Love is a strange thing and while sometimes opposites attract, other times opposite isn’t the right word. Yet nonetheless, the heart wants what the heart wants. Nowhere is that more prominent than in fiction. Often two characters will enter a relationship that has the viewers or readers scratching their heads and saying “how the hell does that even work?” Here are five of the most unconventional couples in fiction that actually ended up working out for the most part.
Buffy and Angel (Buffy The Vampire Slayer)
Buffy Summers is the Slayer destined to hunt vampires and wipe them from the face of the Earth. The vampire known as Angelus was a sadistic monster who was ultimately cursed with a soul by a Romani clan. Yet two people who should have been mortal enemies eventually ended up becoming star crossed lovers. Their relationship had its shares of ups and downs; the first time they made love, the curse on Angel was lifted, causing him to revert to his monstrous persona and Buffy was forced to kill him to save the world. He later returned and although they tried to make it work on several occasions, ultimately the pair had to acknowledge that they could never be together. This is one of the best examples of the “monster boyfriend” trope in fiction, where a girl falls for an otherworldly being despite the danger he poses.
Krillin and Android 18 (Dragonball Z)
The Dragonball franchise is no stranger to unconventional couples with the haughty Saiyan prince Vegeta having ended up marrying Bulma, and Goku, who didn’t even know what marriage was, getting hitched to ChiChi. However, my favorite relationship (As well as the oddest) has to be between Krillin and Android 18. Though 18 and her brother 17 came into conflict with the Z Fighters, Krillin found himself falling for the beautiful android who eventually returned his affections, thinking he was cool. When Cell awoke, Krillin refused to engage 18’s self-destruct device despite the fact that if Cell absorbed her he would reach his perfect form. After Cell was defeated, Krillin asked the dragon Shenron to try and make 18 human and when that failed, to remove her self destruct device. This struck a chord with the normally reserved 18, and she and Krillin ended up marrying each other and having a daughter.
Hellboy and Liz Sherman (Hellboy)
Guillermo del Toro loves monsters, so it makes perfect sense that the comic book property he chose to tackle was Hellboy. Though Del Toro used the Dark Horse comics as a base for his films, he ended up altering several details including the relationship between Hellboy and pyrokinetic Liz Sherman. Although they have a sibling-like relationship in the comics, in the films Hellboy pines for Liz, despite her wanting to live a semi-normal life away from the BPRD. But when the sorcerer Rasputin sacrifices Liz in an effort to jump-start the Apocalypse, Hellboy whispers in her ear, telling the forces that hold her captive: “I said, “Hey, you on the other side. Let her go. ‘Cause for her, I’ll cross over, and when that happens you’ll be sorry.” In Hellboy: The Golden Army, they encounter the ups and downs of being in a relationship and Liz being pregnant with twins, which only complicates matters. This unconventional couples will stand by each other through hellfire and homemaking.
Kim Possible and Ron Stoppable (Kim Possible)
Bob Schooley and Mark McCorkle came up with the premise of Kim Possible through a witty exchange in an elevator; Kim, as her name implied, could do anything while Ron Stoppable, her bumbling partner/best friend, couldn’t. The two managed to balance each other out since Kim’s perfectionist tendencies often helped with Ron’s insecurities. But fans never expected them to take their friendship to another level until the Kim Possible: So The Drama film revealed that Ron had romantic feelings for Kim. She ended up returning his affections and the final season of the show showcased them navigating their newfound relationship in addition to the usual world-saving shenanigans.
Bigby Wolf and Snow White (Fables)
The Vertigo series Fables is one of the most original, compelling comic book series to ever be released. It takes a simple premise, in this case, “What would happen if fairy tale characters lived in the real world?” and tackled several heavy subjects including bureaucracy and class conflict. The protagonist, Bigby Wolf, formerly known as the Big Bad Wolf, has renounced his monstrous ways and serves as Fabletown’s sheriff. He finds himself falling for Snow White, who is the Deputy Mayor. Snow is initially hesitant to pursue a relationship with Bigby, her previous marriage with Prince Charming ended in infidelity, which led her to become closed off and extremely professional. After being bewitched by the ruthless Bluebeard, Snow and Bigby slept together and ended up having seven children; the two then married.
Similarly, In The Wolf Among Us, a video game prequel to the comic series, Bigby and Snow are drawn into a murder case and we see the first hints of their attraction as Bigby sinks into despair when he thinks Snow might have been killed.
The nature of genre fiction means that we will continue to see many more pairings like these in the future. Do you have a favorite unconventional couples? Let me know in the comments below.
Collier “CJ” Jennings is a freelance reporter and film critic living in Seattle. He uses his love of comics and film/TV to craft reviews and essays on genre projects. He is also a host on Into the Spider-Cast.