You know how it goes. You settle in for a show or movie that features a love story and – what’s this – two people are in love with the same person?! Ding ding ding! We have a love triangle!
Now, love triangles get a lot of flack, thanks in part to the backlash against the great Team Edward vs Team Jacob debate at the height of Twilight mania.
But when done well they can be so fun. Especially when, more often than not, the secondary love interest is waaaaay more interesting and hotter than the original. Just look at these examples…
Nick Scratch from Chilling Adventures of Sabrina
Sorry Harvey Kinkle, but Nick Scratch is a better boyfriend than you’ll ever be. Sure, Nick’s not perfect, but he would do literally anything for Sabrina. He goes to the bottom of the ocean for her, for crying out loud (not to mention other spoilery things).
More importantly, he sees her for exactly who she is and loves her for it. All of her, both the magical and mortal parts. Harvey Kinkle would never.
Damon Salvatore from The Vampire Diaries
What is it about bad guys who are secret softies underneath it all?
Damon did some truly heinous things in his time, but he grows a lot over the course of the show. The chemistry between Damon and Elena was electric from the get-go, but their relationship gets even hotter as they connect on emotional levels as well as physical. Delena forever.
Pacey Witter from Dawson’s Creek
It’s wild to think that Joey and Dawson were originally endgame on Dawson’s Creek. Watching them together is more boring than one of Dawson’s terrible student movies. Dawson never really cares about Joey, just about how her feelings affect his ego.
Pacey, on the other hand, is selflessly and ceaselessly caring (ignoring the Season 4 blip). He waits patiently for Joey and challenges her in all the best ways. He even buys her a freaking wall!
And he remembers everything. Sigh.
Eric Northman from True Blood
When True Blood started, Vampire Bill was positioned as Sookie Stackhouse’s one true love, and Eric Northman was a bad guy getting in the way. The only problem with that plot was Bill was THE WORST.
Eric, meanwhile, was flawed but layered, revealing himself to be much more caring and good than he first appeared. And lordt did the scenes between him and Sookie sizzle. I’m still bitter about the end of this show tbh.
Joey Tribbiani from Friends
Okay, okay, hear me out on this one.
When I was younger, I was all about Ross and Rachel’s will-they-won’t-they thing. But then I grew up and realised a) Ross is awful and b) Joey is great for Rachel. He never pushed his feelings onto her or made her feel bad the way Ross did.
Joey made her happy and they had fun together, but he was also always there for her. The wrong guy won this one.
Jess Mariano from Gilmore Girls
Jess showed up and it was suddenly like Dean WHO?! Sure, Jess had a terrible attitude, but it made for some super sexy moments, not to mention incredible banter between him and Rory. They connected on an intellectual level and bonded over books.
I was low-key hoping they’d get back together in the revival, but the less said about the plot of THAT show, the better.
Christian Reed from Dance Academy
Tara is obsessed with Ethan when Dance Academy starts, but it’s Christian who ends up being her endgame, and rightfully so. They’ve got that whole opposites attract, enemies-to-lovers thing happening.
Sure, there’s a lot of angst, but by the end of their character arcs they’re totally supportive and equal partners. Also Christian is a much better dancer, just sayin’.
Lexa from The 100
Remember Finn? If your answer is “barely” – then yeah, same. Look, I really liked him at the time but he was a bit bland, and his relationship with Clarke was nothing on the intense connection she later has with fierce warrior queen Lexa.
I’ll never not be furious about the way her plot ends, but let’s celebrate what we had for a short while at least.
Jacob Black from Twilight
I’m not going to lie, I’ve always been firmly Team Edward. Not for any logical reasons, but just because, like Bella, I found him so damn irresistible. That being said, it’s undeniable that Jacob was the better choice. He was kind and caring, giving Bella space when she needed it and not, you know, spying on her in her sleep and all. He made her laugh, and he didn’t constantly put her life at risk.
Plus he was literally smoking hot (remember that scene in the rain?! *gulp*).