Credit: www.bigbangtheorydvd.com

Even though the number 4 is not part of the Fibonacci sequence, nor does it represent the best luck/fortune in certain countries (i.e. China), four is still an ideal number, at least for the number of friends in a social circle.

Recently it occurred to me that “friends of four” is everywhere!

The Hangover
Big Bang Theory (excluding Penny)
Sex in the City
South Park

Could it be true that a group of 4 has some kind of magical formula embedded? Let’s take a look at a quick and comprehensive comparison between groups of 2, 3, 4, 5, and more.

Group of 2: I am surrounded by lots of “friends of 2” in my life; no doubt, they are very intimate and close with one another (I am referring to friends, not couples). Of course, if the two members are opposite sex, it might be a good opportunity for them to break out of the friend zone. The problem is that once a conflict arises or if one of the friends starts dating someone else, it can result in a long-term isolation between the friends (we see this all the time). Eventually, the party dissembles and you are on your own. Did I mention that it can also get awkward between 2 very intimate guy friends?

Group of 3: Triangles are pretty stable. In a social circle, once a conflict arises between A and B, member C can immediately jump in and intermediate the problem. However, member C must always remember to be in a neutral position, which can be tough at times. Further to that, it is almost always the case that in a group of 3, 2 of the members are closer than the third guy, which will leave him or her feeling lonely and left out. Another common issue with group of 3 friends is the possible development of a love triangle. In the case of Harry Potter and his friends, it was just weird and awkward.

Credit: Harry Potter

Group of 4: The variety of experience, personality and characteristics of a 4 people group enables the group to dwell. Most importantly, unlike the group of 3, no one will feel left out. Even if two of the members get close, the other 2 will naturally form a stronger bond as well. Big Bang Theory demonstrates this concept really well, where Leonard and Sheldon can be seen as a sub-group, and Howard and Raj can be seen as the other. This structure of 2 sub-groups within a 4 member circle is definitely doing better than Harry Potter and his crew. Fundamentally speaking, 4 is an even number which makes everything, from sports to board games to roller coaster rides a lot more enjoyable.

Group of 5: The biggest problem is taxi! Instead of fitting into 1 taxi now we are forced to take 2 taxis after a night of drinking and clubbing. Aside from that, the 5th person cannot participate in sports, board games, and will also be forced to sit with a stranger on a roller coaster ride.

Group of 6 or more: it is impossible to organize anything! With your friends all getting married, having kids, while managing their careers. It is difficult to satisfy everyone’s schedule even just for a small gathering.

This is my opinion on why groups of 4 are so common in our society. Comment below and let me know what you think.