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On various occasions, Data remarks that Geordi is his best friend onboard the Enterprise. Does Geordi think the same of Data? Somehow I think that Geordi would consider a fellow human to be his best friend, but I am not certain.

Does anything in canon answer this question?

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    What is a 'best' friend anyway? It certainly seems that Data appeared to be one of Geordi's closest friends amongst the Enterprise-D crew. Also, contrary to the strict definition some people have multiple 'best friends', they just use the term to describe acquaintances that are the most close to them. – Zoredache Sep 16 '14 at 20:51
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    Friends help you move. Real friends, help you move bodies. In this instance you are a person living in the 21st century equating humanity with being composed of flesh. In all the ways that matter, Data is a human being and as self-realized as any organic person on the Enterprise. It is not unreasonable to assume that two men with an interesting in science and engineering at the very tops of their field would form a bond of friendship, especially considering the challenges they have seen. Twain said "Clothes make the man." On Star Trek, we have repeated learned 'Mind makes the person." – Thaddeus Howze Sep 16 '14 at 21:57
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    When you are in a closed environment working w/ a small group on a daily basis, where life-and-death hang in the balance, you form strong bonds. Anyone who has served in the military will tell you this. The nature of that service does mean you won't serve w/ the same group throughout your carer. It has been my experience that within the group you serve one or more of those will become your 'best friend'. Once you move to another command others will fill those gaps. You may still consider someone from your last assignment a 'best friend' but necessity requires you to form those bonds anew. – Hikaru Ichijyo Sep 17 '14 at 5:22
  • He used to. Then Picard ordered him to make Reg Barclay his best friend. So Geordi silently, tearfully, bade Data goodbye forever in his heart, and wearily started weaving a new pair of friendship bracelets. – Paul D. Waite Nov 7 '17 at 11:53
6

There is plenty of evidence to suggest Geordi can have a best friend that is artificial.

  • He fell in love with the holographic program of Leah Brahms.
  • He took considerable interest and care for Hugh, who was half machine.
  • Geordi's Memory Alpha entry states his best friend is Data.
  • Interestingly enough, LaVar Burton's best man at his wedding was Brent Spiner.
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    I'm not sure point four supports the answer but it's certainly an interesting fact! – Liath Sep 18 '14 at 6:36
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    For the last point, best man was probably going to be Patrick Stewart, and Spiner shaved his head and imitated his voice all weekend. ;-) – corsiKa Sep 22 '15 at 22:19
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    The episode where Data's sentience and right to resign from Starfleet is on trial (somewhere in S2); Geordi is notably upset during the goodbye party because Data is resigning from Starfleet, while everyone else (Riker, Troi, Wes) is keeping a pleasant tone. It doesn't prove the best friend argument, but it strongly supports the notion that Geordi feels more strongly about Data than anyone else. – Flater Nov 7 '17 at 14:16
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Data and Geordi have a close relationship, for sure. During the development of TNG, the characters had a kinship because they both saw the world differently than the other crew. Here's a clip from a Gizmodo intervew with LeVar Burton.

We noticed that Geordi was often the character who seemed to identify with cyborgs and robots the most. He's close friends with Data, and when Hugh the Borg comes aboard the Enterprise, Geordi is the first character to reach out to him. So we wondered if Burton thought that Geordi saw himself as a cyborg. Burton responds:

No, not at all. But — and this is little-known Trek lore — in the audition sides for the character, during the casting process, there was a scene that Gene Roddenberry wrote between Geordi and Data, that established their relationship. And in that scene, Geordi and Data discussed how Geordi's eyes and Data's brain saw the world in a very similar way. They saw the truth of the world around them. And so, in the scene that Gene wrote, they formed a team, and they called themselves the Perceivers, because their perceptions were alike.

And even though the Perceivers thing never made it to the pilot episode, the relationship between Geordi and Data certainly did. And I think that that aspect of Geordi that sees the world around him in a much more truthful manner, and his vision as he interprets it through the VISOR — there's a way that he interprets the world and sees the world slightly differently than the other humans around him, which I think gives him more compassion. That's the one thing I hear from people more than anyone else — that they get that Geordi is a little looser than everybody else, and that he's really more accepting. And I think that accessibility comes from his compassion.

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Geordi La Forge's profile in the DK factbook The Star Trek Book bluntly identifies Data as being Geordi's closest friend.

Close friendships

The android, Data, was La Forge’s closest friend, and the pair often worked on engineering problems together. La Forge made it his personal mission to help Data in his quest to understand what it means to be Human. The pair often role-played in holodeck simulations of Sherlock Holmes stories, with Data assuming the role of Holmes and La Forge playing Dr. Watson.

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By the Canon, as ensign on the U.S.S. Victory, he was saved from a parasite infection on Tarchannen IV and only his close friendship with another crewmate Susanna Leitjen saved him; so here is someone who should be his best friend. However, the best friend of Geordi is Data according to most of the records.

  • It seems that your answer to the question is "Yes, Geordi considers Data to be his best friend". In that case it might be better to provide some of the evidence you refer to rather than dwell on why you think someone else should be his best friend, – Blackwood Aug 30 '17 at 23:31
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Yes

According to the canonical Star Trek: The Next Generation Writer/Director's Guide on the entry about Geordi:

His closest friend is Data, and the two of them are particularly efficient when working together on away missions pg 7

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