I like to live vicariously through books, movies, and TV shows because my life is just a string of moments between Crunchwrap Supremes. And as much as we try to pretend otherwise, that sort of thing just isn’t as exciting as being a wizard or blowing up a Death Star.
But. BUT. Sometimes, in these fictional manifestations of what I wish my life could be, people kiss and hold hands, and they have the audacity to be doing so even when I personally believe they shouldn’t be. These, for those interested, are those people:
Catherine and Heathcliff from Wuthering Heights
This was touted to me in high school as a love story for the ages. But then I read it and I understood that it was really a destructive, imploding star of a relationship between two actual psychopaths. I don’t even want to know what happened to Isabella Linton when she was married to Heathcliff and living in the ominous murder swamp he called home.
And yes, that’s Tom Hardy, possibly cosplaying as Bucky Barnes in 19th-century Yorkshire.
Harry and Hermione from Harry Potter
I get it, David Yates; you hated Ron. But Harry/Hermione? I can’t do it! I can’t! Once I realized that Hermione and Ron were going to be a thing, I also realized that I had long been expecting Hermione and Harry to be a thing. This was strictly because of the precedent by modern media, which dictates that a single protagonist, in possession of a good hero’s quest, must be in want of a token female friend who will become More Than a Friend in the fullness of time. So that is what I was expecting to happen. Protagonists had love interests, not platonic friends of the opposite sex. At that age, it was all I knew.
HOWEVER. When I realized this didn’t have to be the case—that J.K. Rowling was going off-script, putting the two best friends together and leaving Harry to choose between various periphery love interests like Ginny and Cho and also quite possibly the memory of Cedric Diggory—I was ELATED. I can’t go back to the way things were, okay? I just can’t.
Rory and Jess from Gilmore Girls
I don’t actually ship Rory with any of her past boyfriends (I ship her with a happy life and personal success), but I will always ship her with Jess the least. I know this will rub some people the wrong way, and I’m sorry. However, I refuse to go quietly into the night on this. Jess was, to put it plainly, an ass. I get it; he changed. He wrote a book, he paid Luke back, and he opened an indie publishing house that probably smelled like sandalwood and Byronic despair. But I had to watch him toy with Rory’s affections for three whole seasons. That’s too many seasons.
Steve Rogers and Sharon Carter from Captain America
Okay, look, it’s not like I’d equate kissing Sharon Carter to cheating on Peggy and dancing on her grave, but what the hell, Steve? She’s Peggy’s NIECE. Peggy hadn’t even been dead for that long when you guys almost kissed by the elevator. Right after her FUNERAL. I know you’re both consenting adults and there was all that stuff with you being frozen in the ice for 70 years, and in theory, I should not have a problem with this. But I do. I do have a problem with this. I wish it didn’t have to be this way, but alas.
Sandy and Danny in Grease
You’re familiar with the hit musical, I’m sure, but what you may not know is that Sandy and Danny’s relationship fills me with a righteous fury the likes of which has not been seen since M. Night Shyamalan tried to tackle The Last Airbender and inadvertently flipped the bird right in my face.
Okay, so you know that scene at the drive-in where Danny gives Sandy his ring after elbowing her in the boob, and she puts it on excitedly and says, “I know now that you respect me”? And Danny just sort of face-palms? DANNY. COME ON, SIR.
Éowyn and Faramir from Lord of the Rings
This one’s on me. I haven’t read the books. I realize this makes me a terrible person and probably worthy of death, but them’s the facts. It’s not their fault I haven’t read the books, nor is it their fault that Peter Jackson gave them short shift. But from my perspective, one minute Faramir was on fire and Éowyn was, quite separately, defeating the Witch-king. And the next thing I knew, they were settled down and married and Éowyn was done being a shieldmaiden. How am I supposed to be on board with that?
Kylo Ren and Rey from Star Wars: The Force Awakens
And before you say anything, no, this is not just because I think Kylo and General Hux will have their day in the sun. I just want to wait and see who’s related to who before I start making any public declarations. When the dust settles and we’re all clear on who’s allowed to kiss, I’m still not sure I will ship it.
Ross Geller from Friends… with anyone, really
He’s the worst fictional character this side of Edward Cullen and I’m sorry to say it but I’m not entirely sure I want him to ever be happy.
Image credit: ITV, Warner Bros, The WB, Marvel, Paramount, New Line Cinema, Disney, NBC
This post was originally published in September 2016