The relationships that we see on television can be intriguing for many different reasons, from drama to romance to humor to just about every type of bond represented on our screens.
However, some relationships take that even further, making the pairing or their journey more memorable than most. There isn't always an explanation of why that may be; sometimes, the way characters interact stands out.
But one thing is the same for every memorable TV relationship: they were worth the wait.
Whether there was a wait for them to share scenes or a wait for something like that to appear onscreen, it was worth it.
And this isn't only about romantic relationships, because bonds with family and friends stay with you long after a show is done.
Here is a selection of a few relationships that displayed a connection meaningful enough to really stand out long after an episode or the show aired.
What are some memorable TV relationships over the years that you personally think were worth the wait?
Bellamy and Clarke (The 100)
Seven seasons. Countless years. Many promises.
Bellamy and Clarke were clearly too intimidating to make happen, even after countless baiting and genuine build-up season after season. And having both Bob Morley and Eliza Taylor confirm that they were told Bellarke was romantic helps a little, but having The 100 commit to what they were writing the entire time would be even better.
Regardless, it doesn't take away from the chemistry and the love that the characters had for one another during the realistic portions of the series.
It is frustrating not to have a story organically told as it was intended to be, but it was still worth getting to meet Bellamy Blake and Clarke Griffin and go on (most) of their journey together.
Getting to experience a soulmate bond between Bellamy and Clarke went beyond just partners or friends or potential love interests; it was always all of that and more. Unlike any other friendship, the romantic potential probably was just too powerful for The 100.
That doesn't excuse the lazy conclusion that the final season pretended made sense for the two of them. It also doesn't excuse the fact that the audience didn't get what was building up all this time onscreen.
Bellamy and Clarke's love was a unique and memorable TV relationship that defined being worth the wait in many ways.
Betty and Archie (Riverdale)
Technically there is still an official wait to see what becomes of Betty and Archie, which is the perfect example of why they are included here.
Throughout the Riverdale run, there was always this lingering question of what could be if Betty and Archie were explored fully. It didn't feel like a question of if but of when, and it looks like the fans are finally getting to see that manifested in the upcoming season of the show.
The fact that the wait only made things more interesting in terms of seeing where Betty and Archie will end up means their relationship was well worth the wait.
Dani and Jamie (The Haunting of Bly Manor)
One of the few highlights this year, both in general and in terms of television, was Dani and Jamie's introduction.
Sometimes you need a soft relationship that makes you yearn for what those characters have, and if it appears when you least expect that, that makes it even more special. Dani and Jamie did not only bring happiness with their relationship, but they also made us feel all the emotions, and for that, we are so blessed.
“You said it was a ghost story; it wasn’t. It was a love story.”
Michael and Book (Star Trek: Discovery)
There aren't enough discussions about those couples that get together so seamlessly. They work well together, and then they happen, making something so simple still feel so wonderful.
Enter Michael and Book. The pairing that stole our hearts, making us want to watch them go on adventures and be happy together forever.
They managed to make us root for them in what felt like no time at all, and it has only gotten better since. Their relationship was worth the wait because it didn't feel like that is what we are waiting for, and yet it made perfect sense when it happened.
Din Djarin and Baby Yoda (The Mandalorian)
This past year has been so difficult that the level of adorable on television needed to be turned up a notch.
The scenes between The Mandalorian and Baby Yoda are the soothing balm that we all need in our lives right about now. It is soft and sweet, like the family energy we are all looking for right now but even more precious.
This is why they were worth the wait; they are making everything better for all of us right now.
Mulder and Scully (The X-Files)
Not every relationship is worth waiting seven years for, which is why Mulder and Scully were the blueprints for what good chemistry and good writing can achieve. Their connection wasn't the focus of The X-Files, but it was the center of the story no matter what.
And even though the show took its time getting the two of them together, none of that felt like a waste. It mixed the sci-fi elements with the subtle subtext romance for a memorable show, unlike any other.
Mulder and Scully definitely set the standard for many relationships to come, but the television landscape wouldn't be what it is now without them.
Jake and Amy (Brooklyn Nine-Nine)
Brooklyn Nine-Nine made it obvious from the pilot that Jake and Amy were going somewhere. It took them a while to admit that to one another amidst other relationships and denial and all the confusion in between.
But that build up made their inevitable romance even more amazing because there was a good amount of time invested in making sure their romance was done right. So much so that Jake and Amy are one of the few relationships that destroyed the Moonlighting Curse.
TV couples can get together and be just as interesting once they happen because of Jake and Amy's relationships.
Logan and Veronica (Veronica Mars)
What's upsetting here is how fans waited for progress for years, from the TV show to the movie to the revival, only for that to be addressed in the most unfortunate way.
Logan and Veronica could never stay away from each other for very long on Veronica Mars, and so their love story only became more and more meaningful. But then the revival explored Veronica and Logan getting to the best place in their relationship, only for a last-second shock value twist that killed off Logan.
Even though the show itself lost sight of what made its story stronger, that doesn't mean the relationship wasn't worth waiting for. If anything, this much outrage over that decision proved how much Logan and Veronica mattered to the show's fans.
Those At The Center of Everything (Stranger Things)
Stranger Things has this rare way of telling a good story; they split the leading group up and then have them come back with different parts of the bigger puzzle. They all need one another to solve the season's issue, and each subgroup is always interesting in its own way, and it only gets better when everyone comes together.
Not every show can achieve that, but Stranger Things manages it every single season. It explores each character individually because they are always spending time with new people. Yet, at the same time, it always returns to that nostalgic feeling of the main group needing one another.
This show and the bond these characters have are special, so it was such a pleasant surprise to everyone when it was introduced to us.
The Core Group (Search Party)
Not every friend group can commit a murder together and still co-exist.
Exploring the story through Dory, Drew, Portia, Elliot, and Julian's eyes is refreshing because they aren't great people. They bring around so much chaos, and their connections to one another all revolve around these dark secrets now. But somehow, through dark humor and these forced circumstances, they make it work.
They might not want to be together, but they have to be, and somehow they are in a better place when they come back to one another. It doesn't make sense, yet Search Party still makes it interesting by exploring these realistic relationships that don't always look like we expect them to.
Patrick and David (Schitt’s Creek)
Schitt's Creek is a hug in television form, and David and Patrick are the warm cup of hot chocolate on the side.
It was an absolute joy to get to peek into Schitt's Creek for as long as we did, from the hilarious world-building to the top-notch character building. This was a show that deserved all the praise that it got, and that is before we get to David and Patrick.
They were the perfect match for one another, Patrick's immense positivity balancing out David's cynical outlook on things. As soon as Patrick was introduced, there was no going back for these two. They are simply the best.
Anne and Gilbert (Anne With An E)
It is weird to know without a doubt that a couple will get together yet still worry about when that will actually happen. Anne With An E tackled a story that had many adaptations, and obviously, Anne and Gilbert were going to be a couple.
But the show succeeded in building on that knowledge while at the same time making that wait so anxiety-inducing.
Unfortunately, the audience didn't get to see Anne and Gilbert explored once they actually got together, but what little did air was significant in its own right.
The Alvarez Family (One Day at a Time)
One Day at a Time was appreciated by its fans but never got the full support that it deserved on television.
The topics they explored were so crucial, and it was even better because it came from the Alvarez family's outlook. We need more families on television that love one another and go through issues but always grow stronger from that.
One Day at a Time is an incredible show in general because every episode was extraordinary. Sadly, it found itself canceled for a second time, not getting the chance to explore everything it wanted and the audience needed. But a show like this doesn't exist often, and it was worth the wait.
The Pogues (Outer Banks)
There is always a need for more found family relationships, and Outer Banks delivered exactly that to us this year.
It didn't actually take long for this relationship to develop on screen, but the wait for it behind the scenes is what matters. Characters coming together because of an unlikely shift and finding a home in their bond is special every single time. There aren't enough shows that give us that, which is why Outer Banks drew so many of us in.
A good group at the center of your story will make it worth watching without a second thought.
Stiles and Lydia (Teen Wolf)
Seeing possibilities when even the show might not yet is a unique type of relationship.
There was always this promise of something more between Stiles and Lydia, but it took holding out hope until the very end to see that manifested on screen. Some of that was because of screentime issues at the very end, but it was also about Stiles and Lydia getting to a place where they were both ready for a romance with one another.
Regardless of the wait, Stiles and Lydia had a relationship that grew over time and is memorable for that wait that got it there.
Wade and Zoe (Hart of Dixie)
It is really rare for a couple introduced in the first episode of a show to make it until the end. That's not only because a pilot pairing is usually a stepping stone to something else, but also because of how that potential can build from there.
Hart of Dixie managed to change that assumption with Wade and Zoe. From the very beginning, there was something more there, and it was entertaining and intense enough to keep that interest.
Wade and Zoe were a special relationship because they made a gem of a show even better with their existence.
Jess and Rory (Gilmore Girls)
A relationship doesn't have to be endgame to leave behind a mark on those who watched the journey. Jess and Rory have been through so much together, starting with an instant connection when they first met.
What followed was a friendship, a romance, and many other feelings in between.
They were headed to that finish line of genuine happiness together, but even if the revival didn't deliver on that, it doesn't take away from the meaningful story told and that we all got to witness.
Rebecca and Paula and Valencia and Heather (Crazy Ex-Girlfriend)
Sometimes you need to see women appreciating one another in-between moments of drama. Crazy Ex-Girlfriend delivered precisely that with a beautiful relationship between this foursome.
It was a welcome distraction to get to see Rebecca, Paula, Valencia, and Heather in scenes of genuine love and support for one another.
Bellamy and Gabriel (The 100)
Understandably there was an overload of attention to just about everything during The 100 Season 7. A disappointing end to a series brings about many thoughts, and some memorable moments don't get discussed as they deserve.
For example, Gabriel and Bellamy shared something that still needs to be discussed. There was talk of some chemistry existing between the two of them since they first crossed paths.
This moment needs to be appreciated because it was one of the few highlights of the final season, and it was a memorable interaction.
It felt like the narrative addressed what the audience felt, and that is always gratifying to experience.
Which of these relationships was the most meaningful to you? Do you think any relationships should have been added here? Which memorable bonds would you choose for your own list?
Let us know in the comments below!
Yana Grebenyuk was a staff writer for TV Fanatic. She retired in April 2021.