The pair met while writing for and filming The Office, where they “kind of fell in love through doing that, and then dated on and off for a couple of years,” Kaling told Vulture in 2012.
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The pair, who played onscreen, on-and-off couple Kelly and Ryan, dated on and off for a few years between 2004 and 2007, before ultimately calling it quits.
Novak told Vulture in 2012, “No one, including us, ever really knew, ‘Is this dating? Is this not dating?’ We were never really dating, we were never really not dating. We didn’t know. No one knew. All you’d know for sure was that you’d always find one of us next to the other, even if we weren’t getting along.”
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So fine, they have a complicated relationship. But would you just look at the way he looks at her?! This is from New Year’s Eve, 2013.
“We kind of fell in love through [writing for the show], and then dated on and off for a couple of years, and now we are just, like, best friends,” Kaling told Vulture in 2012. “Like, real best friends. It’s the kind of friendship you have when you are embedded with someone, that you can only get by putting in that insane amount of time with people.”
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Kaling told InStyle in 2015, “He is not my boyfriend, but he is not my best friend. I guess you could describe our relationship as a ‘romantically charged camaraderie with loud arguments,’ but I don’t think Facebook would accept this as a new status.”
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“We’re soup snakes. B.J. and I are soup snakes,” Kaling wrote in her book, Why Not Me.
It’s a reference to The Office, when Michael Scott tries to say that his ex, Holly, is his soulmate, but instead says “soup snakes.”
“‘Soul mates’ is what you aim for, but soup snakes is what you get sometimes,” Kaling explains.
Judging from this photo from Kaling’s birthday in June 2019, we agree.
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B.J. said of being Kaling’s best friend, “It is a fantastic relationship with a lot of shorthand. I feel so lucky that I get a brilliant text from Mindy Kaling, like, once an hour. It’s like something you’d win at an auction — Mindy Kaling will blow up your phone!”
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Novak said in a Reddit AMA session that he and Mindy have always been close. “I was closest with Mindy Kaling, and also least close with Mindy Kaling, on a minute-by-minute basis,” he shared. “And I wouldn’t trade it for the world. Actually, I would trade it for the world. What am I talking about: I’d trade it for a more consistently positive relationship with Mindy Kaling. She’s the best.”
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But really, y’all, they’re not dating. Novak told Entertainment Weekly in 2013, “We are pretty inseparable best friends with a lot of chemistry ourselves, and we’re not dating. Whenever we date anyone else, I think there’s a period where the person is very skeptical of our friendship.”
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In 2013, they proved that they are amazing at taking photobooth photos.
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And defended their title of cutest couple* with these Vanity Fair photo booth shots from 2018.
*We know they’re not a couple, but let us live.
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One year later, they cozied up once more in the photobooth at the Vanity Fair Oscar Party. Like fine wine, their friendship only gets better with age.
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They are the perfect red carpet dates. Here they are at the Golden Globes in 2010.
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Kaling says that the best thing about Novak is his belief in her. “We are so different and we fight a lot, but the gift he has always given me is the utter and total belief that I am one of the greats. And it is an intoxicating feeling,” Kaling explained to The Guardian.
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They have a long-standing tradition of attending the Vanity Fair Oscar Party together, which started in 2014.
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They also went together in 2017.
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And, naturally, 2019.
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This year makes their fifth party together, and the pair have somehow managed to look more and more adorable with each passing year. Maybe we’ve just got relationship-tinted glasses on, though.
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Kaling revealed that Novak is her daughter Katherine’s godfather. She told Good Housekeeping, “If I was on the outside looking at it, I would think the same thing,” she said. “But the truth is that B.J. is so much more like family now than a platonic friend. He’s the godfather to my daughter, he comes over like once a week. Sometimes he’ll come over just to hang out with her.”
Kaling has yet to reveal who the father of her daughter is.
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She also said of Novak, “In the When Harry Met Sally version of platonic friends, I too think that’s strange, but when you’ve known someone for as long as I’ve known him — the time that we met each other, which was like 24. Now, we’re both almost 40. It’s such a long time that he truly is just a part of my family.”
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Well, I guess we’ll just have to keep hoping that these soup snakes end up together.
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