Pop Culture's Best Couples: 26 True (Fictional) Lovers

  1. EW.com

    So what if Romeo and Juliet, Han and Leia, or Carrie and Mr. Big don't actually exist? On Valentine's Day, especially, their romances give us a real warm feeling.




    LOIS LANE AND SUPERMAN
    Action Comics
    As has been explained by people smarter than I, Clark Kent is the disguise. And Lois Lane didn't fall in love with Kent, she endured him and eventually came to call him a trusted friend. But she was always smitten with — as Frank Miller once called him — the Big Blue Schoolboy. As for what attracted the Smothers Brother from Another Planet, the hard-nosed newspaper reporter is a drop-dead gorgeous embodiment of the American dream itself.




    ROMEO MONTAGUE AND JULIET CAPULET
    Romeo and Juliet
    Shakespeare's tragic couple, Romeo and his lady Juliet, have inspired countless ballets, operas, plays, and one rockin' movie starring a young Leonardo DiCaprio and Claire Danes. The tale of the star-cross'd lovers is one of history's greatest romances because they really took that '''til death do us part'' thing seriously.





    KERMIT THE FROG AND MISS PIGGY
    The Muppet Show
    It's not easy being green...spending your life the amorous target for a crazed swine's affections. But the fact that these two make interspecies love work should serve as a candle in the romantic darkness. All hope is not lost.





    HAN SOLO AND LEIA ORGANA
    Star Wars: Episode V — The Empire Strikes Back
    A mouthy space princess packing heat and the grumpy, equally armed space pirate who loved her. It doesn't get any more epic (or hot) than Princess Leia (Carrie Fisher) and Han Solo (Harrison Ford). While their relationship could have easily gotten lost among the clash of light sabers and mumblings of Jedi puppets, it was the achingly understated exchange between Han (on his way to a carbonite bath) and Leia (powerless to stop it) that spoke volumes. She loved him. He knew. Period. (Know what also helps in a relationship? Not being related.)
     
    Superman And Lois Lane.jpg Romeo And Juliet.jpg Kermit The Frog And Miss Piggy.jpg Han Solo And Leia.jpg
  2. LANCELOT AND GUINEVERE
    Le Morte d'Arthur
    Not every great relationship is a healthy one. Take these two (pictured from 1981's Excalibur, played by Cherie Lunghi and Nicholas Clay), who got their medieval groove on despite the fact that she was married to King Arthur, who also happened to be Lancelot's most revered knight and best mate. And their inability to keep their paws off of each other is pretty much what brought an end to the glory days of Camelot. Ah, sweet, sweet lust.





    BUFFY SUMMERS AND ANGEL
    Buffy the Vampire Slayer
    Could there be anything more poignantly ironic than a vampire slayer in love with a bloodsucker? Yes, Angel (David Boreanaz) had a soul, but he also turned awful nasty after sharing pillow time with Buffy (Sarah Michelle Gellar) — making them poster children for chastity as well as star-crossed lovers. Buffy's sharp wit and sharper stakes couldn't protect her from heartbreak when Angel ultimately packed up his plasma supply and traded in life on the Hellmouth for the hellish streets of L.A.





    ROSS GELLAR AND RACHEL GREEN
    Friends
    Despite all their ups and downs, significant others, apartment shifts, and hairdos, Ross (David Schwimmer) has been in love with Rachel (Jennifer Aniston) since Day One. Some, more romantically inclined than I, would say that it was important for them to have been friends before they were lovers. I just say they were stalling the inevitable. (Although, if they shacked up early, she never would've tolerated Ross' monkey.)





    RON WEASLEY AND HERMIONE GRANGER
    The Harry Potter cycle

    Jealousy, betrayal...love potions: That's teen wizard romance for ya. Harry Potter's best friends didn't officially become a couple until Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows but their love/hate relationship turned soap opera in Goblet of Fire. At times they've been controversial (Ron/Hermione fans still have scars from their online wars with the Harry/Hermione faithful), but that's as risqué as this teen duo gets.





    RICK BLAINE AND ILSA LUND
    Casablanca
    Part of what makes war-torn lovers Rick and Ilsa so legendary is that they don't get the happy ending. They'll always have Paris, sure, but they don't have a future, what with her looking to skate out of Morocco with her new boyfriend and him staying behind because revolution just isn't his bag. Slinging drinks is. It also helps that they were played by Humphrey Bogart and Ingrid Bergman at their most movie-star incandescent.
     
    Lancelot And Guinevere.jpg Buffy And Angel.jpg Ross And Rachel.jpg Ron And Hermione.jpg Rick And Ilsa.jpg
  3. JIM HALPERT AND PAM BEESLY
    The Office
    Judging by the number of tributes to the Dunder-Mifflin duo on YouTube, Jim (John Krasinski) and Pam (Jenna Fischer) are probably the most popular couple on TV right now. Everything about their slow-burn courtship — the shy peeks through office blinds, the inside jokes, that hot first kiss — seemed so real that it was hard not to blush right along with the characters as they fell in love.





    HOMER AND MARGE SIMPSON
    The Simpsons
    If not the longest-lasting couple in prime time, then the longest-lasting animated couple. As different as chalk and cheese, the blue-beehived damsel and her beer-guzzling ''better half'' have been through more ups and downs than any mere mortal can put a claim to. What would the world be like without them? A lot less enamored with beer, for one.





    ROBIN HOOD AND MAID MARIAN
    Ye Olde Myth
    Archery is sexy, so it's no wonder the beautiful Maid Marian fell for the philanthropic Robin Hood. While there have been many incarnations of the legendary couple since medieval times — including Robin and Marian's Sean Connery and Audrey Hepburn, as the bandit and his babe in the autumn of their years — none has had quite the same panache of Cary Elwes and Amy Yasbeck in Robin Hood: Men in Tights. Why? As Elwes points out ''unlike some other Robin Hoods, I can speak with an English accent.''





    ARAGORN AND ARWEN
    The Lord of the Rings

    Arwen, the ethereal elf maiden of Rivendell, and Aragorn, the rough Ranger from the North, are an unlikely pair. She is an immortal cloaked in light and beauty; he is a mortal (albeit long-lived) man in a dirty cloak. But Arwen happily traded in eternity (''I would rather share one lifetime with you than face all the ages of this world alone.'') for the man who would be king. After seeing their steamy kiss at the film trilogy's end — in which they were played by Liv Tyler and Viggo Mortensen — who could blame her.
     
    Jim And Pam.jpg Homer And Marge.gif Robin Hood And Maid Marian.jpg Aragorn And Arwen.jpg
  4. CARRIE BRADSHAW AND MR. BIG
    Sex and the City
    Anybody who was a Sex and the City fan from the start knows that Chris Noth's Mr. Big was an a--hole. So why did I and so many of my girlfriends get giddy when, on the season finale, Big showed up in Paris to bring our girl Carrie (Sarah Jessica Parker) home? Because right there in front of our eyes, a fairy tale was unfolding: A woman was able to change the man she pined for into exactly who she needed him to be. Sure, it's unrealistic, but oh, we can fantasize....





    RHETT BUTLER AND SCARLETT O'HARA
    Gone With the Wind
    Before seeing this Technicolor classic, I thought that Vivien Leigh's Scarlett was in a lesbian affair with someone named Tara. Now I know better. (Though, that still would be a hell of a movie, a post-Civil War romance between a Southern belle and her house.) In a way, the Rhett-and-Scarlett roundelay poured the foundation for Star Wars' great love story: a woman born of privilege, in danger of losing it all, taken with a charming rogue (here, the almost impossibly masculine Clark Gable) who is the completely wrong choice, but for all the right reasons.





    HEATHCLIFF AND CLAIR HUXTABLE
    The Cosby Show
    The Huxtables (Bill Cosby and Phylicia Rashad) are as classic a sitcom couple as, say, the Cleavers, except you get the very distinct feeling that they, you know, do it. Yes, they were great parents, but they also took time out for each other: necking on the couch, or dancing to ''A Night in Tunisia,'' or giggling in bed in those comfy-looking silk pajamas.





    APOLLO AND THE MIDNIGHTER
    The Authority

    It was all there in the subtext. The furtive glances between Apollo, the solar-powered superman, and the Midnighter, the street-level ass-kicking savant. The time Jenny Sparks — the leader of the team of superhuman watchdogs known as the Authority — asked them, ''Who wants to be Bert and who wants to be Ernie?'' They were a gay couple in a big-honking superhero comic book. And pretty much no one noticed. Since then, the implicit has become explicit and, while everyone noticed the kissing and the marriage and the adopting of a kid, pretty much no one batted an eye.
     
    Carrie And Big.jpg Rhett And Scarlett.jpg Heathcliff And Clair.jpg Apollo And Midnighter.jpg
  5. LUKE AND LAURA SPENSER
    General Hospital
    Their love helped put soap operas on the map. General Hospital's Luke (Anthony Geary) and Laura (Genie Francis) set off a national craze with their 1981 wedding, still the most watched event in soap opera history, with about 30 million viewers. They've since divorced, Luke's married to someone else now, and Laura's catatonic, but their love remains legendary.





    LUCY AND RICKY RICARDO
    I Love Lucy
    Despite all her wacky schemes and his bilingual bursts of exasperation, part of what viewers have responded to for more than 50 years is that these two people — characters and stars (Lucille Ball and Desi Arnaz) — loved each other. He was hot-tempered and she was loony: So what? Isn't everybody?





    ELIZABETH BENNET AND FITZWILLIAM DARCY
    Pride and Prejudice
    Here's a universal truth: Women wish they were Lizzie Bennet and want a man like Darcy. Why? Because these Regency lovers are Cinderella and Prince Charming multiplied by Beatrice and Benedick. She's unimpressed by his wealth and he's not intimidated by her smarts. Lizzie and Darcy aren't horny teenagers, but there's definitely a lust factor. It's no accident that their fiercest sparring occurs during their first dance.





    ANNIE HALL AND ALVY SINGER
    Annie Hall
    There's a reason that Woody Allen's Oscar-winning rom-com is his most enduring film: It examines everyday stereotypes — Jew vs. shiksa, New York vs. L.A. — in a way that addresses, then accepts, the fragile nature of identity, compassion, and love. Diane Keaton's Annie (sweet, awkward, neurotic) and Allen's Alvy (funny, intense, neurotic) are experts at exploiting each other's weaknesses, but they figure out how to love each other anyway. When the going gets tough, the end of Alvy + Annie doesn't mean the end of them as friends. It just means they learn to care about each other in a new way — a lesson we could all take to heart.





    MICKEY AND MINNIE MOUSE
    Quite simply, the oldest tale of enduring love in the rodent world. For almost 80 years, she's been the apple in ol' Mickey's eye. And he's been lucky to have her, for she is constant as the northern star. (And she doesn't get turned off by his freaky-high voice.) —
     
    Luke And Laura.jpg Lucy And Ricky.jpg Elizabeth And Fitzwilliam.jpg Annie And Alvy.jpg Mickey And Minnie.jpg
  6. GAIUS BALTAR AND NUMBER SIX
    Battlestar Galactica
    Most great love stories don't begin with a scientist selling out his entire species to a seductive undercover agent who ultimately lays waste to his planet. But nothing's typical about the relationship between Battlestar Galactica's flawed, half-mad Dr. Gaius Baltar (James Callis) and slinky, enigmatic Number Six (Tricia Helfer). For starters, he's human, she's a Cylon. And then, of course, there's the way Six randomly appears to Baltar — guiding him, admonishing him, getting busy with him — in a way that no one else can see her. Is she an apparition? A figment of his addled mind? Really good at disguising herself? It's never quite clear, but the Baltar-Six pas de deux is the sexy, species-crossing relationship at the heart of this sci-fi masterpiece.





    TONY AND CARMELA SOPRANO
    The Sopranos
    It has been said that power is the ultimate aphrodisiac. Which is probably why Carmela (Edie Falco) stuck with her mob boss husband (James Gandolfini) through the untold number of mistresses, lies, and deceptions. Or maybe it's that she saw something worth saving, worth loving, beneath his goombah exterior — something she spotted when they were high school sweethearts. It's easier to divine why Tony returned to her, despite all his dalliances: She was the most formidable woman he knew, who didn't want to kill him (most of the time).





    JACK TWIST AND ENNIS DEL MAR
    Brokeback Mountain

    What started as a simple, two-man job to tend to a flock of sheep on cold and desolate Brokeback Mountain led to a heartbreaking, decades-long love affair between boyish, ebullient Jack Twist (Jake Gyllenhaal) and quiet, contemplative Ennis Del Mar (Heath Ledger). Yet while the time and circumstance of 1960s Wyoming limited the unlikely lovers to tortured fits of happiness on their occasional ''fishing trips'' together, their Oscar-nominated tale won a permanent place in the hearts of modern moviegoers.





    TONY AND MARIA
    West Side Story
    ''Two street gangs, both alike in dignity, in fair New York City, where we lay our scene. From ancient grudge break to new mutiny, where civil blood makes civil hands unclean. From forth the fatal loins of these two foes a pair of star-cross'd lovers take their life.'' Okay, the Romeo and Juliet similarities don't go quite that far, but you get the gist. Tony (Richard Beymer) loves Maria (Natalie Wood) even though he's not supposed to. Lots of fighting and musical production numbers ensue. Heartbreak all around. And...scene.
     
    Gaius And Number Six.jpg Tony And Carmela.jpg Jack And Ennis.jpg Tony And Maria.jpg
  7. Cliff and Claire, Leia and Han, Ricky and Lucy, Rhett and Scarlett, and Homer and Marge rock...great thread!

    :tup:
     
  8. What about Heloise and Abelard?
     
  9. I don't think they fall under pop culture, but then again I don't think of Shakespeare as "pop" either!
     
  10. Well they put in the 'ye olde story' of Robin Hood
     
  11. I love their choices! I'd also like to add:

    Brian Kinney and Justin Taylor from Queer As Folk
    Satine and Christian from Moulin Rouge!




    And if we're going the folklore/mythological route, don't forget:
    Tristan and Isolde
    Perseus and Eurydice
     
  12. awww Carrie and Mr Big, such a great couple :heart:
     
  13. Caitlin!!! Ok, technically not a couple per se, but who can forget that awesome dance scene:

    Vincent Vega and Mia Wallace (Pulp Fiction)
     
  14. Aww I love Mr. Darcy and Eliza. My favorite book ever!!!! I love Gone with the wind too :smile:
     
  15. Then there's:

    Jess and Joe from Bend It Like Beckham

    Jamie and Aurelia from Love Actually
    Juliet and Mark from Love Actually
    The Prime Minister and Natalie from Love Actually
    John and Judy from Love Actually