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Famous TV Love Triangles: Who Belonged Together?

Rachel M. Johnson is a lover of all things pop culture. She's been writing about music and entertainment online for years.

TV love triangles can be an exciting and often frustrating concept, but they definitely have a way of enticing viewers and leaving them wanting more. Here is a list of famous love triangles that continue to spark debates and drive fans wild. Vote and let me know who you think these characters should have ended up with! (Warning: This post does contain spoilers!)


Dawson & Joey vs. Pacey & Joey (Dawson's Creek)

Perhaps one of the biggest and most heavily debated TV love triangles was that of Dawson, Pacey and Joey. There are two ways to view this epic story: you either are hopelessly invested in Dawson and Joey's Romeo and Juliet like love, or you rooted for the charming and funny best friend to finally get the girl. Though by now you should know the outcome of this love story, that Joey and Pacey found their happy ending together while Dawson went off to direct in Hollywood, the decision remains debated.

Maybe you thought Dawson and Joey were soulmates and deserved a movie-perfect ending, or perhaps you rejoiced when Pacey got the girl of his dreams. Regardless of your stance, the Dawson/Pacey/Joey epic love triangle remains a hot topic.

My Verdict: Pacey wins hands down! He was one of the greatest TV boyfriends of all time, and accepted Joey for who she was (flaws and all). He bought her a wall! Built a boat called True Love! The two definitely deserved their happy ending.


Buffy & Spike vs. Buffy & Angel (Buffy the Vampire Slayer)

Buffy and Angel began an epic and often tragic love story when the hit show debuted, and fans everywhere rooted for the star-crossed lovers. When Angel went off on his own adventures (and his own show), viewers watched Buffy date good guy (and Initiative member) Riley. It's a fair consensus that their romance lacked a certain spark, so when Spike entered the picture, fans were shocked. Seeing the once villainous Spike fall completely in love with Buffy was exciting to watch. When the two began a passionate yet often volatile romance, viewers everywhere began an ongoing debate of who Buffy belonged with.

Was it brooding Angel, who despite being a vampire had a soul and cared deeply for the slayer? Or was it resident bad boy Spike, who changed for Buffy and helped the Scoobies out? There isn't really a definitive answer, just a topic that will continue to cause heated discussions.

My Verdict: While I loved seeing Angel and Buffy together, Spike had a huge character transformation and accepted Buffy for all her flaws and hang-ups. His love for the slayer ran deep and there was no denying their sizzling chemistry.


Stefan & Elena vs. Damon & Elena (The Vampire Diaries)

Though the extremely common "good" guy vs. "bad guy" love triangle has been done over and over again, very few were executed as well as on The Vampire Diaries. In the case of the Stefan/Damon/Elena debacle, the "good guy" was handsome and sweet Stefan (who let's be honest was slightly boring) and the "bad guy" was his misunderstood, brooding brother Damon. Though this recipe has been used before, what made is so different was that Elena looks exactly like Damon and Stefan's former love, Katherine.

You were either 100% Team Stefan, who selflessly loved and protected Elena, or you were all for Team Damon, who brought Elena passion and excitement. This brother vs. brother debate will remain a popular one.

My Verdict: Sorry Stefan, but Damon definitely deserved to get the girl! While Stefan was sweet and protective, Damon sparked passion within Elena and watching their love story unfold was a crazy and often heart-wrenching ride.


Bill & Sookie vs. Eric & Sookie (True Blood)

Another epic debate of good guy vs. bad guy was True Blood's Bill and Eric. When Bill entered the scene, he immediately captivated Sookie's attention. He was a handsome and mysterious southern gentlemen who also happened to have a pair of fangs. Bill brought Sookie (sorry, "Sookeh!") out of her shell and opened her world up to all-things supernatural. Then there's Eric: Viking vampire and sheriff, who's tall and brooding with a talent for being bad. He was one of her few love interests that didn't view her as some damsel in distress, but rather a capable, strong woman.

Though Sookie actually ended up with some faceless man we never get to see (a pretty lame conclusion if you ask me), fans continue to argue over Bill and Eric. While Bill met the true death and Eric went off with Pam, the epic debate of Bill vs. Eric rages on.

My Verdict: Eric. Eric. Eric! I don't think I can stress anymore how much I wished they ended up together. They had sizzling chemistry and passion that truly put Bill and Sookie's romance to shame.


Big & Carrie vs. Aidan & Carrie (Sex and the City)

Let's be honest here: Carrie's track record with men isn't the greatest. But two guys managed to capture her attention and her heart. In one corner we have Mr. Big: handsome, dark and mysterious who from the get-go made Carrie's heart skip-a-beat. His emotional scars from past relationships caused him to often treat Carrie poorly, and made him scared of commitment. He eventually was able to grow and mature, and managed to get his act together and win Carrie back.

In the other corner we have Aidan: The gentle and down-to-earth carpenter who was the anti-Big in all ways: he was emotionally available, honest and trust-worthy and was truly devoted to Carrie. He was good for Carrie and the only real downfall was his life goals were different from hers. Aidan wanted to get married and have children, while Carrie wasn't sure what future she envisioned.

My Verdict: Carrie and Big deserved each other, all their flaws and all. In my opinion, Aidan was too good for Carrie. Big and Carrie made more sense and it was obvious from the beginning he was meant for her.


Rory & Jess vs. Rory & Logan. vs. Rory & Dean (Gilmore Girls)

Okay so this isn't exactly a love triangle, but fans of Gilmore Girls continue debating over which guy was meant to be with Rory. Behind Door #1 you have Dean: Rory's first boyfriend, tall, handsome and wholesome. Lorelai absolutely loved him and he built Rory a car! Then there's Door #2: Jess; Stars Hollow's book loving bad boy. He's edgy and cool and immediately capture's Rory's attention. Finally there's Door #3: Charming, rich guy Logan who challenges Rory to step outside her comfort zone.

All three guys have their pros and cons, and though in the revival Rory ultimately ends up with neither of them, the debate still rages on.

My Verdict: I have to go with Jess. Though initially he was brooding and angsty, Jess turned his life around by the latter part of the series and demonstrated in the revival he would always be the Luke to Rory's Lorelai.


Barney & Robin vs. Ted & Robin (How I Met Your Mother)

Everyone knows that Ted fell hard for Robin from the very beginning of How I Met Your Mother. It was essentially the basis for the whole show, even though Robin was not the infamous mother. Ted professed his love far too early, stole a blue horn and partook in a roller-coaster romance with Robin. On the other side of the romance spectrum was Barney: Ted's buddy and ultimate womanizer, who viewed Robin as an epic wing-woman that he casually slept with and ended up falling for.

Many fans have expressed their disdain for the series' finale for a plethora of reasons; namely that the mother passes away, Robin and Barney divorce after a wedding that took a season to happen, and Ted ends up back with Robin. The finale sparked a debate of who Robin should have chosen: Barney or Ted.

My Verdict: Barney. Ted and Robin's romance ran its course, and honestly Barney and Robin just made sense. They were both alphas who complimented each other and pushed one another to grow.

Joey and Rachel vs. Ross and Rachel.

Joey and Rachel vs. Ross and Rachel.

Joey & Rachel vs. Ross & Rachel (Friends)

I know what you're thinking: Ross and Rachel are each other's lobsters, they may or may not have been on a break, and Joey's two ultimate loves were food and women (and his bromance with Chandler). The Ross and Rachel will they/won't they ran over the course of the show's ten seasons, and many wholeheartedly believed the two were soulmates. When Joey began to fall in love with a pregnant Rachel, many fans were shocked. Though initially she didn't reciprocate the sentiment, Rachel would later develop romantic feelings for Joey.

The love triangle had polarizing opinions, with many upset that a Joey/Rachel pairing ever happened. In contrast, viewers also were split on Rachel's decision to give up Paris and get off the plane for Ross.

My Verdict: This might be controversial, but I honestly really enjoyed seeing Joey and Rachel together. The often shallow Joey fell in love with Rachel when she was pregnant, and the two were close friends before. While Ross and Rachel were sweet early on, to me they became problematic in later seasons. I'm not upset they ended up together, but I would have loved to see where Rachel and Joey's relationship could have gone.

© 2018 Rachel M Johnson