off-script. If you’re wild card friend doesn’t, get rid of them. They’re not really a wild-card then.


3: The Easy Going One

The difference between one and two people is enormous. You can’t get lunch by yourself, but you and your friend can easily conquer burgers. Know nobody at the party? Yikes. But if you know even one other person, you’re in much better shape.

Your easy going friend is the secret glue of the group. Because so far it’s been the leader and the wild card, but they’re only as good as the group. They can’t make good stuff happen without people and the easy-going one is the first to do it. By jumping on plans- they already ate, but they’ll come to dinner, or they have a girlfriend but yeah, let’s go find girls at bars, he’ll wingman- he turns any idea into action. An idea is one person speaking. A plan is two people doing it.

The easy going one is the most important member of the group. You don’t want extra leaders or wild-cards, but you want more of these guys.


4: Opposite Chill Gender

You could also have a few of these around. Besides being cool friends of yours, your opposite chill-gender friends are up their on the helpful list. They aren’t your friends just because they’re the other gender, but boy does it help. Throwing a party together suddenly looks balanced to people who come by, going to a bar or a club suddenly becomes doable, and getting very basic advice (do not wear that hat, Lev) that you spent your whole life not getting comes out, occasionally yelled, all to help you out.

One last thing; they are not to hook up with. They are your friends. However: they also have other friends. And those other friends are fair game.


5: Donatello

Remember the Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles? Well in it, they list the turtles and all their specialties. And they said “And Donatello does machines.” Besides being grammatically odd (he does machines?) I always thought that was lame.

That was before I had a friend with a car.

Again, they aren’t your friend because they have a car, or a grill, or are 21, or have any of the other key perks that make them so important. But it’s that they’re your friend…and they have this anyway. That little bonus is a game changer that makes everything possible. It’s the perk that changes everything for the group, and it’s crazy under-rated. So congratulate your Donotello and buy him a beer next time you see him. He’s the final spice that makes the while group possible.