Arrow has never had a love triangle featuring Felicity, Oliver and Laurel. However, Oliver's relationships with those two women were inarguably the most important romantic ones of his life.
When the series started, everyone thought it would follow the comics which meant Oliver and Laurel would eventually end up together. However, a messy backstory and lack of chemistry made that difficult. Enter Felicity Smoak. Emily Bett Rickards was only supposed to be in one episode, but all it took was one scene with Stephen Amell for everyone to see the chemistry there. She became a recurring character and then series regular.
The series wrote towards that chemistry and away from its original plan, and it was better for it. That's not to say there wasn't unnecessary drama, but nothing as bad as cheating with her sister. They didn't write anything that couldn't be fixed. Still, even though the show moved on, some fans did not and hoped that Oliver and Laurel would find their way back to each other.
Fans on both sides have gotten creative, leading to some amusing memes. They've compared the relationships' pasts, presents and futures, pointed out other characters' reactions and more. There's even been a Mean Girls reference!
Here are 21 Olicity Vs. Lauriver Arrow Memes.
21 You Have Failed This Ship
By the time of this interview, the series had already moved away from Oliver and Laurel as a couple. It was the middle of season 3, and Oliver had already told Felicity he loved her.
However, for some, Oliver falling in love with Felicity didn't mean he fell out of love with Laurel. In this Access interview, when that was brought up, Stephen Amell's reaction was telling. He was even asked who Oliver would pick between the two women. He picked Felicity. As he explained, Laurel was a love from a different part of his life. For the person he was at that time, "Felicity is the match."
It led to this meme, with a twist on the signature phrase of "You have failed this city." The screenshots of Amell's face really help sell it. He went from smiling about Oliver's feelings for Felicity to a much more grim expression when hearing about Laurel. Add in the zoom and "my Olicity ship" for "this city," and it's a classic Arrow meme. No one who was rooting for Olicity at the time wanted to hear about Oliver possibly still having feelings for Laurel. That was especially true since the show had so firmly moved on from that couple.
20 Olicity vs. Lauriver: Civil War
Like the heroes in Captain America: Civil War, at least part of the Arrow fandom is divided. Some want to see the series follow the comics. That means that in some way, they want Oliver and Laurel to end up together. That hasn't changed just because Earth-1 Laurel Lance was taken out in season 4. They see Earth-2's version, Black Siren, as a chance for their couple to get together. Other fans are more than happy with the direction that the show has taken. Not only did Oliver and Felicity get together, but they're also now married.
This isn't an issue that's going to be resolved easily, much like Civil War's wasn't.
The Lauriver fans do have comic canon and the show's original plan working in their favor. In the beginning, Felicity Smoak wasn't even a main character, as she was supposed to just be in one episode. Meanwhile, Oliver and Laurel were given a history and their masked identities are widely known as a couple in the comics. Even when the series moved on from them as a romantic couple, Oliver and Laurel remained in each other's lives. Before she passed away, Laurel told him he was the love of her life, showing she hadn't completely moved on.
However, Oliver did move on, falling in love with and proposing to Felicity, even when Laurel was still alive. They're partners in every way, so what they meant to each other as a couple didn't even change when they were broken up.
19 Unique Beats Predictable
Going into Arrow, fans had certain expectations of the series. That included following the comics when it came to the main relationship. In other words, Oliver Queen (a.k.a. Green Arrow) and Dinah Laurel Lance (a.k.a. Black Canary) would end up together. The pilot established that Oliver and Laurel had a history – and it was a messy one. However, given how television shows work, it was one that they could have overcome with time and good writing (it would have been difficult, considering he cheated on her with her sister, but not impossible).
Instead, the third episode of the series introduced Felicity Smoak and Arrow changed the original plan. Rather than have Oliver end up with Laurel, the series moved away from that couple. It had firmly settled on Oliver and Felicity by season 3. In fact, in his vows during their fake wedding in season 4's "Broken Hearts," Oliver even addressed the switch. "Before I met you, I had a plan," he told Felicity. "I showed up in your cubicle, and you changed everything."
Before that scene in "The Lone Gunmen," it was going to be Oliver and Laurel. No one would have been surprised to see them find their way back to each other. After seeing the chemistry between Stephen Amell and Emily Bett Rickards from their first scene together, everything changed.
18 When a Forehead Kiss Meant So Much
For this meme, it really depends which couple you're rooting for on Arrow. Those who want Oliver with Felicity will like it as is. Those who prefer Oliver with Laurel would rather the positions of the images be switched. As is, fans are against Oliver kissing Laurel's forehead, no matter what the circumstances and what the kiss means. They just don't want to see it. However, they're all for seeing (and cheering on) Oliver kiss Felicity's forehead.
Interestingly enough, Oliver wasn't in a relationship with either at the time each of these kisses took place.
Each was also a way for him to offer comfort. The one with Laurel was actually deleted from the second episode of season 1, "Honor Thy Father." That was when China White's attack interrupted Oliver and Laurel's talk over ice cream. Then, Oliver was saying goodbye to Felicity before he went to fight Ra's al Ghul in the season 3 winter finale, "The Climb." They'd already been on their failed first date and he'd already told her he couldn't be with her. It was just after this forehead kiss that he told her "I love you" for the first time without cameras or in a backwards way.
17 There Was Not Much to Like from the Start with Lauriver
This meme is especially true given how the show set up Oliver and Laurel as a couple from the beginning. This photo of them is from season 1 episode 2. Already, it was hard to root for them as a couple. If they didn't have the names of characters together in the comics, no one would have been a fan. Five years before his return to Starling City, Oliver left on a trip with his father – and Laurel's sister, Sara. He survived, but at the time, no one knew that Sara had as well. Laurel understandably had a lot of conflicted feelings. Her boyfriend had cheated on her with her sister. She also had to deal with presumably losing both of them for good.
Still, Laurel telling Oliver, "it should've been you" who didn't return rather than her sister was harsh. She also said that she'd hoped he'd suffer longer than five years. That just made it worse. That was only in the pilot.
Though the first season would go on to see Laurel warm up to Oliver (again) after that, they got off to a horrible start. It's hard to come back from that, especially since Oliver's the main character.
16 First Love vs. True Love
Oliver has had multiple girlfriends over the years on Arrow. Laurel was established as his first love (though he cheated on her multiple times) early on. He dreamed of her while he was away and kept her photo. He even told her in season 2, "I have loved you for half my life." Though they did try to reconcile at the end of season 1, it wasn't meant to be. That wasn't just because of Tommy. They'd become different people in their years apart and they did eventually settle into a friendship, even working as teammates in season 4. However, it was obvious that his first love was remaining firmly in the past for him romantically.
On the other hand, once Oliver moved on to and fell in love with Felicity, it stuck. Yes, Oliver had other relationships and there was some drama, but it was clear that he'd end up with Felicity. Arrow hasn't been subtle in acknowledging that.
Oliver told Felicity during their fake wedding, "you are my always." Even Laurel acknowledged that while Oliver was the love of her life, she wasn't the love of his. At Oliver and Felicity's wedding reception, Rene had everyone "raise a glass to true love."
15 Team Olicity
Even before Oliver asked Felicity out on a date, the two were pretty flirty when season 3 began. As the other two members on the team at the time, Diggle and Roy's reactions in the background were priceless.
Oliver and Felicity were pretty distracted by each other as they discussed the fern and bed she bought him. The two were busy staring and smiling at each other. Diggle and Roy may as well have not been there. The series never had a love triangle featuring Felicity, Oliver and Laurel (and was better for it). However, it was clear which side those two would have chosen. It helps when friends are rooting for a couple.
As that scene continued and Felicity left, Diggle called Oliver out on his feelings. He also encouraged him to pursue her. Though Oliver didn't see himself as a catch and someone who could have what Diggle did with Lyla, "maybe Felicity will change that." Diggle also knew that Oliver was fooling himself about that "fake" "I love you." It might have been to fool Slade at the time, but he was also fooling himself.
When he married them, Diggle told Oliver and Felicity he'd been trying to keep them together for six years.
14 Getting the Girl
Three years ago, Oliver told Barry, "guys like us don't get the girl." That was during the first annual crossover, back when it was just Arrow and The Flash. The two heroes had been looking at Felicity and Iris. The Flash was already establishing Iris as Barry's "girl" and Arrow had done the same with Felicity for Oliver. Their hospital hallway kiss and him ending things before they could even begin had already happened.
Every hero has a "girl" (or "guy"), whether it's a DC or Marvel property. On Arrow, that girl didn't end up being the one from the comics (Laurel). Instead, the series made it clear that the "girl" they'd chosen for Oliver Queen was Felicity Smoak.
In fact, Oliver was singing a different tune a year after he gave Barry that advice.
By that season's crossover, Oliver and Felicity were together and living together in the loft. Barry called Oliver out on the change. Oliver was happy. As he explained, "I finally have everything that I've ever wanted. Being with Felicity has given me a real sense of peace." When Barry reminded him what he'd told him, Oliver admitted, "I was wrong." He had gotten his girl: Felicity.
13 The Women in Oliver's Life Are Complicated
Oliver's love life has been complicated, to say the least, from the beginning of the series. When he came back from his five years away, he pursued his ex-girlfriend, Laurel. At the time, Laurel had been dating his best friend, Tommy. Oliver had also taken Laurel's sister on the boat with him and Sara was just one girl with whom he'd cheated on Laurel.
Sara, too, turned out to have survived her time away after that boat trip. When she returned to Starling City, she and Oliver briefly reconciled. When Felicity felt threatened by her, it was because of what Sara brought to the team, not their relationship.
As part of Oliver's infiltration of the League of Assassins, he had to marry Ra's al Ghul's daughter. It was never something that he or Nyssa wanted nor would their relationship ever taken a romantic turn. However, both used that marriage to their advantage in battle several times. Also, she had fun teasing both Oliver and Felicity by calling him "husband" and her "sister-wife" until their League-divorce.
While Arrow has never pitted any of the women in Oliver's life against each other, it's still complicated. It would make sense for Oliver to be nervous.
12 Pride vs. Skepticism About Oliver's Career Plans
In season 4, Oliver decided that he was going to run for mayor and he told Felicity first in episode 2, "The Candidate." He explained that the city needed someone who could do things in the light and wasn't afraid. She looked worried when he told her. Who could blame her? At the time, being mayor was a dangerous job.
A couple episodes later, in "Beyond Redemption," he filled Diggle, Thea and Laurel in on his plans. They were surprised and even thought he wasn't being serious. Laurel asked the important questions, like what he'd do for a staff, campaign manager and money. That was where Felicity came in, as she was having Palmer Tech fund enough to kick-start the campaign.
It made sense that the others would be skeptical of Oliver's plan to run for mayor (he would go on to do a decent job until his impeachment, which was not his fault). What stood out about that scene was how proud Felicity was of Oliver and how she was helping him achieve his goal. She focused on what he'd work on to succeed, while Laurel was focused on the fact that he was running because being the Green Arrow wasn't enough for him.
11 The Milestone Headscratcher
Arrow had firmly moved away from Oliver and Laurel as a couple and everyone knew that Ray and Felicity were never going to work out by season 5. Still, the 100th episode, which saw aliens create a world where Oliver never got on the Gambit, returned to those two couples. It was a headscratcher, to say the least.
The episode even used dialogue from an Oliver and Felicity scene for Oliver and Laurel. He asked her to marry him (again) and she flashed her ring, reminding him she'd already answered the question. "Invasion" never bothered to explain why Oliver had changed without that boat trip. Meanwhile, in the aliens' world, Felicity was Ray's fiancée, but he soon realized she was the wrong woman.
These were two couples that the show had already tried. These were two couples that had failed. Yet, for the big milestone hour, they received more of an on-screen presence than Oliver and Felicity. Neither had any impact on the rest of the season.
Understandably, fans' reactions matched the expressions on Stephen Amell and Emily Bett Rickards' faces in the photos along the border. There had been no reason for Arrow to ignore the history built up between Oliver and Felicity other than his few flashes.
10 The Four Kinds of Arrow Fans
Like with most shows, there are divisions in the fans of Arrow. Some went into the series wanting to see what they already loved from the comic books on-screen, as there was an established canon. They see no reason for the series based on those characters to deviate from it (that is even true when some versions of the canon may not match their preferences).
Some fans, who may or may not be part of that first group, want to see the original couple from the very beginning end up together. Oliver and Laurel were set up as the couple that had a history and problems to overcome in order for them to reunite. They have never stopped wanting to see that happen and her passing hasn't changed that.
Other fans fell in love with Olicity just like Oliver fell in love with Felicity. They rooted for them before their relationship turning romantic became a real possibility. They're just as avid fans now that the couple is together as they were when they weren't.
Then, there are the fans who just enjoy whatever happens on the show. For them, it doesn't really matter who's together and who's not. They don't care about ship wars, as they're okay with plot points and characters changing from the comics, as long as what's on-screen is entertaining.
9 Nonsensical Fighting
In a way, the fight between Olicity fans and Lauriver fans is just as ridiculous as most of the Oliver and Diggle's conflict in season 6. While romance can sometimes seem to take over, it's not the most important or biggest part of the show. With so much else going on, there's plenty else for fans to debate. At first, the conflict between Oliver and Diggle seemed to be about who got to wear the hood. While there ended up being more to it and it led to Diggle joining A.R.G.U.S., did it really matter who was the Green Arrow? No matter what was behind it, there was no reason why Oliver and Diggle had to trade blows.
Similarly, since Arrow has so obviously chosen its couple, there's no reason for fans to fight about Olicity vs. Lauriver.
The Laurel who was part of Lauriver in earlier seasons is no longer alive. Black Siren is a completely different person. Also, both Stephen Amell and David Ramsey have spoken as fans of Olicity. So, having Diggle choose Lauriver in the above meme makes as little sense as most of what Diggle said to Oliver in "Brothers in Arms" before the two traded blows.
8 Love vs. In Love
Oliver has had several relationships on-screen, but only two were truly significant.
Before his five years away, he had been with Laurel. Their relationship hadn't been healthy, considering he cheated on her (including with her sister). However, he did love her (for half his life, he told her in season 2). He kept her photo all those years. Even though their romantic relationship wasn't one that could have lasted, they were important parts of each other's lives. That remained true up until her passing, long after they settled on just being friends.
No one thought that Oliver and Susan would last in season 5. The show didn't even try to explain why he even liked her. At least fans could see why Oliver and Laurel could be a possibility again and saw that they remained in each other's lives.
Arrow did a good job of setting up Oliver and Felicity's relationship. They went from friends to partners to dating to engaged (to broken up) to dating to married. Fans watched their relationship grow and deepen. They saw them stand by each other and believe in each other. So, when Oliver called her his "always," Laurel said she hoped they'd get back together and Rene pointed to them as "true love" at their reception, those weren't just words. That came out of what was seen on-screen.
7 Ollie vs. Oliver
Before his time on the island (and in Hong Kong and Russia), Oliver Queen was a billionaire playboy. Even though he was in a relationship with Laurel, he cheated on her. He didn't care that he was hurting her, as he even sought comfort from her when he got another girl pregnant. He then said goodbye to her on the dock (in the photo above) knowing that her sister was joining him on the boat. He didn't feel guilty about that, but still, he did love her. It just wasn't the kind of love that could have lasted or that either should have wanted to last. Laurel deserved better than Ollie.
Notably, Felicity has never called him Ollie. That's because Oliver was a different man when he returned to Starling City.
Those in his life before continued to call him Ollie, but for the most part, everyone he met after has called him Oliver. Oliver because the kind of person who, by the time he and Felicity got together, was mature enough for a relationship. The man he was after the island wasn't someone who cheated on his girlfriend. He also became the kind of man who didn't run away when his girlfriend talked about their future.
6 OTA vs. Laurel
Though Oliver was originally going to be a lone warrior in season 1, that didn't last long. He brought on Diggle. He went to Felicity with ridiculous excuses as he tried to keep his identity a secret. However, after he was injured while confronting his mother, he turned to her for help. In doing so, he revealed who he was. After that, Oliver, Diggle and Felicity became the Original Team Arrow. The team has grown and changed over the years, but that hasn't.
However, Laurel found out the truth about Oliver not from him, but from Slade. In season 2, Slade had wanted revenge and wanted to hurt Oliver. Revealing his secret was just one move he made. Even after she knew the truth and told Oliver she did, she wasn't immediately welcomed to the team.
Laurel wanted to join them in the field, but Oliver said he needed her to be safe. It was a nice sentiment, but she pushed, arguing that he was taking Diggle and Felicity with him. "This started with the three of us," he said. "It's time we got back to that." Just like he'd changed, so had the people he considered to be closest to him.
5 Chemistry Triumphs
In the early seasons, it was unclear if Arrow would go anywhere with Oliver and Felicity, but the chemistry between Stephen Amell and Emily Bett Rickards was apparent from their first scene in season 1. However, in the comics, the Green Arrow was with the Black Canary. The CW series even had two possibilities: Laurel (the future Black Canary) and Sara (the Canary). Thanks to Smallville putting Oliver with Chloe, some fans had hope from the beginning and through other relationships.
Oliver and Laurel reunited at the end of the first season, but that didn't change fans' minds. After all, their reunion was brief. It was also early on in the series, so it was unlikely that it would stick. When Sara returned, she and Oliver got together. Still, some fans didn't think it would last, especially given their messy history. They were right, as before the second season ended, that relationship was over.
All it took were several platonic moments between Oliver and Felicity for fans to become certain that they should and would end up together. Their first kiss wasn't even until the season 3 premiere. Handshakes and shoulder touches, along with the actors' chemistry, were enough during the first two seasons.
4 Laurel Got the Boy and Felicity Gets the Man
In his five years away, Oliver Queen grew up. He may not have been a boy by the definition of the word when he left, but he was close to it. He was at least closer to being a boy than a man. He didn't have the maturity or life experience he did that shaped him into the person he became. As has been established, Laurel was Oliver's first love, despite their messy history. She will always be an important part of his past. That hasn't changed just because what they meant to each other did before Damien Darhk took her life.
However, Oliver still had growing up to do when he was with Laurel before his five years away. He even had some growing up to do when he first came back to Starling City (just look at his original plans and his attempts at relationships). That's why Arrow did the right thing and waited to put Oliver and Felicity together (the first time).
Oliver tended to run when Laurel mentioned a future together (on a boat trip or to the island). On the other hand, he has embraced one with Felicity. He was the one who proposed multiple times and was so eager to get married.
3 Embracing Domesticity
Before that ill-fated boat trip, Laurel thought she and Oliver should move in together. Oliver was hesitant, to say the least. Instead, he sabotaged their relationship by taking her sister on the boat. When she brought up their future again, after they'd reconnected and following losing Tommy, he again fled. He went to the island. That time, at least, there were the extenuating circumstances with the Undertaking and losing his best friend.
However, Oliver actually embraced domesticity with Felicity.
He invited her on a trip away from Starling City to figure out who he'd become. That was before they were even officially together at the end of season 3. When season 4 began, the couple were already living together, after only a few months. They had a house in Ivy Town and Oliver was already ready to propose. He was even cooking and baking soufflés.
It's clear that it wasn't the length of time of the relationship that mattered, but it was the woman with whom he was involved. With Laurel, a future together scared him enough to get him packing. With Felicity, he ran toward that future. In fact, Felicity was the one who couldn't leave their hero life behind. Oliver had gladly traded in his bow and arrow at the time for slow cookers and recipes.
2 When Oliver Was Done With Laurel
In season 2, Arrow was clearly moving away from Oliver and Laurel as its main couple. Nothing cemented that more than their conversation in episode 14, "Time of Death." To be fair, he really shouldn't have attended a family dinner at her apartment as her sister's date.
After, the two fought in the hallway outside her apartment. She blamed him for ruining their relationship. He argued that he'd stood by her, which included when she was prosecuting his mother for the Undertaking. Meanwhile, she blamed everyone but herself for her troubles. "I have loved you for half my life, but I'm done running after you," he told her.
The series then moved toward Oliver and Felicity. One significant difference is that, despite what he told Laurel, Oliver did run away from her. When he left on that ill-fated trip with his father, he took her sister with him. After the Undertaking, he fled to Lian Yu and left her a note.
However, at the end of season 3, he decided to leave Starling City to learn more about who he'd become. He wanted Felicity to come with him, "some place far away from here." Even after they broke up, he told Felicity he wasn't going anywhere. Oliver ran from Laurel. He stayed with Felicity.
1 When Felicity Believed in Oliver at Queen Consolidated
Admittedly, Laurel knew what Oliver was like before the island. That Oliver, and the one who returned, wasn't interested in working at the family's company. It just didn't fit into his plan upon his return to Star City and as the Hood. However, she didn't know about that. All she knew was that the Oliver she knew wasn't someone who could be "master of the universe" at Queen Consolidated. That fit into the image he wanted to project to the public in the first season.
Then, in season 2, he did work at his family's company. He also lost it, thanks to Slade Wilson and Isabel Rochev. Between seasons 2 and 3, he planned to try to get Queen Consolidated back, and Felicity was helping him. She told him she would turn him into "corporate master of the universe" so he could win over the board. She knew he didn't have the qualifications for the job. If anyone did, it was her, considering she worked as his EA. Still, she added that he cared about the company and its employees. That was a point in his favor.
Oliver did end up losing the company (to Ray Palmer). However, at these two moments, Laurel saw him as who he was and Felicity saw him as who he could be.
Which of these did you enjoy most? Let us know in the comments!