When it comes to love, newspaper columnist Carrie makes all the wrong choices. But when it comes to shoes? Hardly a single misstep. Carrie's search for "real love…ridiculous, inconvenient, consuming, can't-live-without-each-other love" while she struggles to maintain her identity is what drives Sex and the City. But it's her friendships with Miranda, Samantha and Charlotte that give the show its heart and soul. The men in Carrie's life may come and go—and in some cases come back again—but her friends are her constants, reliably there whenever she needs a laugh, a reality check or a Cosmopolitan to take her mind off of her romantic disappointment du jour. Out of all the men Carrie dates, though, it's Mr. Big who looms the largest and touches something so deep inside her that she can't shake the feeling that they're meant to be together despite all the heartache she endures from loving him. Eventually she learns that the right man is the one who loves her for who she is. Thanks to Carrie we will always keep our Manolos, Fendi baguettes and nameplate necklaces close to our hearts.
A driven and fabulously successful lawyer, Miranda is often the whiskey to Carrie's champagne—and she is hell-bent on staying that way until a relationship and motherhood sneak up on her. Bartender Steve Brady isn't an obvious partner for the pragmatic, opinionated Miranda, and it takes some convincing for her to see this working-class hero as anything other than a one-night stand. But despite some setbacks and a couple of breakups, their love grows and deepens when Miranda unexpectedly finds herself pregnant by Steve and the two must navigate parenthood even though they're no longer a couple. Baby Brady brings out all Miranda's vulnerabilities that she works as hard to ignore as she does to make partner at her law firm. And once she accepts her softer side she finally sees Steve as he sees Brady: "the one." Miranda is as fierce a friend as she is an attorney—even if she manages to piss off the girls with her outspoken commentary every now and again. Yet her struggle to have it all continues because the fiery redhead is unwilling to give up anything, especially her friends.
Even though Charlotte goes from being a preppy WASP with high standards to being a preppy Jew with equally high but somewhat different standards, neither her hairstyle nor her optimistic view of love and life change much despite being thrown every dating curveball in the book. Charlotte, being the most traditional of the group, is on a mission to find the ideal husband. But despite this single-mindedness, there's more to this pastel sweater-wearing Pollyanna than meets the eye as she survives one heartbreaking test of faith after another. She continually proves her resilience after her fairytale marriage to Dr. Trey MacDougal falls apart and even when she unexpectedly finds the love of her life in her divorce lawyer, the less-than-handsome Harry Goldenblatt, and suffers a devastating miscarriage. But this Park Avenue Princess is a trooper. And although she comes out a bit wearier in the end, she winds up being a much wiser woman than the girl who had been waiting around for her perfect prince to appear.
Hands-down, Samantha is the most adventurous, wild and fearless of the four women but in some ways, she's also the most loyal. She's the last one to judge her friends and their choices, mainly because hers are often so outrageous. This brazen publicist is as ambitious in bed as she is about landing high-profile clients for her hot PR firm. But despite her aversion to monogamy, it turns out that this sexy siren is not immune to love and the vulnerability that comes along with it. Her rocky relationship with hotelier Richard Wright proves that. Realizing she has feelings for Richard, she ventures outside of her comfort zone of emotion-free sex and suggests they try being monogamous. But even though Richard manages to break her heart—a feat rarely achieved by the many men who came before him—Samantha bounces back and lands a hot waiter, Smith Jerrod, whom she turns into Hollywood's next big thing even as she battles breast cancer. And Smith, who stands by her through her illness as fiercely as the girls do, quietly turns Samantha into the least expected thing of all: a hand-holding girlfriend.