20 of the Best Love Triangles in the History of TV (PHOTOS)

TV

20 of the Best Love Triangles in the History of TV (PHOTOS)

by
Shares
20 of the Best Love Triangles in the History of TV (PHOTOS)

Some are messy, some are epic, but love triangles make for compelling television.

Scroll through the gallery to relive 20 of the best TV love triangles ever, from Buffy the Vampire Slayer to Scandal.

20 of the Best Love Triangles in the History of TV (PHOTOS)
Advertisement
← Tip: Use keyboard arrows to navigate →

20. The Vampire Diaries: Damon - Elena - Stefan

Advertisement

20. The Vampire Diaries: Damon - Elena - Stefan

Advertisement

Stefan and Elena on The Vampire Diaries seemed meant to be, but then his evil brother Damon entered the picture. And who could ever resist a bad boy?

Only Elena saw the humanity in Damon when others had written him off. Add that faith to the power of the sire bond between them and there was just never any hope for whatever Stelena shippers remained. 

Even breaking the sire bond couldn't tear Delena apart!

Advertisement

19. How I Met Your Mother: Ted - Robin - Barney

Advertisement

19. How I Met Your Mother: Ted - Robin - Barney

Advertisement

This love triangle left a lot of unhappy fans when the Carter Bays/Craig Thomas comedy took its final bow. Fans who shipped Robin and Barney got their wedding, but were dismayed to find out the marriage ends in divorce.

But even if you didn't want Robin and Barney to end up together, chances are you were pretty pissed by the series end. 

Turns out, the whole nine years Ted was telling his kids how he met their mother — whom we finally meet, only to watch her die minutes later — were just his attempt to justify rekindling his romance with "Aunt Robin."


Advertisement

18. True Blood: Sookie - Bill - Eric

18. True Blood: Sookie - Bill - Eric

Advertisement

This was one of those love triangles that started out hot and went on way too long — kind of like the series True Blood itself.

In the end, Sookie ends up with some rando and honestly we don't really even remember because we were just glad the show was finally over.

But for a while at least, this vampire triad was super steamy!

Advertisement

17. Gossip Girl: Nate - Blair - Chuck

Advertisement

17. Gossip Girl: Nate - Blair - Chuck

Advertisement

Gossip Girl's Nate Archibald and Blair Waldorf seemed meant to be — but in the end it turns out they were only good on paper. These Upper East Siders were too alike to be anything but good friends.

Plus, the perfect princess always has to end up with the hopeless bad boy! Who else can reform him? These are just the rules of TV, folks.

After the way Blair took care of Chuck when he showed up drunk and belligerent at his dad's (first) funeral, we knew those two would end up together.

Advertisement

16. Pretty Little Liars: Spencer - Caleb - Hanna

Advertisement

16. Pretty Little Liars: Spencer - Caleb - Hanna

Advertisement

OK OK, we always knew Hanna and Caleb were OTP, but we loved the super-intellectual, super-steamy thing Spencer had with Caleb after the 5-year time jump on Pretty Little Liars.

Rosewood's second best hacker (Mona will always be #1) was a better match for Spencer, intellectually, than Toby ever was. Don't @ us!

Plus, their breakup was one of the most heartbreaking scenes in PLL history.

Advertisement

15. LOST: Jack - Kate - Sawyer

15. LOST: Jack - Kate - Sawyer

Advertisement

Jack and Kate connected right after the crash and became the de facto leaders of the survivors, but soon she was drawn to the smarmy bad boy Sawyer. He was a scam artist, but his feelings for her were no con. 

Unfortunately for Sawyer, they weren't endgame.

After Jack and Kate are rescued, a reformed Sawyer settled down with reformed "Other" Juliet.

Advertisement

14. Beverly Hills, 90210: Brenda - Dylan - Kelly

Advertisement

14. Beverly Hills, 90210: Brenda - Dylan - Kelly

Advertisement

It's possible this love triangle is the grandparent of all teen drama love triangles. Now it seems you just can't make a teen drama without having one friend hook up with or fall for their best friend's girl or guy. 

It ended Kelly and Brenda's relationship for a time, but Kelly and Dylan's fling is what really helped her character develop beyond the spoiled rich girl archetype.

Advertisement

13. The Walking Dead: Rick - Lori - Shane

Advertisement

13. The Walking Dead: Rick - Lori - Shane

Advertisement

Rural sheriff Rick Grimes wakes up from a coma to discover not only has the world fallen to a zombie apocalypse, but his partner and best friend Shane has impregnated his wife and basically taken over his life.

Tensions over Lori and who should lead the group flared over two seasons between the frenemies. 

There really was only one way this Walking Dead triangle could end.

Advertisement

12. Scandal: Fitz - Olivia - Jake

12. Scandal: Fitz - Olivia - Jake

Advertisement

As Scandal nears its finale, Shondaland fans have to wonder if Fitz and Olivia will end up together despite the volatility of their relationship. It definitely seems more up in the air than the mess that was Jake and Olivia.

Uh... show of hands for Olivia ending up alone?

Advertisement

11. Gilmore Girls: Luke - Lorelai - Christopher

Advertisement

11. Gilmore Girls: Luke - Lorelai - Christopher

Advertisement

When do you find yourself rooting against two parents getting back together? When they stand in the way of a romance like Gilmore Girls' Luke Danes and Lorelai Gilmore.

Still, we have a fondness for Christopher, and the chemistry between him and Lor is undeniable. If only he'd learned to grow up a bit sooner, we might feel differently about this triangle.

Advertisement

10. Grey's Anatomy: Meredith - Derek - Addison

Advertisement

10. Grey's Anatomy: Meredith - Derek - Addison

Advertisement

Grey's Anatomy has had a slew of love triangles, but there's nothing like your first. Before there was April/Jackson/Maggie, there was the rivalry over McDreamy.

Of course we know how that one ended — Addison eventually went into Private Practice, and Mer and Der were one true pairing up until Derek was hit by a truck.

Advertisement

9. Game of Thrones: Ser Jorah - Daenerys - Daario

9. Game of Thrones: Ser Jorah - Daenerys - Daario

Advertisement

It's hard to be the queen, but it's probably even harder to be hopelessly in love with her. Just ask poor, unrequited Ser Jorah on Game of Thrones.

It's gotta be tough knowing the love of your life is getting it from the sexy sellsword Daario, but hey — it's not like Daario has it much easier.

Though Dany clearly has some feelings for the warrior, her true love is power — and she will put her pursuit of the Iron Throne above all.

Advertisement

8. Glee: Rachel - Finn - Quinn

Advertisement

8. Glee: Rachel - Finn - Quinn

Advertisement

The star quarterback and the head cheerleader are always paired off, but the Ryan Murphy musical dramedy found the football player (played by the late Cory Monteith) falling for the nerdy glee club girl.

Cory's chemistry with eventual real-life girlfriend Lea Michele really made you root for this cliche-bending romance. Plus, it resulted in Dianna Agron delivering some of the cattiest insults in the history of mean girls.

Advertisement

7. Pretty Little Liars: Alison - Emily - Paige

Advertisement

7. Pretty Little Liars: Alison - Emily - Paige

Advertisement

Paily shippers and Emison shippers can all agree Emily Fields has the purest heart in Rosewood, and she deserved an epic Forever Love.

We might disagree on who would've made the better match for Shay Mitchell's character, but boy did we love watching both romances play out.

Advertisement

6. Gilmore Girls: Dean - Rory - Jess

6. Gilmore Girls: Dean - Rory - Jess

Advertisement

Sorry-not-sorry, Logan fans, but this is the only Rory love triangle worth mentioning. 

Dean and Rory were the perfect high school love, but in the end we think Jess and Rory were the better match. Luke's nephew taught Stars Hollow's favorite daughter to take risks. In turn, Rory taught Jess to not be such a jerk.

Advertisement

5. Felicity: Noel - Felicity - Ben

Advertisement

5. Felicity: Noel - Felicity - Ben

Advertisement

This love triangle was so epic, it required two alternate universes to explore the outcome of each. 

In the first, Felicity decides she can't forgive Ben's one-night stand and ends up with Noel. However, in the end it was all a fever dream! She chooses to forgive Ben and move on, together.

Advertisement

4. Dawson's Creek: Pacey - Joey - Dawson

Advertisement

4. Dawson's Creek: Pacey - Joey - Dawson

Advertisement

Joey pined for Dawson for ages, but in the end it was the reformed bad boy who won her heart. Honestly, if you go back even to the first season and see the chemistry between Joey and Pacey you know it's right.

Plus, if Dawson hadn't been rejected, we wouldn't have the best GIF in the history of GIFs.

Advertisement

3. Friends: Ross - Rachel - Joey

3. Friends: Ross - Rachel - Joey

Advertisement

Ross and Rachel were two thirds of a few Friends love triangles, but this one was the only one to involve three of the core cast members.

As painful as it was to see a lovelorn Joey's heart broken, his love for Rachel really transformed him into a grown-up. We sometimes like to imagine an alternate universe where they're raising Emma together in Paris and Joey is France's new Jerry Lewis.

Advertisement

2. Buffy the Vampire Slayer: Angel - Buffy - Spike

Advertisement

2. Buffy the Vampire Slayer: Angel - Buffy - Spike

Advertisement

Love can sometimes feel like life and death, but it really was in this particular love triangle. 

Every single one of these three died at least once. Buffy had to kill Angel to stop Armageddon in Season 2, then she killed herself in place of her sister to close a hell dimension portal in Season 5.

After Buffy was resurrected, Spike fell in love with her, going through the ultimate villain-to-hero arc and sacrificing himself to save her and the world in the series finale.

Advertisement

1. Sex and the City: Aidan - Carrie - Mr. Big

Advertisement

1. Sex and the City: Aidan - Carrie - Mr. Big

Advertisement

There's two kinds of people in this world: Team Aidan and Team Big.

If you're Team Aidan, you probably stopped watching the show in Season 4. You like mid-century modern furniture and think beer has gotten too fancy.

If you're Team Big, you think Aidan is boring and too much of a homebody for social butterfly Carrie. (Or you just hate Carrie and Big equally and think they deserve each other.)

Whatever team you're on, we know you're still to this day arguing with friends who disagree.

Advertisement
Advertisement

Some are messy, some are epic, but love triangles make for compelling television.

Scroll through the gallery to relive 20 of the best TV love triangles ever, from Buffy the Vampire Slayer to Scandal.