The CW; PopTV; Merie W. Wallace/HBO; DC; Netflix (2)
Believe it or not, 2020 had its fair share of romance. There were first kisses, happy endings, and everything in between. Here are the TV shipper moments we cherished most.
Olicity's reunion, <em>Arrow</em>
There was no guarantee that Emily Bett Rickards would return as Felicity Smoak in Arrow’s final season after departing the show in season 7. Thank Beebo she did. After Oliver Queen (Stephen Amell) sacrificed his life to restart the multiverse in the “Crisis on Infinite Earths” crossover, he went to rest in a paradise dimension and Felicity eventually joined him there, thus giving the couple the happy ending they fought oh so hard for. —Chancellor Agard
Devi kisses Ben, <em>Never Have I Ever</em>
Ben (Jaren Lewison) might've started the season as Devi's (Maitreyi Ramakrishnan) nemesis, but by the end of Never Have I Ever's 10 episodes, Devi had seen another side to him. Sure, he's still the jerk who's going to compete with her at school, but he's also the guy who drove her to Malibu when she needed it most. And that's why she kissed him. But seeing as how Paxton (Darren Barnet) also realized his feelings for Devi in that same episode, things are sure to get interesting in season 2. —Samantha Highfill
David and Patrick tie the knot, <em>Schitt's Creek</em>
There's no denying that Patrick's (Noah Reid) arrival on Schitt's Creek took the show to another level, if only because his romance with David (Daniel Levy) is one of the best things the show ever did. And in the series finale, the couple got their happily-ever-after with a wedding that featured the world's greatest vows (and of course, the greatest officiant). —S.H.
Catra declares her love for Adora, <em>She-Ra</em>
When She-Ra and the Princesses of Power started, Adora (Aimee Carrero) and Catra (AJ Michalka) were best friends. But by the end of the pilot, they had each chosen different sides in the war between Etheria and the Horde. Catra made herself hard to love after that, doing whatever it took to outdo her frenemy. She often flirted (usually with her trademark catcall “hey, Adora”) but it was hard to tell whether this was just psychological manipulation or channeling real feelings. 5 seasons later, we finally got our answer. Beaten down, facing a robotic hivemind army so scary it made the original Horde look like pipsqueaks, Catra tearfully declared her love — which gave Adora/She-Ra all the power she needed to save the world. In the end, their love did conquer all. —Christian Holub
Issa and Lawrence reunite, <em>Insecure</em>
When viewers first met Issa (Issa Rae) and Lawrence (Jay Ellis), their relationship was not in a good place. Lawrence was a bit too comfortable in his unemployment, and their inability to tackle their issues as a team led Issa to find comfort in someone else. But Insecure's fourth season saw the pair, who individually had grown so much, find their way back to each other in a string of glorious episodes. If only the season didn't have to end with Condola's (Christina Elmore) pregnancy... —S.H.
Betty and Archie kiss, <em>Riverdale</em>
"I've never been good enough for you. I'll never be good enough for you." Archie (KJ Apa) said those words to Betty (Lili Reinhart) in Riverdale's pilot. Four seasons later, with both Betty and Archie in serious relationships, the duo revisited the idea of taking things to the next level after sharing a passionate kiss. And although they quickly agreed to put a stop to things at the end of season 4, Riverdale showrunner Roberto Aguirre-Sacasa told EW, "We are continuing the mystery and the relationship drama straight into season 5." —S.H.
Victor kisses Benji, <em>Love, Victor</em>
Love, Victor's first season was all about Victor's (Michael Cimino) struggle with his sexuality, which only made the moment when he finally kissed his crush, Benji (George Sear), that much more powerful. After a work road trip resulted in an overnight stay at a motel, Victor finally gave into his feelings and let Benji know the truth. It was the kind of moment that was worth the wait. —S.H.
Lucifer and Chloe hook up, <em>Lucifer</em>
Lucifer (Tom Ellis) and Detective Chloe Decker (Lauren German), the Netflix’s dramedy’s central will-they won’t-they, finally did it in season 5’s sixth episode — and it didn’t disappoint. Not only did it pay off four-and-a-half seasons worth of anticipation, but the writers used it further complicate their dynamic as Chloe gained the ability to mojo Lucifer after their night together. —C.A.
Harley Quinn and Poison Ivy get together, <em>Harley Quinn</em>
The sardonic eco-terrorist and manic psychiatrist-turned-criminal-mastermind have long been BFFs, making mischief together ever since they first joined forces in Batman: The Animated Series. The first season of the brilliantly bloody Harley Quinn continued that bond but also hinted that there might be something more to the duo’s long-running friendship. Season 2 fully put the spotlight on Harley and Ivy’s romantic relationship: Not only did they fall into bed together after a particularly wild Themysciran bachelorette party, but they ultimately ditched Ivy’s wedding to Kite Man to literally ride off into the sunset together in the season finale. Here’s hoping season 3 brings this criminal couple even greater happiness. —Devan Coggan
Dash's grand gesture, <em>Dash & Lily</em>
For decades, the Beast gifting Belle a library has stood as the supreme romantic gesture for book lovers the world over. But bibliophiles might just have a new frontrunner with this swoony moment. Dash & Lily meet via the exchange of a secret diary hidden in New York City’s iconic Strand bookstore, so it’s a fitting place for their romance to find its happy ending. Ditching her parents and her plane ticket to Fiji, Lily runs to find Dash at The Strand, where he has turned the rare books room (the treasures! the smell of the pages!) into a twinkly testament to their romance. It’s dotted with Christmas trees, complete with ornaments that reference their relationship and a litany of NYC landmarks. For bookish romantics everywhere, it’s pure, blissful wish fulfillment that closes the book on grand gestures. —Maureen Lee Lenker
Landon chooses Hope, <em>Legacies</em>
In Legacies' second season, Landon (Aria Shahghasemi) and Hope (Danielle Rose Russell) faced their biggest hurdle yet as a couple: When Hope sacrificed herself to Malivore, she was erased. So you can't blame Landon for moving on with Josie (Kaylee Bryant). But when Hope returned, we got a love triangle. And when faced with a choice, Landon chose Hope, telling her, "I love you, Hope Mikaelson. I loved you when I couldn't remember you." —S.H.
Richard and Sutton get married, <em>The Bold Type</em>
By season's end, Richard (Sam Page) and Sutton's (Meghann Fahy) relationship was on the rocks to say the least, but nothing can take away the moment that the beloved Bold Type couple whose relationship started in a conference room said "I do." Four seasons and one trip to Paris after the two of them embarked on a risqué work relationship, they made it official. It was a perfect moment, no matter what happened afterward. —S.H,
All of <em>Normal People</em>
Depending on your relationship status when we all locked down, watching Hulu’s wrenching and incredibly steamy adaptation of Normal People could qualify as a form of torture. So much close contact! So many sex scenes! But the reason those episodes all hit in that great (and heartbreaking) way was the excellent chemistry between Daisy Edgar-Jones and Paul Mescal as Marianne and Connell. Every glance, covert touch, every time they said one thing but meant another, left you rooting for them throughout — and perhaps still questioning the “will they or won’t they?” of it all after the finale left their romantic future ambiguous. —Jessica Derschowitz
Nini and Ricky get back together, <em>High School Musical: The Musical: The Series</em>
After a showstopping opening night performance, Ricky (Joshua Bassett) finally tells Nini (Olivia Rodrigo) that he loves her in an adorable (and improvised!) speech. Their romantic kiss finally brought them together after spending all of season 1 broken up, but was it enough to keep Nini at East High? Or will she transfer to a prestigious music school now that she’s been offered a spot? —Sydney Bucksbaum
Clarke and Lexa reunite, <em>The 100</em>
The finale version of Lexa (Alycia Debnam-Carey) may not have been real, but seeing Clarke (Eliza Taylor) get to “reunite” with her in the series finale and get one last hug was the moment The 100 shippers have been waiting for ever since her controversial season 3 death. It wasn’t much, and the series certainly didn’t end the way most fans wanted, but at least they got this moment before it all ended for good! —S.B.
Bubblegum and Marceline get romantic, <em>Adventure Time: Distant Lands</em>
Adventure Time may have ended, but Bubbline endures. Over the course of the series’ 10-season run on Cartoon Network, the show frequently hinted at a romantic history between everyone’s favorite ageless emo vampire and sugary scientist dictator — finally culminating with a kiss in 2018’s series finale. But 2020 brought Marceline and Bubblegum back for the HBO Max special “Obsidian,” which takes a deep dive into both their current relationship and their tumultuous romantic history. As Marcy sings to PB as they’re trapped in a cave, about to be murdered by a rampaging dragon, “Loving you is a good problem to have” (a callback to her song “I’m Just Your Problem” in season 3). What could be more romantic than that? —D.C.
Samuel and Bess kiss, <em>Little Voice</em>
2020 was a great year for television love triangles, and Little Voice brought a standout one with aspiring singer-songwriter Bess King (Brittany O’Grady) drawn to both filmmaker Ethan (Sean Teale) and guitarist Samuel (Colton Ryan). While Ethan remained problematic complete with serious girlfriend, Samuel was a rock for Bess, there through family strife and struggles with unimaginative record labels and leering producers. In the first season’s final moments, Sam finally pulled Bess aside for a backstage kiss dripping with yearning and promise – all before he went out to accompany her on a triumphant performance of “Little Voice,” a song which she struggled to write all season. We stan a supportive, emotionally well-adjusted guitar hunk. —Maureen Lee Lenker
Zoey and Max hook up, <em>Zoey's Extraordinary Playlist</em>
Throughout its entire first season, Zoey’s Extraordinary Playlist crafted one of the finest TV love triangles in years, leaving Zoey (Jane Levy) stuck between her adorable best friend (Skylar Astin) and her companion-in-grief, Simon (John Clarence Stewart). For a while, it seemed Max would fall prey to the awful “nice guy” trope. But Astin is so likeable in the role in spite of it, we couldn’t help screaming at our TV when the two finally kissed in the season finale as Zoey found herself attracted to his newfound confidence. It got dreamy with Max singing John Legend’s “All of Me” and then steamy with his hilarious, yet still sexy, take on Pitbull’s “I Know You Want Me” (the range!). We would walk 500 miles for more of this. —M.L.
Ray and Nora’s wedding and Zari 1.0 and Nate’s reunion, <em>DC’s Legends of Tomorrow</em>
The wacky-heartwarming superhero show’s fifth season wasn’t lacking in the romance department. First, there was Ray (Brendan Routh) and Nora’s (Courtney Ford) inevitable wedding, a sweet affair that was made even sweeter because Ford and Routh are married in real life and Neil McDonough returned as daddy darkhest, Damien Darhk for the occasion. And then later on in the season, Legends mended and broke our hearts when Nate (Nick Zano) and Zari 1.0 (Tala Ashe) found each other only to be separated once again when Zari 1.0 went back inside the totem to save her brother’s life. (And Zari 2.0 and Constantine’s unexpected pairing also deserves a shoutout!) —C.A.