'Never Have I Ever' Cast

5 Tried-and-True Lessons About Friendship To Take Away From ‘Never Have I Ever’ Season 4

Devi Vishwakumar, Fabiola Torres, and Eleanor Wong comprise an enviable besties trifecta in Never Have I Ever. They can rely on one another. They can make mistakes together (and grow from them). They can be transparent about their desires. And they can tell each other when they’ve disappointed one another. 

Not many friendships go on for years — through battles and bickers — and grow stronger with time. Yet, this threesome, as well as a few other primary characters in Never Have I Ever, have a lot to teach us about long-lasting friendships. 

Spoiler warning for Season 4 of Never Have I Ever 

1. Friends don’t lie to one another (and if they do, they come clean) 

Devi’s dream college has always been Princeton University, and Fabiola and Eleanor know this on an intimate level. Thus, when Fabiola’s mom pushes her to apply to Princeton, she keeps it from Devi and Eleanor, as she knows Devi will have a heated response. 

Such elite institutions rarely accept more than one applicant from an everyday public school, making Fabiola’s application a threat to Devi’s lifelong aspiration. That being said, Fabiola’s “lie of omission” does come from a good place — wanting to safeguard her friendship. When the truth is finally revealed, Devi does have quite an intense reaction, yet the two get past it. The truth is almost always the cleanest gateway to reconciliation…even if it takes time. Even if it hurts.

2. Friends want what’s best for each other — even when it is not easy

Continuing the story above, Devi realizes that her reaction to Fabiola is unfair. If Fabiola wants to receive a prestigious education at Princeton, Devi should support her. Devi should rally behind her. And once Devi gets past her selfish (yet justifiable and relatable) response, she comes to imagine the two of them as roommates (If Devi were to get accepted after being waitlisted). Yet, when Fabiola tells Devi she wishes to go to Howard, as their robotics program is more aligned with her educational mission, Devi is excited for her. 

Of course, Devi would have loved to attend Princeton with her best friend, but she would never want Fabiola to make a choice that would prevent her from fulfillment. True friends want to see their friends thrive — even when it stings a little for personal reasons. 

3. “Besties before testes”

Fabiola’s ingenious reinvention of “chicks before dicks,” “pals before gals,” or “mates before dates” is memorable and tried-and-true. Fabiola says this in response to Eleanor and Devi crushing on the same bad boy who came into his own over summer vacation. When Devi and Eleanor decide that their friendship is more important than some boy — as is always the case — Fabiola utters this perfect line. It’s the new go-to now. We’re making this a thing. 

Though crushes are hard to resist. Though temptation can burn with fervor as hormones rage, boys are never worth a bestie. A high school bad boy is not going to be your forever man. And, even if such pipedreams could become reality (even if you could change him), would he be worth losing a bestie who’s had your back since childhood? 

4. Friends stand up for one another — even when the risks are high

Devi, Fabiola, Eleanor, and Ben all wind up at the same late-night party at Princeton University (a little foreshadowing of the party-heavy future that may be on the horizon). They’re enjoying the taste of freedom that the opportunity brings. Then walks in a sorry excuse for a man who’s interested in Devi. Earlier in the night, he’s told she’s still in high school and backs off. Later, with a few more drinks in his system, he comes back. When Devi nicely explains that she’s with her friends — and not interested — he picks her up from behind and tries to carry her away. Ben intervenes, and he winds up getting punched. Ben steps in to stand up for and defend Devi, as she is put in a place where she is physically threatened. 

Though Ben has feelings for Devi, it goes without saying that he would’ve done this for her even if they were in the midst of one of their most intense fights. That’s true friendship. That’s true concern. Friends stand up for one another. Friends defend one another, even when there are risks. 

5. Parents can become your best friends…as you mature 

Devi’s relationship with her mom is one of the show’s most heartwarming throughlines. Devi starts off as a typical teenager who rarely does anything but fight with her mother. Over the four-season arc, she grows into a woman who wants to see her mother thrive. In season 4, Devi even plays matchmaker for her mom — to set her up with a man she can tell she’s into (even though she is the father of her school nemesis). This is the ultimate sign of growth.

In earlier seasons, Devi would have not reacted so positively to her mother’s new love interest. (Nor would she have gotten involved to seal the deal.) This is a step forward in their dynamic — in their journey to becoming confidantes. Devi’s mom will always be there to protect her — to listen to her woes (as a mother should). But Devi is now reaching the age where she can be a support system to her mother in return. And that is the start of a beautiful parent-child dynamic turned mother-daughter best friends. 

About the author

Josh Lezmi

Josh is an entertainment writer and editor at Thought Catalog.