Oh, shipping. It’s the bread and butter of internet fandom, the reason we continue watching TV shows long after they have crushed our hearts. Sometimes our ships get their well deserved happily ever after, and sometimes they end in heartache and heartbreak.
Every so often there are two characters who should just so obviously get together, but they never even so much a kiss on the show! Sometimes these are characters who we believe are soulmates with every fiber of our beings, and sometimes they’re just two hot people we kind of what to see together. Here’s an ode to all of our ships that didn’t sail and all of the couples who could have been great if they had gotten the chance. Deep in our hearts of hearts and in our fanfiction, these 15 TV couples actually get together.
If there were a king and queen of couples there never were, it would be this detective pair from Law and Order: SVU. Elliot Stabler was the semi-troubled cop who cared too much, while Olivia Benson was the partner who kept trying to reign him in. Though they had serious chemistry they never made it official, or even got close. I mean Stabler was married after all, and Benson was, well, married to the job. When actor Christopher Meloni left the show in 2011, Benson and Stabler’s relationship-less fate was sealed. Good thing we can relive their epic tension during marathon SVU binge sessions.
Oh boy, this is a big one. Never before has the internet shipped a couple has hard as it shipped Johnlock. To be fair though, people have been wishing Sherlock Holmes and John Waston would get together for over a hundred years, so we can’t really blame Tumblr for collectively losing its mind in 2010 when Sherlock premiered on the BBC. After waiting years to see Sherlock and John reunited after the former faked his death, fans weren’t too pleased when John Watson married Mary Morstan on season three. The pair didn’t end up together before the show went on an indefinite hiatus in 2017, so who knows if these two will ever make it. (We think they probably won’t.)
How could we not ship a relationship that starts with one of them nursing the other back to health! I mean, come on! That’s textbook romance stuff right there. On The CW’s The Flash, Caitlyn and Barry have been thick as thieves since practically day one. This duo is the closest of friends, but we can’t help but wish they were a little more, okay a lot more. Showrunners and cast members keep telling us this will never happen, and sure, sure, these two have different love interests, but we still think they’d be better together. Friendships to relationships are the best kind of ships, that’s all we’re saying.
Agent Carter, which chronicled the post-World War II life of Captian American girlfriend (and total badass) Peggie Carter, was gone too soon. The show was canceled in 2016 after just two short seasons. But it was in our lives long enough to get us seriously shipping Peggie waitress Angie Martinelli. The pair eventually became roommates, moving in together at the end of the show’s first season. Unfortunately, due to the cancelation, we will never get the retro couple of our dreams. But after Avengers: Endgame fans can at least be somewhat content knowing that at least Peggy gets come kind of happy ending, even if it wasn’t domestic bliss with Angie.
Fans of The CW’s The 100 are no strangers to heartbreak. This show has sunk a lot of ships, and I mean a lot — mostly in extremely painful ways. But through thick and thin, Bellamy and Clarke have at least had each other. Initially at loggerheads, these two quickly developed a begrudging respect for one another. That respect has since blossomed into a close friendship and it’s been eating away at our shipper hearts ever since. These two can’t just be friends! Bellamy almost sacrificed 283 people lives just to make sure Clarke was safe! That’s not regular friendship stuff. There’s still hope for these two though, The 100 will return for a seventh season.
Unlike some of the couples on this list, who have deeply dedicated followings and legions of fans documenting their every move, Ben and April are an almost non-existent ship. In fact, both characters spend most of the series happily coupled off with their soulmates, growing and learning in deeply beloved and satisfying relationships. But, there’s a blip in the series, a moment on season five when Ben and April are both away from Pawnee, Indiana and working in DC that’s enough to make us go, "Hm, maybe." The pair has charming chemistry and briefly, and it was enough to daydream about a world where they two got together.
Okay, we’ll admit that we’re capable of shipping nearly everyone on Buffy. There are just too many good couples and too little time. But Buffy and Faith will always stand out to us as the couple that never was and definitely should have been. When Faith waltzes into Buffy’s life on season three, it completely throws the blonde vampire slayer. Suddenly, there’s some slayer competition in town. Faith is basically Buffy’s polar opposite, but the tension between the two of them is so palpable that many fans simply take the fact that the two were having an off-screen relationship as canon. Even so, we wish we’d seen the slayers slay together as an established item.
Dean Winchester and the angel Castiel (or "Destiel" as they’re known) is another heavyweight ship. As two of the central characters on the super-longrunning CW show Supernatural the pair has been to hell and back, literally, more times than we care to count. Before this is all over, we would love to see at least one of the Winchester brothers settled and happy. They’ve been through too much for us not to get at least some kind of happy ending. But despite intense fan demand, we doubt that cynical Dean Winchester and this literal angel from heaven will end up together when Supernatural ends it’s final season next year.
Despite the fact that he was great at his job and you could never really count him out, even when it seemed like he’d hit a new low from which he’d never recover, Don Draper was kind of the worst when it came to romantic relationships. To be honest, both Peggy and Don were disasters in the relationship department. But despite their total lack of romantic ability, the two characters manage to forge a deeply meaningful connection over the course of the series. They pulled each other through hard times. They leaned on each other and they celebrated the good. Sure they might have ruined it as soon as they kissed, but deep down, Don and Peggy loved each other.
So the series finale of Game of Throne has left us all kinds of devastated. We’re definitely of the opinion that Daenerys Targaryen deserved more. Instead of coupling off with (and ultimately being betrayed by) Jon Snow, we wish that the Mother of Dragons had chosen the tough as nails Yara Greyjoy to be her co-ruler instead. Think about it. Yara might have been the only person in Westeros who could have kept Dany in line. The two queens could have broken the wheel together, with no dragon fire needed. Long live the queens that might have been, the rulers we wanted, but not the ones we deserved.
When Karen Page and Frank Castel first met on the Netflix’s Daredevil she was quick to see that there was more to him than meets the eye. The pair’s complicated relationship continued on The Punisher with neither able to quiet define the complex tangle of emotions building between them. Frank was still clearly mourning the loss of his family, but we hoped that these two would put a label on whatever their relationship was, hopefully after some smooching. I mean, Frank has dropped everything to save her on multiple occasions! That’s got to be love, right? Unfortunately, we’ll never get the emotional resolution we crave, because The Punisher was canceled this year after only two seasons.
It seems like everyone but Phoebe and Joey got together on Friends. Sure, Phoebe ended up married to Mike Hannigan at the end of the series, but he didn’t seem to appreciate Phoebe’s quirky personality and independent spirit in the same way that Joey did. Phoebe also appreciated Joey for his sweet nature and kind heart. The two had an underrated relationship that got lost in the endless seasons of Ross and Rachel drama. Remember when Joey stopped eating meat when Phoebe was pregnant so that she could? Remember when he proposed to her because he thought that she was pregnant and he didn’t want her to be alone? Yeah, that’s exactly what we’re talking about.
The BBC's Merlin, a retelling of the Arthurian legend, went off the air in 2012, but it left a big hole in our hearts, especially since we never saw Arthur and Merlin be anything more than close pals on screen. Though Merlin had knights and castles and a pretty great relationship between Arthur and Guinevere, the show was really about the slowly building relationship between Arthur and Merlin. Like all great ships what started as dislike built slowly to respect then dependence and friendship. The finale itself was a long lingering love letter to the relationship between the two men, even if it did stay strictly platonic on-screen. By the end, we were practically screaming, "Okay, now kiss!" at our screens.
On Riverdale, Bughead might be canon, but deep in our hearts, we all know that Betty and Veronica ("Beronica") is the ship we need. These two women have each other’s backs sans all the drama that comes with their other relationships. The two shared a kiss on the series premiere (and its use in promotional material, was, uhh, a little queerbait-y) but there has never been an explicitly romantic relationship between them. Lili Reinhart thinks that Betty and Veronica are soulmates and we have to agree. While it doesn’t seem like these two will become canon anytime soon we can always hope, I mean this is Riverdale after all and anything can happen. Here’s to hoping that these girl friends become girlfriends.
The they-hate-each-other-but-actually-don't sexual tension is *the best* kind of sexual tension, and Stiles and Derek (or "Sterek," as the shippers say) have it in spades. In the original plans for the Teen Wolf series, these two weren't even supposed to have much interaction, but their chemistry was just so powerful that the duo found itself in more and more situations together. While the show's creator Jeff Davis never made the couple canon, he understood shippers' feelings. He also admitted to being a shipper himself in his younger years (although he was shipping Mulder and Scully from the X-Files and not everyone's favorite sidekick and surly Alpha werewolf.