From the name of the show to its opening credits, everything about Birds of a Feather depends on the strong bond between Tracey and Sharon. Everyone who grew up watching the heartwarming sitcom will have learnt a lot about sisterly love from the Rackhams, so here are the five most important things any fan of Birds of a Feather will know about sisterhood...
1. SISTERS CAN BE VERY DIFFERENT FROM EACH OTHER...
They may be birds of a feather, but Sharon and Tracey are poles apart when it comes to clothes, looks, and personality. Sharon sometimes feels jealous of the more slender Tracey, and the sisters have completely different worldviews. Tracey's much more naïve than Sharon, too - when their husbands go to prison, Tracey remains adamant that Daryl is innocent, whereas Sharon is full of contempt and suspicion towards her law-breaking husband. In Sharon's words, the two sisters are "like chalk and cheese; optimist, pessimist; happy as Larry, miserable as sin; pig in mud, headache in bed!"
2. ...BUT DEEP DOWN THEY'RE VERY SIMILAR
Despite being completely different on the surface the Rackham sisters actually have a lot in common, starting with the very premise of Birds of a Feather: both Tracey and Sharon's husbands are in prison. They also share the same sense of humour and talent for cutting put-downs, especially aimed at Dorien. Only a Rackham could come up with "Everyone knows you're the most popular ride outside Alton Towers!" If you have a sister, you'll see parts of yourself in her just like Tracey and Sharon do...
3. NOT ALL YOUR SISTERS HAVE TO BE BLOOD RELATIVES
We all have friends we're so close to we forget we're not actually related to them, and for Tracey and Sharon that friend is Dorien. As much as they make fun of their vain, shallow neighbour, it's clear that the sisters do actually consider her family. When Dorien moves in with Luke, Sharon and Tracey privately admit that they miss their friend, and they prove they really do care about her. They even let her in on their family secrets, like when Sharon confesses to Dorien that she's sick of being second best to Tracey. Dorien even steps in from time to time to bring the sisters closer together, like when she schemes to get them to go on Sharon's cruise. Sometimes, your honorary family members can be just as important to you as your blood relatives.
4. YOUR SISTER KNOWS WHAT'S BEST FOR YOU
Everyone needs another opinion when making difficult decisions, and who's a better second you than your sister? Tracey's always there to convince Sharon to do the right thing, like when she tells her to take Chris's illness seriously. Equally, Sharon can always talk some sense to her sister - remember when she warned Tracey that her son may be turning into a mummy's boy? If you need some guidance, your sister can always steer you in the right direction.
5. YOUR SISTER IS YOUR BEST FRIEND
We can't all spend as much time with our siblings as Tracey and Sharon do with each other, but every sister can relate to the special bond between the two - as Aunt Sylvie says, "There's nothing like sisters." The Rackham sisters are always there for each other, starting from the very first episode when Tracey takes Sharon into her home. They tease each other and are brutally honest in ways only best friends can be, but in times of need they will drop everything for each other. When Sharon's husband is ill, Tracey is willing to forgo a visit to Daryl so that she can take her sister to the hospital to see Chris, but Sharon refuses to let her best friend give up the prison visits she looks forward to. This is when their honorary sibling, Dorien, steps in and takes Sharon to the hospital, proving Sharon's assertion that "We're going to stick together 'til the day we die."