It’s Valentine’s Day, which means it’s time to celebrate our favorite TV ships! These are current and Of All Time ships (so, you know, they’re kind of a big deal) and I’d like to hear your picks or disagreements in the comments. (Chuck/Blair fans need not apply. Just kidding. Or am I?)
Barney Stinson / Robin Scherbatsky
How I Met Your Mother
I love how these actors play off each other, and their love story in the early seasons was fun and unique. They’re each selfish and bad at relationships, but somehow, they fit together perfectly. They called it quits once, but they never stopped loving each other, which means this marriage might actually work. It won’t be without its ups and downs — they wouldn’t be Barney and Robin without their explosive fights, ridiculous antics, and scotch-sipping — but I believe Uncle Barney and Aunt Robin will be just fine.
Dan Humphrey / Blair Waldorf
I was a fan of this pairing almost from the beginning. Two characters from different social circles, socioeconomic statuses, and perspectives, Dan and Blair always had compelling interactions and a fascinating push-and-pull even when they were on opposite sides of an issue. The show started with a decidedly Dan/Serena bias, but it shifted the focus quickly to Chuck/Blair, which made any potential of a Dan/Blair relationship seem unlikely. Season 4 surprised everyone by finally throwing Dan and Blair into a storyline where they gradually realized their similar interests and equal intellect. Their ever-present chemistry intensified as Dan realized his feelings, and eventually, they ended up dating despite it all. This will always be both my favorite and least-favorite ships of all time: They were so great when they were allowed to be themselves, but ultimately the relationship sank into the dank and foul cesspool known as the Gossip Girl writer’s room. I’ll always blame Stephanie Savage for that.
Emma Swan / Jefferson
Once Upon a Time
A single episode launched this ship for me. Sebastian Stan and Jennifer Morrison had crackling chemistry, but his busy schedule made him a rarity in Storybrooke, so the relationship never came to fruition. It’s a shame, because she doesn’t have the same chemistry with Neal, and she and Jefferson could’ve bonded over their children. (Maybe Grace would’ve made Henry a little less irritating. A girl can dream!)
Greg House / Allison Cameron
Emma Swan’s lack of chemistry with Neal on Once is even more confusing when you consider the first three seasons of House. Cameron challenged House and made him softer at the same time. I don’t know why this show was so reluctant to explore their dynamic (one date and a few allusions to feelings did not amount to a fair shot) but I always found this relationship far more compelling than the one between House and Cuddy. I suppose, in the end, House never felt like he deserved Cameron.
Guy / Marian
BBC Robin Hood
I know I already talked about Dan/Blair being my favorite and least-favorite ship, but oh, this one probably beats that. I mean, at least Dan never stabbed Blair through the midsection with a sword and killed her. Marian probably could’ve planned that a little better — maybe don’t tell your scorned lover that you’ve been in love with his mortal enemy while he’s holding a sword in your general vicinity — but it doesn’t excuse Guy’s actions. Still, I think back fondly on all of those intense scenes between Lucy Griffiths and Richard Armitage (a leather-clad Richard Armitage at that…) and I wonder where it all went wrong. I guess they couldn’t go against canon and have Marian run off with the villain, but at the same time, was that their only solution to the problem? Robin/Marian had their fans but their sweet scenes were always overshadowed by the intensity of any and all Guy/Marian interactions. I guess the chemistry between Richard and Lucy was so powerful that the only option was to murder.
Harvey Specter / Donna Paulsen
They’ve worked together for years, and their relationship is the only healthy thing Harvey has in his life. Why can’t these two just get together already?! Three seasons is long enough, writers!
Jeff Winger / Annie Edison
I love this ship even if half the time, it feels like fanservice. I’ve said it before and I’ll say it again: my favorite moments with these two are the small ones, like when they unknowingly mirror each other’s body language, or when Jeff desperately tries to convince Annie that “fat dog” is a thing, or when they team up together and work in perfect unison to defeat the Chair Walkers during The Floor is Lava, or when Jeff stands up for Annie without even realizing it. I love cutesy capers and “platonic” shoulder-holding as much as the next shipper, but give me Jeff and Annie teaming up or interacting normally and I’ll be perfectly content. I don’t even need it to be endgame — that’s what “Gravity” videos are for.
Joan Watson / Marcus Bell
Marcus clearly has a soft spot for Joan, and Joan’s always so happy to see Marcus. It’s not a ship I feel particularly strongly about — if one of them starts dating someone else, I won’t be too upset — but I’d really like to see this show explore the possibility. They’d make a very good team, and it’d be nice to see that side of Bell in particular.
Leslie Knope / Ben Wyatt
Parks and Recreation
They are perfect together. He complements her dorkiness (and even surpasses it sometimes — he nerds out about numbers and Star Trek harder than Leslie nerds out about Harry Potter) and he’s always on her side. I defy you to find a healthier relationship on TV.
Logan Echolls / Veronica Mars
Turbulent, passionate, damaging, “spanning years and continents, lives ruined, bloodshed, EPIC” are words that I (and Logan) would use to describe the relationship between Veronica and Logan. He has an intensity that would make anyone else uncomfortable, but Veronica always knows how to match or parry that. The first season was my favorite, because we got to watch Logan’s feelings develop as he got to know Veronica, and we also got to watch Veronica lower her guard and give in to her instinct when Logan first kissed her. For years, their lives after the show ended were always open-ended, but no longer: now, we have a movie.
Michael Scott / Holly Flax
Poor Michael was always so desperate to be in love that he seemed like the type of person who would either marry a horrible person (like Jan) or would stay single forever. Enter Holly Flax, a bigger dork that Michael, with a bigger heart than even Pam Beesly. I cried when Michael proposed, and I couldn’t even watch his last episode until last year, but it helps to know that he’s out there somewhere, happily married and probably talking with Holly in their Yoda voices as you read this.
Mindy Lahiri / Danny Castellano
The Mindy Project
IT HAPPENED. IT FINALLY HAPPENED. It was much sooner than I would’ve thought, and so passionate, and so perfect that I’m afraid to expect a happily-ever-after. Danny said it himself: Mindy forces him to be the best version of himself, and that, among other things, is what he values so much in her. I never thought two characters with such passion about such different things would be a good match, but somehow, Mindy and Danny always seem to find middle ground. Watching them claw to that middle ground is always the best part.
Miranda / Gary Preston
The great thing about this relationship is that the feelings are always there. Gary clearly has the same feelings for Miranda that she has for him, but he’s afraid of commitment and of being tied down. Miranda’s kind of the same way, but with trust issues as well (which is why she took his secret marriage so badly) and a deeply ingrained fear that she will eventually drive him away. If they can work to overcome their insecurities, they’ll be an amazing couple — they’re both quirky in the same way, and ugh, they’re an utter delight to watch.
Oliver Queen / Felicity Smoak
This is a relationship that I’m happy to watch for the slow burn. I might even be okay if they never get together, it depends on how the writing goes over the next couple of seasons. Their scenes are always so emotionally charged and riddled with nuance that no matter who Oliver sleeps with or who Felicity dates, the audience will always know that the bond between them is the deepest of any on the show. As long as that stays the same, I’ll always be a fan.
Richard Cypher / Kahlan Amnell
Legend of the Seeker
The show was cheesy, the story was always bordering on melodramatic, and yet somehow, these two always made the show worth watching. Of all of the ships on this list, I don’t think any of them come close to the chemistry between Bridget Regan and Craig Horner.
Ted Crisp / Veronica Palmer
Better Off Ted
I rewatch this show at least once a year, because it’s funny and I often forget a lot of hilarious scenes. One thing that has never changed is how much I love Ted and Veronica’s interactions. Veronica often confided in Ted, and Ted often went to Veronica for advice. They had a quirky friendship that ran deeper than the clipped voices and sarcasm they often shared. They slept together early on, but it’s never revisited in the two seasons before it was tragically cancelled. Instead, Ted convinced himself he had feelings for Linda, which was a pairing I never understood. (Sorry, Ted/Linda shippers… if any of you exist…)
Ted Mosby / The Mother
How I Met Your Mother
I still don’t know her name, but I do know I love her ukelele rendition of “La Vie en Rose.” I know that she makes her breakfast food sing showtunes, and that she really does do those robot paintings that Ted talked about. I know she makes Ted ridiculously happy and that she agrees to name her kids Penny and Luke. I know that it only took 22 mintues of “How Your Mother Met Me” for me to love her as much as any of the main cast (and more than I love Lily). And I also know that as it stands right now, Ted doesn’t deserve her… but I hope in the handful of episodes that remain, that he redeems himself enough to be worthy of the awesomeness that is The Mother.
Happy Valentine’s Day!