TV romance is, generally speaking, pretty predictable. It feels like you can tell from episode 1 that Character A will eventually hook up with Character B and, after a few seasons of will-they-won’t-they shenanigans, they’ll live happily ever after. Think Carrie and Big from Sex and The City, Ross and Rachel from Friends, Booth and Brennan from Bones. Fans ship them, get frustrated with their "we can’t be together right now" nonsense, and breathe easily when the show wraps up and the couple sails off into the sunset. That’s why it can be incredibly refreshing to be taken by surprise when an unlikely TV romance pops up out of nowhere.
Unexpected TV couples can go two ways. The two characters could work incredibly well together and become one of the best couples on TV. Or, they fall apart in just a few episodes, because they're just too weird and mismatched to work. Either way, all these couples have a thing in common – no one saw them coming. At least not from episode 1 of the shows.
Here are the most surprising TV couples in recent history, regardless of whether they had fans giggling with joy or scratching their heads in confusion.
It’s hard to remember a time when Chandler and Monica aren’t a couple. But this pairing basically comes out of nowhere. One episode of the show even features Monica joking that she could never date Chandler. Moreover, the two hook up in London, at Ross and Emily’s wedding. So while viewers are eager to see if Rachel stops the wedding, this fresh romance catches them totally by surprise. Could it be any more unexpected?
OK, so maybe you saw this coming, but probably not from episode 1. Barney's a player who seems unlikely to settle down, and Robin is all over Ted for a hot minute. It seems insane that these two could ever go beyond just hooking up and actually commit to each other. But commit they do – for a while. Too bad the writers really mess up the final season.
It’s no secret that Lost has viewers confused for most of its run. But they probably don't expect to be blindsided by a romance – and a pretty compelling one at that.
For the first few seasons, it looks like Jack, Sawyer, and Kate will forever be trapped in a love triangle. Juliet is introduced, and the triangle became a quadrangle. Then, after a time jump, it's revealed that Sawyer and Juliet are happily together and loving every moment of it. It's an surprise pairing that works; the couple’s memorable kiss from Season 5 is still being talked about in select corners of the Internet.
Andy and April's relationship is so obviously #goals. But at first, goofy man-child Andy and the perpetually sarcastic April feel like a weird pairing. She has a crush on him, and he's oblivious.
Then, they start dating – and get married within a month, which feels like a recipe for disaster. But it's not. Their love story ends up being an integral part of what makes Parks and Recreation so heartwarming.