10 TV Couples Who Kept Their Appeal After The “Will They, Won’t They” Stage Ended

Summary

  • Strong chemistry between a central couple is essential for their relationship to remain compelling even after the initial conflict is resolved.
  • Romantic relationships in TV shows add depth, development, and audience interest. They serve as a relatable way to convey the themes and tone of a show.
  • Successful TV relationships are good for both the story and the characters involved, as they provide ongoing conflict and growth opportunities.


There is often a couple in a TV show with a will-they-won’t-they dynamic that lends itself to the drama and stakes of the show, but only the best relationships can stay relevant after the conflict comes to an end. The chemistry between the central couple must be strong enough that the interactions between the characters remain charged and full of intrigue, even if the relationship is safe and sound. A key indicator that a relationship is working is if the complications that arise after the couple commits to each other are just as compelling as whether or not they’ll get together.

In a series, romance between characters may not be the driving force of the plot, but it can add a lot to the story. Interpersonal relationships are the backbone of development, conflict, and how interested the audience is in the characters onscreen. A lot can be learned from how a character presents themselves in a relationship, and having a couple to root for, or against, is a relatable way to communicate the themes and tone of a show. Not every partnership will make it to the end of a series, but the ones that do aren’t just good for the story but are also good for each other.

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10 Amy & Jake – Brooklyn Nine-Nine (2013 – 2021)

Get together in season 3

Jake and Amy kissing in Brooklyn 99.

Brooklyn Nine-Nine

Release Date
September 17, 2013

Cast
Stephanie Beatriz , Melissa Fumero , Andy Samberg , Andre Braugher , Joel McKinnon Miller , Dirk Blocker , Terry Crews , Chelsea Peretti , Joe Lo Truglio

Rating
TV-14

Seasons
8

Story By
Michael Schur

Writers
Michael Schur , Dan Goor

Showrunner
Michael Schur , Dan Goor

Not just will-they-won’t-they, but also enemies to lovers, Amy (Melissa Fumero) and Jake (Andy Samberg) might be an unlikely couple on paper, but they remained a compelling pair until the end of the series. After they realized they had feelings for each other, there were a few false starts as they adapted to being both coworkers and in a relationship, but once they got going, nothing would tear them apart. Jake and Amy make it work because the competitive edge between them tinges their romance, keeping things interesting. Additionally, their different outlooks and approaches to life lead to domestic conflicts that would play out similarly in the real world.

9 Ben & Leslie – Parks And Recreation (2009 – 2015)

Get together in season 3

Parks and Recreation

Release Date
April 9, 2009

Cast
Amy Poehler , Nick Offerman , ​Chris Pratt2 , Aubrey Plaza , Adam Scott , Rashida Jones , Retta , Jim O’Heir , Aziz Ansari , Rob Lowe

Genres
Sitcom , Comedy , Mockumentary

Seasons
7

Story By
Michael Schur, Michael offerman

Writers
Michael Schur , Nick Offerman

Streaming Service(s)
fuboTV , Peacock

Directors
Michael Schur

Showrunner
Michael Schur

Though their relationship officially starts in season 3, Leslie (Amy Poehler) and Ben (Adam Scott) hit some roadblocks because of their ambitions and the bureaucracy of the local government. When Leslie decides to run for office, they must end their relationship to avoid a scandal, but this pause doesn’t last because they’re miserable without each other. Throughout the series, they each sacrifice a lot for each other because the foundation of mutual respect between them is so strong, and they want to see the other succeed. Thanks to the strong personalities of both characters, there’s never any shortage of miscommunications or new goals to keep things interesting.

Related

Parks And Recreation: 10 Most Important Ben & Leslie Episodes

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8 Nathan & Haley – One Tree Hill (2003 – 2012)

Get together season 1

Nathan and Haley from One Tree Hill looking at each other

One Tree Hill

Release Date
September 23, 2003

Cast
Chad Michael Murray , James Lafferty , Hilarie Burton , Paul Johansson , Sophia Bush , Barry Corbin , Craig Sheffer , Bethany Joy Lenz , Moira Kelly

Rating
TV-14

Seasons
9

Streaming Service(s)
Max

Showrunner
Mark Schwahn

Though Nathan (James Lafferty) is first introduced as an antagonist in One Tree Hill, his relationship with Haley (Bethany Joy Lenz) becomes the beating heart of the series. The couple makes the shocking decision to get married at the end of season 1, and though many roadblocks lie ahead, the love they have for each other never falters. What makes their relationship so compelling is the external drama of Tree Hill and that they are an example of stability in contrast to their friend’s love lives. Additionally, since they get together so early, the audience gets to watch them experience all the happy milestones a couple goes through.

7 Emma & Killian – Once Upon A Time (2011 – 2018)

Get together season 4

Emma Swan (Jennifer Morrison) and Captain Hook (Colin O'Donoghue) in Once Upon a Time

Once Upon A Time

Release Date
October 3, 2011

Cast
Ginnifer Goodwin , josh dallas , Lana Parrilla , Robert Carlyle , Jennifer Morrison , Jared Gilmore

Seasons
7

Story By
adam horowitz

Writers
Adam Horowitz

Directors
Christopher Gorham

Showrunner
Adam Horowitz

It takes a moment for Emma (Jennifer Morrison) to bring down her walls and let Killian aka Captain Hook (Colin O’Donoghue) in on Once Upon A Time. Being the savior has been no easy task, and Emma has faced a good deal of abandonment, so deciding to see through their relationship is a big step for her. Killian proved himself and his love for Emma and that can be seen through all the best Hook and Emma quotes about their love for each other.

Of course, in Storybrooke there’s always one catastrophe after another, so after learning to trust each other, fate keeps getting in the way. Luckily, the resounding theme of the series is that love is worth fighting for, and the love between them is. Their story is appealing because within the relationship they both still have growing to do.

6 Aria & Ezra – Pretty Little Liars (2010 – 2017)

Get together season 1

Lucy Hale and Ian Harding as Aria and Ezra getting Married at the Altar in Pretty Little Liars

Pretty Little Liars

Release Date
June 8, 2010

Cast
Troian Bellisario , Ashley Benson , Holly Marie Combs , Lucy Hale , Bianca Lawson , Laura Leighton , Chad Lowe , Shay Mitchell , Nia Peeples , Ian Harding

Rating
TV-14

Seasons
7

Story By
Sara Shepard

Writers
Ina Marlene King

Franchise(s)
Pretty Little Liars

Showrunner
Ina Marlene King

Although an altogether problematic relationship, the nature of Pretty Little Liars made for compelling TV when it came to Aria (Lucy Hale) and Ezra (Ian Harding). The pair start dating when Ezra is Aria’s high school English teacher, a terrible beginning, but it does keep a significant amount of intrigue. The situation requires that they grapple with first how to keep their relationship a secret, and then how to get people to accept them when they go public.

Throughout all of this, “A”, Aria’s blackmailer, does everything in their power to complicate their relationship and put Aria’s life in jeopardy. As with the other girls in the series, Aria is kept so busy trying to track down “A” and solve numerous mysteries, that she only has time for one significant relationship. Even if it’s obvious that the pair could never have eyes for anyone but each other, it’s still a fun ride to see how they get there.

5 Damon & Elena – The Vampire Diaries (2009 – 2017)

Get together season 4

The Vampire Diaries

Cast
Nina Dobrev , Ian Somerhalder , Steven R. McQueen , Paul Wesley , Kat Graham , Michael Trevino , Michael Malarkey , Zach Roerig , Candice King , Matthew Davis

Seasons
8

Franchise
The Vampire Diaries

Story By
L.J. Smith

Writers
Julie Plec , Kevin Williamson , L.J. Smith

Directors
John Dahl

Showrunner
Julie Plec

Damon (Ian Somerhalder) might start as the bad boy who turns Elena’s (Nina Dobrev) head, but their relationship quickly blossoms into one of deep commitment, trust, and love. The love triangle between Damon, Elena, and Damon’s brother Stefan (Paul Wesley) is full of twists and complications. However, it’s clear to see that Elena and Damon have a chemistry that stands the test of time.

Despite this, once Elena puts an end to the tension and officially chooses Damon, they have a rough road ahead. Damon must learn to be a better man for Elena, and Elena undergoes terrible losses that leave her uncertain about the future. Though this is difficult, these external factors keep the relationship an integral part of the series.

4 Rachel & Finn – Glee (2009 – 2015)

Get together season 1

Cory Monteith as Finn Hudson and Lea Michele as Rachel Berry Holding Hands in the Hallway in Glee

Glee

Release Date
May 19, 2009

Cast
Dianna Agron , Chris Colfer , Jessalyn Gilsig , Jane Lynch , Jayma Mays , Kevin McHale , Lea Michele , Cory Monteith , Matthew Morrison , Amber Riley

Rating
TV-14

Seasons
6

Network
FOX

Streaming Service(s)
Hulu

In Glee, Finn (Cory Monteith) does not immediately see Rachel (Lea Michelle) as a viable romantic partner, but once he does, there’s no going back. Though an unexpected pair, they bring out the best in each other, and prove their love time and again. What often comes between them is Rachel’s insecurities that Finn doesn’t find her attractive or desirable, and Finn’s confusion about his direction and purpose in life. These conflicts of interest frequently come to a head in their relationship, adding drama while they are committed to each other.

3 Cory & Topanga – Boy Meets World (1993 – 2000)

Get together season 3

Topanga and Cory after Topanga's haircut on Boy Meets World.

Boy Meets World

Release Date
September 24, 1993

Cast
Ben Savage , William Daniels , Will Friedle , Rider Strong , Lee Norris , Lindsay Ridgeway , Danielle Fishel , Alex Désert , Maitland Ward

Genres
Sitcom

Seasons
7

Story By
Michael Jacobs

Writers
Michael Jacobs

Streaming Service(s)
Disney+ , Hulu , Apple TV+

Directors
Michael Jacobs

Showrunner
Michael Jacobs

Boy Meets World was in the unique position to track the growth of its characters from childhood to adulthood realistically and truthfully. Part of this is due to the development of Cory’s (Ben Savage) and Topanga’s (Danielle Fishel) relationship that blossoms before the eyes of the viewers. Though they get together quite early in the series, the growing pains of young love are far from easy and rife with conflict for the series to mine. Seeing their affection for each other mature from puppy love to adult commitment is a captivating portion of the show.

2 Mike & Rachel – Suits (2011 – 2019)

Get together season 3

Mike and Rachel in Suits

Suits

Release Date
June 23, 2011

Cast
Patrick J. Adams , Sarah Rafferty , Gabriel Macht , Meghan Markle , Rick Hoffman , Gina Torres

Seasons
9

Story By
aaron korsh

Writers
Aaron Korsh

Directors
Aaron Korsh

Showrunner
Aaron Korsh

Though Donna (Sarah Rafferty) and Harvey (Gabriel Macht) have some of the longest slow-burn romantic tension in Suits, Mike (Patrick J. Adams) and Rachel (Meghan Markle) get most of the spotlight. This is for good reason, as even after they admit their feelings and fall deeply in love, there are plenty of obstacles standing between them and their happily ever after. The biggest conflict on the show, Mike’s false law credentials, is a frequent blockage to their ultimate happiness, and Rachel has ambitions of her own that are sometimes diminished by Mike’s drama. Fortunately, even these issues cannot stop the couple from being together, as their love is true.

1 Meredith & Derek – Grey’s Anatomy (2005 – )

Get together season 1

Grey’s Anatomy

Release Date
March 27, 2005

Cast
Kelly McCreary , Patrick Dempsey , Kevin McKidd , Chandra Wilson , Jesse Williams , Jake Borelli , camilla luddington , Ellen Pompeo , Chyler Leigh , Eric Dane , Caterina Scorsone , Giacomo Gianniotti , Anthony Hill , Kate Walsh , Justin Chambers , Sarah Drew , Greg Germann , Martin Henderson , Katherine Heigl , T.R. Knight , Sara Ramirez , Jerrika Hinton , Richard Flood , Sandra Oh , Kim Raver , Jason George , Tessa Ferrer , Isaiah Washington , James Pickens Jr. , Gaius Charles , Chris Carmack , Brooke Smith , Jessica Capshaw

Seasons
19

Story By
shonda rhimes

Writers
Shonda Rhimes , Julie Wong , Jen Klein , Tameson Duffy , Meg Marinis

Directors
Rob Corn , Kevin McKidd , Debbie Allen , Chandra Wilson , Allison Liddi-Brown , Jeannot Szwarc , Tony Phelan

Showrunner
Meg Marinis

On Grey’s Anatomy, there are many amazing couples, and plenty of drama to keep Meredith (Ellen Pompeo) and Derek (Patrick Dempsey) busy. However, it’s hard to argue against the fact that Meredith and Derek are the best couple on Grey’s Anatomy. Only Derek had the patience and devotion to wait for Meredith to be ready for every step of their relationship, and he is the only man for whom Meredith could have been able to overcome her issues. In the hospital, there are plenty of personal and professional complications that come between them, but only the tragedy of Derek’s passing could have brought an end to their epic romance.