On most shows, there are people we are rooting for, even if they never had a relationship throughout the course of their shows. Here are some of the best platonic television friends who we think could have been more!
So you’ve heard all the lore about your favorite TV couples and how perfect and happy they are together but what about the ones that got away? While some of the following couples may be unexpected–cursed ships, if you will–all of them have the broad support of the fanbases of their host shows, so why not explore what might have been if the show writers had granted our greatest desires for our favorite characters?
Warning: Spoilers ahead!
Casey and Olivia – Law and Order: Special Victims Unit
This one is controversial and I debated doing Alex and Olivia because that one had a slower burn. But Casey and Olivia were on fire from the start. Both headstrong, passionate, and driven for the victim, Olivia, and Casey were perhaps a match made in heaven.
While Casey and Olivia’s scenes are limited despite Diane Neal’s few year run on the show, what we do see is an essential ship. One made between two women who share their goals and who happened to maybe be single the entire time they worked together. Weird coincidence, if you ask me. I guess the world wasn’t ready for such a powerful female duo, but if Bensler doesn’t actually work out, I hope Casey gets a final appearance with Liv.
Cory and Shawn – Boy Meets World / Girl Meets World
It’s been said before and I’ll say it again: Cory and Topanga, while obviously kismet, adorable, and perfect, are not endgame. This right here, Cory and Shawn, is for life. I’ll bet anything that if Girl Meets World went on further into their college years, there would be a Topanga gets sick arc, not in an overly-dark way more like in How I Met Your Mother, where we love Tracy, but we need Robin to be the goal. It’s just like that, Shawn would finally settle his nomadic life as a writer and help Cory raise the kids. You know you want to see it.
Jen and Judy – Dead to Me
Jen and Judy may be in just about the worst double-homicide, co-living, best friendship there is. But life is much sweeter for those who learn to make lemonade out of lemons, and that’s just what Jen and Judy seemed to accomplish. Jen wanted a partner, and Judy wanted kids. They both clearly wanted each other, at least platonically. But something about their whole thing is so perfectly balanced. They found each other when their loved ones had abandoned them, they retaliated towards those who scorned them and it wasn’t really a direct attack on the other person. Judy didn’t mean to kill Jen’s husband and Jen only killed Steve because he did kill her husband. I mean fair is fair. But come on! The chemistry, the history, and shared trauma, plus the innate bonding of two single women of a particular age…imagine what could be made. I dare you.
Ryan and Summer – The O.C.
The common trope amongst the Teen Drama genre is that if adolescents do one thing in dating, it’s switching partners. Friendcest, while cringe at best, makes for some pretty interesting tension come time for the next big squad hang. But if that is true, why in The O.C., which some would say is a fairly dramatic show, did Ryan and Summer never get a go at a romance arc?
Ryan and Summer had the banter, the looks, and the lack of mutual baggage. Summer would have balanced out Ryan’s brooding with her cheer, and Ryan could have really opened up to her. I don’t know guys, I think this was an oversight.
Harold and Lashawna – Total Drama Island
This show was definitely due for a rewatch on my part but the fans have spoken. The attraction between Harold and Lashawna, two polar opposites both on their teams and personalities, is brief, to say the least. What we do get is an initially antagonizing relationship that turned into a shared bond that even culminated in a little action. Eventually, Lashawna declares their kiss a mistake, just them acting in the intensity of the action, but they remain friends. With Harold being voted off the island so soon, we are left wondering once again what might have been. Did they exchange IMs after the show aired, or did they choose to forget about the whole thing and move on, with neither of them making it to the final round?
What I will say is this: romantic or not, these two had each other’s backs. And maybe it was one-sided on Harold’s end, and Lashawna was truly being a good person. But the trope of enemies to lovers has stood the test of time over and over, and I doubt this isn’t the case for Lashawna and Harold, two ships sailing in different directions.
Were we robbed of a potential cameo by this couple in the reboot? Absolutely. Their last interaction, during the Hawaii trip, indicates that the two remained close, even after Lashawna rejected his advances in favor of another. I can only hope that Harold is still holding out for Lashawna and that true connection will prevail.