At its very core, Once Upon a Time was a show about love, family, and relationships. Every lesson revolves around learning the meaning of true love. True love is also the solution for a lot of their world's problems. And over the course of the show's seven seasons, we watch as people navigate through those difficult relationships. Especially when their world is threatened by magical monsters, evil queens, and dark curses. For most of the characters, their happy ending means finding their one true love, and most of them do get this.
That being said, fans didn't always love the relationship choices on the show. Over the years, each character went through some journey of discovery to find what true love meant to them personally. In some cases, this meant being paired up with someone that fans knew was wrong for them. Here are some of the most notable fan favorites, and some relationships fans wish they could forget.
Fans liked this romance because it meant a second chance at a happy ending for the former Evil Queen. They even gave a name for them, Outlaw Queen. Both Regina and Robin had lost their true loves in the past, so this served as a redemption for both of them.
Robin was able to see, and truly believe, that Regina was a better person. Regina, on the other hand, was able to learn that she deserved true love and her own happy ending. Unfortunately, this happy ending was cut short when Robin died sacrificing himself to save her.
In the first season, Regina and Sheriff Graham are having a secret affair. Emma catches them sneaking around and is disgusted by the whole thing. Truthfully, this wasn't really a full-on romance because Sheriff Graham was basically being controlled by Regina the whole time and wasn't consciously choosing to be involved with her.
In fact, the whole forcing someone to be with you thing is really not cool. Regina was also using him to work against Emma for her until he got his memories back and proved to be a threat. She was willing to kill him over the whole thing, so that tells you what you need to know.
Both Emma and Killian had gone through some serious struggles in their past. So, they were able to find their own happy endings through each other. And at the end of the day, they made each other better people. Especially Killian. This relationship was also developed over time and not rushed like some of the other relationships on the show.
There were also a lot of obstacles they had to surmount in order to make their relationship work. From fighting monsters together to traveling to the Underworld and back, it wasn't easy for them but they made it through. That gave it some depth and made it feel more real. Of course, it helps that Colin O'Donoghue was a fan favorite and we all wanted to see him get his happy ending as Killian.
Sheriff Graham was killed long before Killian arrived on the scene, but this still wasn't the relationship we wanted for Emma. These two had some type of connection, but at this point, Regina was still evil and Emma didn't need those sloppy seconds.
She was too busy trying to focus on her own life and her relationship with Henry. Overall, Sheriff Graham wasn't a bad person, but something just didn't click with this relationship. And fans knew it.
It's really hard not to love the relationship between Snow White and Prince Charming. They were, of course, the ultimate couple goals. These two embodied everything true love is supposed to be. At least in the movies and fairy tales. No matter what happened to them, they always found a way back to each other. Even the evil curses couldn't stop them.
They showed us that it takes work to build the foundation of a true relationship, but that it is always worth it to put the work in. This is why they were essentially the backbone of the show.
Mary Margaret and Dr. Whale didn't date, but they did have a one night stand. These two just weren't right for each other. Dr. Whale was a shady womanizer, while Mary Margaret was basically the embodiment of goodness.
Of course, the main reason people weren't on board with this weird pairing is that we already knew at this point that Mary Margaret and David belonged together. Watching this whole relationship unfold was just not right.
Dorothy and Ruby were the show's first LGBT couple, and fans were really rooting for them. During season five, episode 18, "Ruby Slippers," we watch their romance grow as Ruby realizes the reason she's felt empty for so long. Dorothy, however, ends up under Zelena' sleeping curse.
With some encouragement from Mulan, she goes to rescue her and gives her true love's kiss to wake her up. The only complaint that people really had about this coupling is that they didn't get enough screen time once they showed the big kiss. They kind of just disappear. We like to think they're happy living their life together to this day.
This romance, while brief, felt like it was just thrown in to add to Cora's backstory. Sure, it made sense. But no one really wanted this. It brings up a few questions, though. Why would Cora have fallen for Rumple in the first place, when she was dead set on marrying a prince or king?
The safe answer is just to say that she was seduced by the idea of having magical powers. Also, what is with this family and their constant need to be romantic with Rumple? By the end of the series, he's had a romantic connection with Cora and both her daughters. That's just odd.
No one is going to hate on Henry's first real crush and relationship. He didn't really know what he was doing, and that's something everyone has felt at some point in their life. These two had that adorable awkwardness that comes with young love.
Sure, Henry doesn't get a happily ever after with her, but it was so nice to see him developing and growing up. This also helped him when he finally did meet his true love later on in the series. After all, he's not going to stay a child forever.
Even though it started with Zelena pretending to be Maid Marian, this whole relationship was just one big "no." Neither of them actually loved each other. The whole thing was about power and revenge.
It's strange that Robin didn't notice the difference for so long, considering how much he loved Marian. And then there was the whole awkward baby situation that no one really liked. Plus, this wasn't fair to Regina.