Let’s face it, Hollywood enjoys creating a complicated love triangle to add steamy (and sometimes unnecessary) drama to thicken the plot. We see it all the time in both movies and TV. In fact, we think at this point, Hollywood probably doesn’t even know how to make a show or movie without creating a tension-filled love triangle. The powers that be surely know what sells. Despite it being a cliché, we all secretly enjoy watching and placing bets on how they may potentially play out. Nowadays, you can’t watch any movie or show without witnessing two characters battle it out for the protagonist’s love and affection. Whether you love it or hate it, it’s inevitable that you will chose a side.
Much like sporting events, once we have our favorite team, there is no going back. We will yell, cry, and throw things at our television, oblivious to the fact that the fate of the triangle is beyond our control. In some cases, it’s an obvious choice as to who the crowning victor should be. And in others, not so much. Fans invest their emotions in hopes that their favorite will be crowned victor. “Ship names,” (a la ‘Bennifer’), t-shirts, and other merchandise are created by fans in order to proudly display their support.
A well-written and well-developed love triangle can create a divide amongst fandoms. Yes, I’m talking about you Twilight fans. Once the stakes are claimed, the competition begins. So prepare for battle while you take a look at the most epic fictional love triangles that had fans picking teams. These are the top 15 Hollywood love triangles- read ’em and weep.
15. Noah/Allie/Lon- The Notebook
Let’s all be honest here. Did we really have our doubts about Allie not choosing Noah? I mean c’mon, the guy built Allie her dream house right down to the blue shutters. We were all “Team Noah.” There was simply no choice to make; Noah was the one. If he was a bird, then she was a bird too. Lon Hammond seemed to be a great guy and truly love Allie, but in the end the chemistry between Allie and Noah couldn’t be denied. The Nicholas Sparks book to film adaptation illustrated that true love can withstand manipulative parents, another man, and time. In the end, Allie ran back into the arms of Noah; the place she where belonged all along.
14. Tim/Lyla/Jason- Friday Nights Lights
In the small town of Dillon, Texas, no secret is safe. This particular love triangle had us choosing neither side. As the quarterback and head cheerleader for the Dillon Panthers, Jason Street and Lyla Garrity was the couple that everyone envied. When Jason became paralyzed during a game one Friday night, all bets were off. Consumed in their grief, Lyla hooked up with Jason’s best friend, Tim Riggins, while Jason lay in his hospital bed across town. We get it Lyla, Tim is the bad boy every girl wanted to tame, but you were practically engaged to Jason and fans didn’t sympathize with your behavior. In the end, Jason moved on and had a baby with another woman while Lyla devoted herself to her new found relationship with God. As for Tim, well he bought some land and hinted at rekindling a relationship with his former flame Tyra Collette.
13. Jake/Melanie/Andrew- Sweet Home Alabama
As an up and rising fashion designer in New York, Melanie Carmichael was living the life she always wished for. After becoming engaged to the city’s most eligible bachelor, she is forced to return home to Alabama where she left her family and her husband (surprise!) who refuses to divorce her after seven long years of separation. Melanie makes the trip down south to finally have her childhood sweetheart, Jake Perry, sign the papers to officially end their marriage. However things don’t go as she planned, as she finds herself realizing that she still has feelings for her husband. This love triangle kept viewers on their toes as they had no idea who she was going to choose. On day of her wedding to Andrew, she is informed she never signed her portion of the divorced papers and is still legally married to Jake. You can’t help but smile as Melanie runs off into the rain to find Jake, the boy she would share her first and last kiss with.
12. Jim/Pam/Roy- The Office
For nine seasons, we were entertained by the random hijinks that the employees of Dunder Milfflin participated in on a daily basis rather than actually working. Aside from all the laughs, we couldn’t help but root for a relationship between Jim Halpert and Pam Beesly. The two friends enjoyed ganging up on their fellow co-worker Dwight Schrute to pass the time of the work day. They seemed perfect for one another, but unfortunately Pam was engaged to her longtime boyfriend Roy. It was obvious to see the connection between Jim and Pam and fans were onboard for them to have the relationship they clearly wanted with one another. After sharing a stolen kiss at an office event, Pam realized that her feelings for Jim surpassed those for Roy and she made the decision to call off her wedding. Things didn’t work out right away for Pam and Jim, but in the end, they married and had two kids- much to the delight of viewers.
11. Rachel/Ross/Emily- Friends
From the very beginning, love-obsessed Ross Geller was smitten with Rachel Green and fans agreed that the pair made a perfect match. In fact, their chemistry was a fan favorite and viewers looked forward to an eventual relationship between the two. After a few seasons, Rachel and Ross finally briefly got together (and divorced) before ending the budding romance. As time went on, it was still clear to see the chemistry between the two as their complicated on-again, off-again relationship came to a halt. On the day of his wedding day to another woman, Ross illustrated his true feelings when he said Rachel’s name instead of Emily’s when giving his vows. Fans rejoiced in hopes of a reconciliation between Rachel and Ross, but Ross only had plans to win back Emily after his altar flub. Emily agrees to giving their relationship another shot only if Ross agrees not to see Rachel anymore. He refuses her offer and by the end of the series, Ross has a daughter, Emma, with Rachel.
10. Matty/Jenna/Jake- Awkward
As noted in the title of this MTV scripted series, the life of high school freshmen Jenna Hamilton is anything but smooth sailing. After spending the summer in a secret relationship with the oh-so popular Matty McKibben, Jenna is disappointed to find that Matty doesn’t want to be seen with her in public at school. Hurt over his rejection, she catches the sight of Matty’s best friend, Jake Rosati. Jenna ends things with Matty in order to pursue a relationship with Jake, but when her past with Matty is exposed she is put on the spot to choose one. Despite his selfish tendencies, fans couldn’t help but root for Matty to defeat his best friend in the quest to win Jenna over. Fans showed their support by trending “Team Matty” on various social media sites. While fans are confident that Jenna and Matty are meant to be, the two engage in an inconsistent relationship that is still uncertain even now in their college years.
9. Nate/Blair/Chuck- Gossip Girl
The streets of New York were filed with anticipation over this love triangle of the Upper East Side. Blair Waldorf grew up dreaming of her wedding to her long-time love Nate Archibald and wearing his family’s heirloom engagement ring. However, she never planned on falling for Nate’s best friend, Chuck Bass, the city’s notorious bad boy. Gossip Girl fans devoured the Blair and Chuck storyline after witnessing the chemistry between the two that so far surpassed the dimming sparks between Nate and Blair. Together, the pair was the ultimate power couple and cemented their status as the show’s central relationship. Despite their manipulations toward each other at times, their relationship was obviously inevitable. It was never smooth sailing for the two and Blair could never get Chuck to open up about his feelings towards her. Remember Chuck, it’s only three words and eight letters. Say it and Blair is yours.
8. Gale/Katniss/Peeta- The Hunger Games
Peeta Mallark had secretly loved Katniss Everdeen from afar for years and purposely burnt bread from his family’s bakery in order to help feed her malnourished family. Who would have thought that being reaped in the 74th Annual Hunger Games would be the start of their relationship? Not Katniss, of course. She had no plans to marry or have children, even with her best friend Gale Hawthorne. Aware of Gale’s feelings for her, she couldn’t help falling for Peeta while slowly becoming the face of the rebellion. There is no denying the support fans had for the District 12 victors who went out of their way to save each other, even long after the rebellion was over.
7. Dean/Rory/Jess- Gilmore Girls
Ah, young love. When Rory Gilmore didn’t have a book in her face, she was the object of affection for two young men fighting for her attention. Rory was content dating Dean Forester, but her heart started to take a different turn when Luke’s nephew, Jess Mariano, arrived to town. There was no denying the chemistry between Rory and Jess and for years their relationship was a roller-coaster of emotions even though Jess was only present for 37 episodes. Their relationship had no closure and fans are looking forward to Netflix’s revival of the show to find out if fan favorites Rory and Jess were able to make it work.
6. Stefan/Elena/Damon- The Vampire Diaries
Besides being vampires, the only thing the Salvatore brothers had in common was their feelings towards Elena Gilbert. Stefan ultimately won the heart of Elena early on with his tender and sweet disposition, but Elena couldn’t deny her growing attraction for the dangerous Damon. The reason for their affection towards Elena was brought to light when it was revealed that the brothers were once involved in another love triangle hundreds of years prior with a vampire who shared the same bloodline as Elena. Throughout the show, Elena flip flopped on her feelings for the brothers which eventually caused fans to grow tired of the triangle. In the end, neither of the brothers were crowned victors of Elena’s heart.
5. Aiden/Carrie/Mr. Big- Sex and the City
Even while living large in the Big Apple, Carrie Bradshaw was unable to escape the complications of love. After meeting Mr. Big, Carrie was head over Dior heels for the non-committal man. Every man she met following him paled in comparison until she met Aiden Shaw. He was the complete opposite of Mr. Big and many fans found themselves falling for him right alongside Carrie. Their relationship was going great until she cheated on him with Mr. Big (gasp!), and ultimately the two were unable to work past the scandal. Eventually, Carrie fell back in the arms of Mr. Big and the two headed toward the altar.
4. Fitz/Olivia/Jake- Scandal
Olivia Pope makes a living working alongside her “gladiators in suits”, but it’s what happens when she is out of her suit that sets her up for romantic complications. The love triangle between Olivia, President Fitz, and Jake Ballard is a guilty pleasure for fans who enjoy the romance to balance out the government conspiracies and murders subplots. Frankly, both Fitz and Jake bring selfish tendencies to their relationships with Olivia, but her inability to stay away from either of them has fans on the edge of their seats. Just when is seems as if Olivia is going to choose one, a curve ball is thrown causing fans to throw their hands up in frustration.
3. Brooke/Lucas/Peyton- One Tree Hill
Tree Hill was filled with a big drama despite being a small North Carolina town. Best friends Brooke Davis and Peyton Sawyer were complete opposites, but shared the same interest for the brooding Lucas Scott. Fans quickly began choosing sides, giving both couples ‘Ship names (“Brucas” and “Leyton”). During high school, Lucas and Brooke seemed to be destined for greatness, but that was until he shared a life or death kiss with Peyton while hiding out in the school library during an on-campus shooting. Fans watched for nine years as Lucas navigated his way through his feelings for the two friends. In the end, Lucas drove off into the sunset with Peyton and their daughter Sawyer, while Brooke dedicated herself to her clothing line fittingly called “Clothes Over Bros.”
2. Edward/Bella/Jacob- Twilight
Poor Bella. Not only did she have a vampire staking his claim on her, but she also had a werewolf marking his territory as well. No big deal, just typical teenage girl drama. Edward, the sparkling vampire, had no hesitations in fighting to prove his affection for Bella against Jacob, the werewolf with a tender heart. This love triangle caused an uproar in the book to film adaptation franchise. Fans were very vocal about who they believed was the best match for Bella. Jacob gave his best shot, but Edward had already taken a heart-shaped bite out of Bella that sealed their ultimate fate.
1. Dawson/Joey/Pacey- Dawson’s Creek
Talk about a twist! From the start of the show it seemed as though childhood friends turned sweethearts ,Joey and Dawson, had the relationship that was heading for a fairy tale ending. But the show writers pulled one over on the fans when Joey chose Pacey over Dawson. No one could deny the growing chemistry between Joey and Pacey, despite the epic love Dawson and Joey shared for a number of years. Fans were quickly divided between “Team Pacey” and “Team Dawson,” but it seems as if Joey was the real winner when she listened to her heart and found true love in Pacey.