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.
Who would think that Little Grey and Sloan would become such a beloved couple in the Grey’s Anatomy universe? Especially since their relationship comes seemingly out of the blue. Lexie asks Mark to teach her about medical stuff. He resists, because she’s Meredith’s little sister and too young for him. But by then end of the episode, Lexie goes up to his hotel room, takes off her clothes, and says “Teach me.”
And then there's the whole tragic ending. We’re not crying, you’re crying.
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.