Ask the Mary Sues: Which Fictional Characters Should Have Ended up Together?
If your one true pairing never happened, would that make it a NOTP?
SPOILER ALERT: We’re discussing the ending of Hulu’s Happiest Season.
It’s been a week since the queer Christmas romcom Happiest Season debuted on Hulu, and the film is still inspiring fierce reactions from viewers. While it received generally favorable reviews and became Hulu’s most-watched movie debut, many have called out lead character Harper (Mackenzie Davis) for her toxic behavior as she alternately ignores girlfriend Abby (Kristen Stewart) and forces her back into the closet to please her family.
But aside from Harper’s bad behavior, viewers couldn’t get enough of Abby’s chemistry with Riley (Aubrey Plaza). In fact, many were upset that Abby and Riley don’t ride off into the sunset together leaving closet case Harper behind. Director Clea DuVall addressed the fan response in a new interview saying, “I think showcasing that and watching two women have an intimate connection that doesn’t need to be romantic is really important because it is such an important part of our community.”
Fair enough. But Abby and Riley’s lack of a hook-up got us wondering about other fictional non-couple couples that should have been endgame. From Duckie and Andie in Pretty in Pink to Harry and Hermione, pop culture is littered with couples that coulda woulda shoulda been a thing. Here are some of our top picks.
The MCU is great at a lot of things, but it almost always stumbles when it comes to romance. Case in point: they spent all of Captain America: Winter Soldier building on the chemistry between Chris Evans and Scarlett Johansson, only to jettison that almost relationship. Instead, we get the awkward Black Widow/Hulk relationship and the non-starter that was Steve and Sharon Carter (Emily VanCamp). Steve and Natasha not only have great banter, but they complement each other nicely. Natasha encourages Steve to break the rules while he helps her with her trust issues. I’ve written about Romanogers before, but it bears repeating. Together, they’re unstoppable.
So I abandoned Naruto a long time ago, but was stunned to find out that Sasuke and Sakura got married when they had zero chemistry. The only character Sasuke had any remote chemistry with was Naruto. I get that Shounen anime rarely has male/male endgame but damn, it would’ve made more sense for Sasuke to be single by the end of the series if you don’t want him with the only character he acknowledges having a bond with.
Listen, I know I’m being problematic or something here because we’re not supposed to like the creepy stalker guys but … Christine really should have stuck with The Phantom of the Opera and ditched boring old Raoul. I mean the Phantom has style, he’s talented and creative, he’s got a neat pad with a view of the water and he’s hella supportive of Christine’s career! Way better than marrying your teen crush.
Now my first instinct with this was to go for Zutara aka Zuko and Katara from Avatar: the Last Airbender, but then I remembered that Shawn and Angela were torn apart by the monstrosity that was Girl Meets World. After three seasons where their up and down relationship was an emotional core, they are broken up for no reason and Angela is pretty much a non character despite being best friends with all the adult characters. It sucked to have such an iconic couple be gutted in the lackluster sequel series.
Let’s be real: Poe Dameron and Finn acted like a trademarked Married (capital M) couple. They were aggressively in love with each other and YET? Yes, a huge part of it was that Star Wars was probably too afraid to lean into it, but you cannot tell me that Poe was not attracted to Finn. He saw Finn wearing his jacket and bit his lip in the same way I look at pictures of Robert Downey Jr. from the 90s. It probably says more about the actors, their dedication to these characters, and the fans that loved them, but Finn and Poe were easily the most in love characters I’ve ever seen in a Star Wars movie and yes, I’m including Han/Leia in that statement. I have been denied the best ship to ever exist and I will never forgive them.
The very first couple I ever shipped was when I was maybe eight years old. I was watching Disney’s 1963 animated classic The Sword in the Stone and didn’t understand why Wart/Arthur couldn’t just stay in squirrel form because 1. He was cute that way and 2. That girl squirrel broke my heart with the way she pined after him. Nearly three decades later, I’ve come around on the fact that Girl Squirrel definitely deserved better, but I still think theirs is a story worth telling.
Who is your favorite OTP that never was? Let us know in the comments!
(featured image: Disney)
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