Bernard Marx and Helmholtz Watson are friends because they both feel like outsiders. Bernard is unusually small: “eight centimeters short of the standard Alpha height” and as a result people make fun of him. Helmholtz is unusually talented: “That which had made Helmholtz so uncomfortably aware of being himself and all alone was too much ability.” In the society of the World State, everyone is supposed to be the same. Bernard and Helmholtz are unusual because they feel like individuals. The two men bond over their shared experience of not being like everybody else.