What makes TV shows worth watching? One word: OTPs. If you’re scratching your head on what OTPs are, don’t worry. You probably know what it is but didn’t realize what it was called OTP. OTPs are One True Pairings, aka the couple that fans can’t stop watching because of the great chemistry between the two individuals and what the relationship itself represents. Most people use OTP do describe romantic pairings; however, the term can be used to describe friendships as well (who can really deny that JD and Turk from Scrubs aren’t an OTP?).
OTPs have been around since early days of television and movies (George and Mary from It’s a Wonderful Life and Lucy and Ricky from I Love Lucy are great examples ). However, no one had a formal term to define the couples that cause fans to obsess over for months and years at a time. Thanks to social media connecting tv/movie fans, we finally have the term OTP to properly define the “it” tv/movie onscreen couples.
Being huge TV/movie fans ourselves, we at RLR naturally have our favorite OTPs and have compiled them below. We have also gotten some reader feedback on favorite OTPs as well. We would love to hear your thoughts on your favorites, so please comment below or tweet us at @late_reviews with your favorite OTP and why you love them.
Luke and Lorelai (Gilmore Girls)
Sapna: Gilmore Girls’ Luke and Lorelai had a bumpy road throughout their relationship, dealing the curve balls life threw at them, including exes, Emily Gilmore, and a long lost daughter. Before they were together, the two were the best of friends. Luke was there for Lorelai after Friday night dinner with coffee, pie, and an opportunity to vent. He was there finding loose baby chicks, bidding on her basket, driving her to the hospital when Richard collapsed, building chuppahs, fixing practically every inch of Lorelai’s house, and helping to move the Yale mattress out of Rory’s dorm, into her dorm, and then back out of her dorm, just to name a few.
Source: Warner Brothers
Lorelai too has been a rock for Luke. She ran the diner when Luke was planning his Uncle Louie’s funeral and ensured the reenactors were present. She helped find a gift for Luke’s girlfriend Rachel (and a brand new wardrobe for the man!), offered parenting tips (though poorly received) to Luke for Jess (and later April), painted the entire diner, and wrote a character reference letter for Luke to have partial custody of April. No matter what their romantic relationship status or whether they knew it or not, Luke and Lorelai were there for each other. I can’t wait to see what Gilmore Girls: A Year in the Life has in store for them!
Source: Warner Brothers
Alicia and Will (The Good Wife)
Miranda R: I spent one week last month binge watching The Good Wife (it took me 9 days to watch 7 seasons – YIKES!). From the very first episode, this dynamic duo became one of my favorite OTPs, despite how much pain they caused each other (and the audience).
Alicia Florrick & Will Gardner are the epitome of a power couple – they’re both incredibly talented lawyers and really just exceptionally smart individuals. To quote Richard Gilmore, what they tackled, they conquered. Alicia and Will built each other up and made each other better, both professionally and personally. They also shared a deep, intimate connection that had nothing to do with romance. They could merely glance at one another and understand almost exactly what the other was thinking or feeling; they just get each other.
Then, of course, Alicia and Will shared an intensely passionate romantic relationship. More than that, they loved each other. The way in which they loved each other was not driven simply by temptation or desire, nor was it crippled by petty fights or spiteful words. It was unconditional, even though they were too afraid to actually say it face to face.
We only get brief glimpses of their time together, but the way they feel is painfully obvious. Even when they break off their relationship, even when their behavior toward one another is abhorrent, they still found a way back to each other. In times of strife (perhaps especially in times of strife) they conjure memories and project images of one another that served as a much needed catalyst for moving forward.
Alicia and Will repeatedly said their relationship was hindered only due to bad timing. After finishing this emotional roller coaster of a show, I can honestly say that is 100% true.
Jon Snow and Ygritte (Game of Thrones)
Jessica: Jon Snow is a member of the Night’s Watch, whose purpose is to protect the wall from the Wildings. Members of the Night’s Watch are forbidden to develop romantic relationships, but Jon can’t stop himself from falling for Ygritte. She is a strong woman and Jon is captivated by her. I think they are a sweet couple; they go through so much together with constant hatred from everyone around them for their love but that doesn’t stop them.
She starts off being his prisoner and he is instructed to execute her, but he is so taken by her that he can’t bring himself to do it. Even though things get in the way and they get separated a lot, they always find a way back to each other. SPOILER ALERT: There is a big battle between the Wildlings and the Night’s Watch, and Ygritte can’t bring herself to kill Jon. Unfortunately she is shot from behind by another member of theNight’s Watch and dies in Jon’s arms. “Do you remember that cave? We should’ve stayed in that cave.”-Ygritte’s dying words to Jon Snow
Stiles and Lydia (Teen Wolf)
Miranda F: There’s something to be said about a childhood crush that turns into something more. They’re some of the greatest love stories in my opinion. Stiles and Lydia (Teen Wolf) are a pair that fall under that category. However, their relationship has never gone beyond life-saving, mutual longing, and a single kiss. Stiles has been in love with Lydia “since the third freaking grade,” but Lydia never acknowledged his existence, until his best friend (Scott) started dating her best friend (Allison) (another perfect combination).
Since then, their bond has become undeniable through all the ups and downs of living in a supernatural world. They’ve become a team of being the ones to solve supernatural mysteries and saving each other’s lives. Now, as the final season nears, there is a slew of speculation that shippers will finally get what we’ve been waiting, and the two will finally be together, but of course, not without supernatural complications.
Cory and Topanga (Boy Meets World)
Amy: When I think of ‘OTP’, I think of someone who brings me joy, hope, and pain all at once. It has to be a relationship that makes you happy because they’re happy and so in love. It’s a couple that gives you hope to find a love like theirs someday. It’s a pair that brings you to sad tears every time they break up, but bring you happy tears when they get back together for good. Only one couple comes to mind, and for me, that’s Cory Matthews and Topanga Lawrence Matthews from Boy Meets World, and now Girl Meets World.
Growing up and watching Boy Meets World, I couldn’t help but hope to find a love as strong and wonderful as Cory and Topanga’s. Their journey started as babies, then as best friends throughout their school years, and finally, married with two kids in New York with careers and doing good in the world (as Mr. Feeny taught them). They knew at a young age their love was real and deep. They faced and conquered every obstacle together (some hurdles they overcame at a young age that most couples don’t face until later in their relationships), showing they stronger together than they were apart. Not that they couldn’t be by themselves. They trusted each other to let them do whatever they liked and reach for the goals they desired, but they always found their way back to each other. Cory and Topanga gave me a reason to believe I would find what they have someday and be with them forever, because they put that crazy idea in my head.
JJ and Beth (American Dreams)
Adina: When we were asked to write a bit about our favorite couples, I knew I had to choose one from my favorite “little show that no one watched” slash “cancelled too soon” show: American Dreams. The first couple to come to mind is JJ & Beth. They had many ups and downs over the series, but were happily married with a baby by the series finale. Well, as happily as they could be considering JJ had PTSD, but let’s dwell on the good parts, shall we?
When the series started, they were two high school kids in love. And, as high school kids in love tend to do (especially on TV), they broke up to explore other options. But when JJ got his college acceptance letter (first in the family!) the only person he wanted to tell was Beth. Then they tried to be “just friends.” We all know how that turns out, right?
Scene: Beth’s senior prom. She is attending with another guy as her date, because she and JJ are “just friends.” JJ realizes that he needs to be with her. He crashes her prom (in jeans and a t-shirt, no less!) and declares his love. She resists at first, but the truth comes out. She still loves him! Fangirls weep with joy. Maybe just this one.
Season 2 premiere: JJ makes it official and proposes to her before he goes off to basic training for the Marines. It’s a glorious moment in shipping and yes, I cried when “Baby I’m Yours” started playing.
Although they have some road bumps while JJ is away at the war in Vietnam, we hold out hope for these two crazy kids. When he’s declared missing, and Beth puts her engagement ring back on until he comes home, we feel with her.
On to happier moments: their son (John III) is born, JJ returns home from the war safe and (mostly) sound, and they decide it’s time: they get married! Tears… yep, you guessed it.
Just look at the way they are gazing at each other! So much love; it makes this ‘shipper’s heart swell.
Adam and Crosby (Parenthood)
Sarita: I am going to go a different route than everyone else and say that my favorite OTP is a non-romantic one: the dynamic brother pair of Adam and Crosby Braverman. Why are they my favorite? Mostly because when they fight (which is probably 90% of the time), their scenes are downright funny to watch. The two always exchange clever insults against each other and they both get so melodramatic that you can’t help laugh. Adam is the big, uptight brother, while Crosby is more laid back. Naturally, the personalities will clash, especially when they run a recording studio together. Below is one of my favorite scenes of them together, with their fight getting down to childish levels.
Though I admit their fights were the best to watch, I did also enjoy just their general teasing, and loving relationship when they weren’t fighting. Their differences often benefited the other; Adam’s more responsible personality helped Crosby get out of messes, while Crosby helped Adam loosen up and encouraged to take more risks in his career when Adam was a low point due to job loss. The two were always enjoyable to watch during the show. Even during the most emotional episodes, a Adam and Crosby scene together always provided a smile on my face.
Kavitha: Leslie and Ben from Parks and Rec. Jim and Pam from the Office. Mary and Matthew from Downton Abbey. Roger and Joanie from Mad Men. Charlotte and Harry from Sex and the City. Monica and Chandler from Friends. Jon and Ygritte from Game of Thrones. JD and Elliott from Scrubs.
Agraja: The couple from Mad About You!!
Sona: Larry and Balki from Perfect Strangers