They say that love is blind - except that usually means it’s the people who fall in love that are supposed to be the ones who don’t see it coming. When it comes to our favorite TV shows, as an audience, we like to consider ourselves to be keen observers. We become prognosticators of the written word who know exactly how the characters we love are going to end up, and who they’re going to end up with.
In most cases, TV romances are pretty predictable. Whether it’s Ross and Rachel from Friends, Carrie and Mr. Big from Sex and the City or Jim and Pam on The Office, the formula is pretty straightforward. Main character 1 ends up with main character 2, and everyone lives happily ever after.
However, these out of left field couples had us totally confused. Take a look at the 15 TV Love Interests You Never Saw Coming.
17 Hannibal and Alana -- Hannibal
Most people know some variation of the story behind Hannibal Lector. He’s a doctor of psychiatry who turns out to be a serial killer and ends up eating his patients instead of treating them. Whether you read the books, saw the movies, or watched the TV show, it was pretty much a universal rule that the last thing you would ever expect to see was Hannibal Lector intimately involved with anyone.
Throughout season 1 of Hannibal, it seemed that the natural pairing here would be Alana and Will. He’s a criminal profiler, she’s a consultant profiler; the two had obvious chemistry, and they even shared a kiss at one point. But by season 2, things were already unraveling. Although Alana remained Will’s biggest supporter, once she discovered he was responsible for attempted murder, she was so angry that it drove her right into the actual killer’s arms.
While we knew the only reason Hannibal entered into the relationship was for an alibi and to hold over Will’s head as a threat (in a ‘I may kill and eat your love interest at any time if you anger me too much' kind of way) we were still all shocked when he and Alana ended up sleeping together. Even though the twosome didn’t last long, the thought of who would be doing the cooking in the relationship was certainly something to ponder.
16 Sawyer and Juliet – Lost
As a scripted TV series, Lost did a pretty good job at keeping us confused most of the time as to what was going on in regard to most aspects of the show. A bunch of people stranded on a tropical island somewhere facing supernatural forces is enough to make you question pretty much everything. So, when the showrunners added a romantic quadrangle to the storyline involving Jack, Kate, Sawyer and Juliet, no one knew what to expect.
Throughout the first 4 seasons, it seemed like we were watching your average love triangle between Jack, Kate and Sawyer. Then the show took a surprising turn when it seemed like Juliet was the love interest for Jack and that she would be competing with Kate. But the big shocker came when Sawyer and Juliette ended up together after an unexpected time jump. Eventually, it was Suliet’s kiss in season 5 that would seal the deal for the curious match, making them one of the top fan-favorite couples of the small screen.
15 Clarke and Lexa – The 100
We have certainly seen our share of love and loss throughout the past 4 seasons on The 100. Set in a post-apocalyptic world, early on, it was understood that anyone was fair game when it came to either scenario. While during the first 2 seasons, fans were patiently waiting for Clarke to become romantically involved with Bellamy, typical to the show, the writers threw in a few unexpected curveballs for viewers. Clarke, as leader of the Sky People, had teamed up with Lexa (Grounder and former enemy) in order to defeat the people of Mount Weather.
Although it seemed like overcoming their differences would be the biggest surprise of the season, the audience was left completely shocked when it turned out that their mutual foe wasn’t the only thing these two ladies had in common. Just before Lexa’s betrayal, the two share a passionate kiss. While Clarke originally doesn’t stick around long enough to see the relationship through, they eventually reconnect and end up having an affair; officially making Clarke the most badass bisexual on television.
14 Willow and Tara – Buffy the Vampire Slayer
Buffy the Vampire Slayer first came onto the scene in the late ‘90s, and the show quickly earned fan praise for the courageous portrayal of its strong female lead. The phenomenon of the entire series and its characters would eventually take off and inspire an entire "Buffyverse," which certainly saw its own share of shocking love interests.
However, in the beginning, we witnessed one of the most surprising love connections that audiences had ever seen up until that point. The character of Willow (played by Alyson Hannigan) was a witch who was part of Buffy’s inner circle. She initially began the series having feelings for Xander and later ended up in a serious relationship with a werewolf named Oz (played by Seth Green). But when that came to an end, Willow found love in the most unexpected place – with a fellow witch named Tara. The couple had broken down monumental boundaries at the time, by becoming one of the first same-sex relationships viewers had ever seen on mainstream television.
13 Wilson and Amber – House
Throughout all 8 seasons, Hugh Laurie did an incredible job at portraying Dr. Gregory House, a brilliant man who struggles with addiction and also happens to be the best diagnostician the world has ever known. While most of the audience spent years focused on what would happen between House and Dr. Cuddy, one relationship crept in there and blindsided us all.
The character of Amber Volakis joins the team during season 4 in hopes of obtaining a fellowship position at the hospital. She and House, being so much alike, develop a love-hate relationship; he nicknames her "Cutthroat Bitch" and in the end, eliminates her from the running. We were all soon blown away to find out that wouldn’t be the last we see of her character.
Not long after, she pops up after as a love interest for Dr. James Wilson - one of our main characters, who’s not only head of Oncology but is also House’s best friend. At first, Wilson tries to keep it a secret, but like most things on the show, House inevitably gets to bottom of it and learns the truth. Although their love met a tragic end, once we were introduced to the coupling of Wilson and Amber, it was hard to imagine things any other way.
12 Felix and Tony – Orphan Black
Tatiana Maslany and Jordan Gavaris have been the ultimate duo on Orphan Black. While Maslany plays numerous clones, she is first introduced to the audience as Sarah Manning, the rebellious protagonist seeking a better life for herself and her daughter. Gavaris comes into the picture as Felix Dawkins, Sarah’s openly gay foster brother who (we learn at the beginning) moonlights as a male prostitute.
As Maslany plays many different characters, she would likely have a few different love interests; all whom are more or less to be expected. But in season 2, Felix caught us all off guard when we saw him get extra close to one of his own foster sister’s clones. And no, we're not talking about his friendship with Alison.
In the episode "Variable and Full of Perturbation," we meet Tony Sawicki. Also played by Tatiana Maslany, Tony is introduced as a transgender clone who was left with Felix as they waited for Sarah to show up and explain things. While Tony didn’t stay long, he was there just long enough to stun us all by locking lips with his clone’s brother.
10 Tara and Naomi – True Blood
The HBO fantasy/horror series that once dominated every other sci-fi show on television had an overwhelming amount of surprises throughout its 7 seasons. You had vampires coming out of the coffin, an array of supernatural creatures, and we were constantly discovering new worlds of wonder. All that being said, love connections played a huge role on the show, and couples would often suddenly get together only to be ripped apart in the end.
Throughout all its twists and turns, there was one tortured soul who could never get it right. Tara Thornton was initially introduced as being madly in love with her best friend’s philandering brother (Jason Stackhouse). She quickly moved on to shapeshifter Sam Merlotte, then "Eggs" Benedict Talley, and was even romanced by a sociopathic vampire named Franklin Mott. But it was in season 4 when fans were truly taken aback by Tara’s newest love interest.
Naomi first appears sparring with Tara in a cage in a mixed martial arts match. We’d quickly discover that the two were way more than just friends. Apparently, after fleeing Bon Temps, Tara changed her name to “Toni” and entered into a same-sex relationship with a human. Go figure.
9 Samantha and Maria – Sex and the City
When Darren Star’s show about 4 single women in their 30s and 40s made its way onto our TV screens in the late ‘90s, women all over the world rejoiced. The HBO series (appropriately titled Sex and the City) lived up to its name. We followed Carrie, Charlotte, Miranda, and Samantha through every non-traditional relationship and New York City sexcapade you could imagine. While many fans had their favorite character matched to the partner they hoped to see them end up with, viewers were usually attached one way or another to a particular outcome.
Samantha Jones, however, was a wild card. No one knew who or if she’d ever end up with anyone. We watched as she navigated through a variety of one-night stands and a few reoccurring flings, but it wasn’t until season 4 that we were all surprised to see Samantha settle into a monogamous relationship – with a woman. While it didn’t last long, the fact that Samantha entered into a relationship at all at that point was more shocking than who she actually ended up with.
8 Claire and Billy – Six Feet Under
As a family who owned a funeral home, the Fishers were not exactly what you would call functional. Six Feet Under was centered on the uncertainty of life, death, and relationships, so it’s fair to say that it had an element of surprise up its sleeve at all times.
Claire Fisher was the youngest out of the 3 siblings on the show. In the very first episode, we were introduced to her initial love interest, a mixed-up drug dealer named Gabe Dimas. From there, she had a series of toxic relationships: a crematory employee named Phil, Russell (who turned out to be gay), and she even dabbled in a same-sex fling herself. But it was her relationship with Billy, younger brother of Brenda – who just so happened to be her brother Nate’s primary love interest on the show -- that had us all baffled.
Brenda and Billy themselves had a bizarre relationship that bordered on being incestuous, so when Claire and Billy became romantically involved, jaws hit the floor. Once the bipolar Billy went off his meds, the two parted ways, and Claire went on to date another odd choice which, in the end, turned out to be just what she needed.
7 Castiel and Meg – Supernatural
Although we’ve seen Sam and Dean have a few of their own love interests over the years, fans of Supernatural had to wait a long time before they saw the angel, Castiel, get involved with someone romantically. While the series teased with episodes revealing his human vessel’s past life as Jimmy married with a child, or showing a future post-apocalyptic world where he was surrounded by women, it wasn’t until season 6 when we were all stunned (and strangely thrilled) to see Cas first hook up with the demon Meg.
Meg was the enemy way back in season 1, but like several other demons in the series, she eventually found herself teaming up with the boys to save the day. In season 7, she returned to protect Cas, and he confesses his attraction to her (albeit while recovering from a bit of memory loss). By season 8, it was clear to fans that this odd attraction was a match made in both heaven and hell.
6 Chandler and Monica – Friends
The ‘90s sitcom that revolved around a group of friends (hence the title) told the tale of a bunch of 20-somethings living in New York City. Hanging out at the local coffee hotspot, Central Perk, together they navigated their way through life, loss, and love.
Looking back, it’s hard to remember a time when two of the show’s main characters, Chandler and Monica, weren’t America’s favorite television couple. But the truth is, before they hooked up on-screen, no one saw it happening. It wasn’t even a blip on the radar. Seasons 1-4 had the two as just good old pals, even exchanging relationship advice. Growing up, Ross and Chandler were best friends, and Monica was just Ross’s little sister to the series' quippy funnyman. However, at the end of season 4, in the episode "The One With Ross's Wedding, Part 2," the two end up having a one-night stand.
The episode, as was most of the series, centered on the on-again, off-again romance between Ross and Rachel. Fans were surprised (yet pleasantly delighted) when after that fateful night, the pair began a full-fledged romance. Little did we know that one unexpected night in London would turn into the longest-running romantic relationship on the show.
4 May and Ward – Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D.
In a world full of superheroes, Marvel's Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D. remains to be one of TV’s hottest shows. Creators Joss Whedon, Jed Whedon, and Maurissa Tancharoen do justice to the MCU with their phenomenal cast of characters, and thankfully leave us with some incredible cliffhangers.
We’ve seen tons of sci-fi surprises on the series, but back in season 1, viewers were totally astounded when on one evening, May and Ward ended up in a hotel room together. Up until that point, everyone assumed that Ward and Skye were the most-likely couple to enter into a romantic relationship. They had this whole student/teacher, opposites attract, flirtation thing going, which seemed to be a natural evolution for the storyline. Fans were totally bewildered when we found out that May and Ward had not only hooked up, but that this casual fling had happened on several occasions.
Once it’s revealed that Ward is Hydra, of course, a betrayed May won’t stand for it. She proceeds to hunt him down with deadly force like the stone-cold superhero she is.
3 Puck and Rachel -- Glee
In its 6 seasons, Glee saw plenty of wild relationships, all of which were questionably unexpected. But the one that stands out as the love connection most fans never saw coming was the relationship between Puck and Rachel. When the series began, Puck was a popular football player who was a bit of a bully, and Rachel was the good girl and star of the school's Glee Club. They were complete opposites.
The Puck-Rachel relationship, which came to be known as “Puckleberry,” initially developed during season 1. At the time, Puck had already earned the reputation for being something of a womanizing bad boy. It was only after they connected over being Jewish that he pursued Rachel, which resulted in a sweet, yet brief romance. It didn’t last long, as they both clearly had feelings for other people, but in the end, the two managed to remain friends.
2 Fred and Gunn – Angel
One of the many treasures that came out of the “Buffyverse" was the supernatural spin-off we know as Angel. Crossing over, our favorite characters like Angel, Cordelia and Wesley and having them star in their own TV show was a dream come true for Buffy the Vampire Slayer fans. We also then gained new characters like the brave vampire hunter (turned ally) Charles Gunn, and the dimension-hopping beautiful genius named Fred. Our ideas of love connections were always changing in this world, whether it was Buffy and Spike or Angel and Cordelia, but everyone still assumed that the dynamic between Fred and Wesley would lead the two directly into a romance. They were seemingly a perfect match.
However, fans were astonished to find out, as she was settling back into life after being stuck in another dimension for 5 years, that Gunn would be the one to win her heart. Like their relationship, the show eventually came to a sad end, leaving everyone wanting more.
1 Peggy and Stan - Mad Men
While a large part of Mad Men’s romances revolved around the womanizing ways of Don Draper, Peggy Olson was known to have a few impulsive relationships of her own. Starting out as Don Draper’s secretary, her climb up the corporate ladder had her spurning unwanted advances and maneuvering through some less than desirable suitors. Mad Men lasted 7 seasons, and saw some surprising beginnings and endings to several romances, but none other had fans “shipping” like the one between Peggy and Stan.
For years, their love-hate relationship and undeniable flirtation merely provoked some awkward encounters. Fans had no clue if the two would ever end up together. In fact, as the show’s creator Matthew Weiner later revealed, neither did he, until the staff writers convinced him otherwise. It wasn’t until the exciting series finale that the couple finally embraced their love (as well as each other), ending the show with an unforgettable happily ever after.
Were you surprised by who made the list? If you can think of more TV love interests that no one saw coming, let us know in the comments.
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