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16 Unexpected TV Couples No One Predicted

Updated November 3, 2017 35.0k votes 5.8k voters 161.6k views16 items

List RulesVote up the romances that were both surprising and satisfying.

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.

  • Wilson And Amber From House
    Photo: FOX

    House’s main relationship throughout the show’s eight seasons revolves around House and Cuddy. But at one point another pairing happens that takes viewers completely by surprise. Amber joins House’s team in Season 4, hoping to score a permanent position. But since she and House are so alike, they develop sort of a love/hate dynamic. She gets fired, House hires some new fellows, the show moves on.

    So it's unexpected to see her pop up again later in the season, this time as Wilson’s girlfriend. The two are extremely different, but somehow make it work. And by the end, they even provide one of the most compelling storylines in House’s history.

    Is this surprising but satisfying?
  • Barney And Robin From How I Met Your Mother
    Photo: CBS

    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.

    Is this surprising but satisfying?
  • Sawyer And Juliet From Lost
    Photo: ABC

    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.

    Is this surprising but satisfying?
  • Rick And Michonne From The Walking Dead
    Photo: AMC

    All these seasons in, The Walking Dead still finds ways to surprise its audience. And while that often involves some sort of gruesome death, in Season 6 it's romance that gets everyone talking.

    Turns out, not even the Zombie Apocalypse can keep people apart. Rick and Michonne have chemistry from the moment they meet, but their relationship is a massive departure from the comics. And an inspired one, you could argue.

    Is this surprising but satisfying?