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.
While Bones occasionally gives fans a glimpse into Cam’s romantic life, it never really commits to the idea of having her in a serious relationship – until Season 8. That's when viewers unexpectedly find out she’s dating Arastoo Vaziri, one of Brennan's squinterns.
The relationship is surprising because it has basically no build-up. Also, it seems out of character for Cam to date someone who works for her. But love conquers all. Although these two have their fair share of hardship, they get their happily ever after.
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.