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Itoshiki: You could even say that relationships in high school are a preview of love, for when you seriously fall in love!... I think I just said something smart.Itoshiki: Oh. Yet high schoolers these days skip the preview and go straight for the real thing!... I think I really said something smart this time.
Abiru Kobushi: No, not really.
Lincoln: I don't want to exaggerate the significance of that, but we're going to be together forever.JFK: Come on, she's drunk.
This is when a couple has started dating in high school. Some teenagers treat their relationships like the end-all and be-all of the world, and sometimes the author agrees, implying or directly showing that they marry and live Happily Ever After. Obviously, this rarely happens in Real Life nowadays, but "rarely" means it's still pretty much Truth in Television (just not dominant). Fiction writers might do this to avoid addressing the sad fact that the lovely couple making out at the end of a teen romance story would probably break up after high school in the real world, especially if one or both parties go to college.
To some extent, this may simply be harkening back to a simpler time, as, prior to the end of World War II, a much smaller percentage of the population went to college, and those who didn't frequently married straight out of high school.
Anime and Manga
- Gohan and Videl in Dragon Ball Z, GT and Super. And their first non-school interaction was her chasing him down in a helicopter for having saved a busload of people in his superhero identity.
- In the Kashimashi: Girl Meets Girl manga, the sweethearts are bound by the "fate-gene" and will both die when one of them stops loving the other. Add this to the fact that they are still very young and of the same gender in a fairly homophobic society and you have a situation which might complicate their future lives considerably.
- Akane and Kazuya in Mai-HiME are paired up right from the get-go. When he dies, Akane's whole world collapses and she doesn't recover until Mashiro revives him. At the end, they're back to their happy relationship..
- Yumi and Sachiko from Mariasama ga Miteru might qualify. In any case, Sachiko wants to attend Lilian University just to stay near Yumi.
- Ranma ½ has Ranma and Akane... though they have a rough time getting there, and never do quite make it, Word of God says they will eventually work it out.
- Sailor Moon pulled the Because Destiny Says So version of the trope with Mamoru (highschool senior) and Usagi (middle-school sophomore), but mostly averted it otherwise.
- School Days. DON'T make us elaborate.
- Tokyo Mew Mew. This even extended to Ichigo's parents, who themselves met in junior high.
- Ultra Maniac includes not one but three couples who pair up in junior high, and are still strongly together at the end of high school, suggesting a Happily Ever After for all of them.
- Tiger and Bunny's first Drama CD states that Kotetsu and his wife Tomoe were this. They met in highschool and she initially disliked him because she mistakenly thought he was a delinquent, but when she realized that he wanted to be a hero, she backed up him and even came up with his hero codename.
- In Bleach, Orihime and Ichigo met in tragic circumstances when they were in junior high, then became friends in highschool and then she joined his True Companions group. She's always had feelings for him, while Ichigo has a soft spot for her. They end up Happily Married.
- In Kusatta Kyoushino Houteishiki, the Beta Couple members Tooru and Masami have been more or less in a Secret Relationship ever since their highschool days, much to the chagrin of Masami's VERY overprotective younger brother Masayoshi. Eventually, the other Beta Couple (Yuriko and Kouji) also starts like this.
- Captain Tsubasa has Hikaru Matsuyama and Yoshiko Fujisawa as middle-school sweethearts, and by Rising Sun they're seriously considering marriage.
- Jean Grey and Cyclops of the X-Men. Although the execution was a bit ... complicated.
- Also to some extent Angel and Candy Southern, although they lived together without marrying.
- Played with in Ultimate Spider-Man. In #13, Peter tells his best friend Mary Jane his secret, but Mary's squeals of delight lead Aunt May to a wrong conclusion as to what is going on in Peter's room. She however reminds Peter that his parents Mary and Richard met in high school.
- Pretty much every teenage movie ever made that wasn't meant to appeal to oversexed teenage dudes. And even some that are.
- In Back to The Future, Lorraine states that she knew she would spend the rest of her life with George McFly after they kissed at the High School Dance. Depending which timeline you're using, this is one week or less after she met him. There may be a slight subversion, though, as in the original timeline, the marriage was less than perfect.
- The main character, Marty, also has this relationship with his girlfriend, Jennifer -- we see them married with two kids in Part II. Again, in this first timeline, the marriage isn't very happy.
- Troy and Gabriella qualify in High School Musical, with Troy even picking a college for no other reason than that it's near the one Gabriella is going to.
- Brutally parodied by Not Another Teen Movie. Jake spends much of the film trying to get together with Janey. At the end, she debates whether she should go off to an art school in Paris. Jake starts to convince her not to go, then he realizes the problems with this trope:
Jake: Maybe you should get on that plane to Paris. Cause if you stay, we really only have the summer, then I go to college and we'll talk on the phone and spend the occasional weekend together which is nice. But chances are one night I'm gonna get wrecked and have unprotected sex with some girl in my dorm. You'll find her thong and call me a slut... I'll call you a cock-tease and we'll break up. So when you really think about it, what's the point?
- In Se7en, Bradd Pitt and Gwyneth Paltrow are a married couple who were high school sweethearts. Morgan Freeman comments on how rare that is.
- The ultimate fate of Jenna and Matt in 13 Going on 30.
- Almost all the main couples in Jodi Picoult's books. They may not still be together, but they did(or will) get married.
- Several from the Harry Potter books. Ron and Hermione. Ginny and Harry. Possibly Angelina and George, and Neville and Hannah, though we/Harry don't see them dating. Subverted with Percy Penelope - Percy marries a woman named Audrey who wasn't in the books - and Draco and Pansy - Draco marries classmate Daphne Greengrass' younger sister, Astoria.
- Memorable is an exchange between Molly Weasley and Ginny Weasley, which boils down to Molly complaining about people eloping, and Ginny mentioning that Molly was one of them. Molly replies that she and Arthur knew they were meant for each other, so why wait?
- Bill and Fleur met when Fleur was in high school (graduating that year) and Bill was already working. It's averted with Lupin and Tonks, who got together after knowing each other while in the Order, and Luna Lovegood and Rolf Scamander, who got together later in life as wizarding naturalists. She is the only character of the main cast's age who does not marry her high-school sweetheart, or even someone known in the school. Rolf is the grandson of Fantastic Beasts and Where to Find Them's author Newt Scamander, but he does not appear in the books.
- James Potter and Lily Evans began dating when they were in seventh year and went on to get married.
- Edward Cullen and Bella Swan from Twilight got married a few weeks after they both graduated from High School and had their baby a month after it... and it wasn't out of wedlock... Yeah, Twilight is weird like that.
- Averted in Betsy Tacy. Despite the large Crowd and multiple love affairs, very few characters end up marrying their high school sweetheart, and instead marry someone they met after graduation.
Live Action TV
- Zach and Kelly on Saved by the Bell; it even got lampshaded in one episode.
- Boy Meets World, which actually started in Elementary School. Though to be fair, Cory considered her a freak back then, and he didn't really like her until about Middle School.
- Later retconned into being "he always loved her, but Shawn teased him so much he assumed a 'girls are icky' persona to fit in." How much this explanation works is open to debate.
- This did not work out well for Will Schuester in Glee. In fact, one might even call it a Deconstruction.
- Quinn plans for her and Finn to end up like that.
- This is a source of tension whenever Finn and Rachel get together. She has big plans and wants to leave town after graduation. Finn does not know whether he will want to leave with her.
- Kurt and Blaine are implied to end up this way - Blaine calls Kurt the love of his life in "Dance With Somebody", and their tension comes not from wanting different things - they both want to end up in New York - but with how they will deal with their year apart since Blaine is a year behind Kurt in school.
- Bob and Amy Duncan in the Disney Channel original series Good Luck Charlie. Bob played basketball; Amy was the mascot.
- Al and Peggy from Married... with Children used to date in high school. However, their marriage is far from being happy.
- Strongly implied to be the fate of Naomi and Emily in Skins. Very much averted with the earlier Tony and Michelle though, who realise that they had great times together but now they're going to different universities.
- Word of God states Emily and Naomi eventually even got married.
- Jenna's parents on Awkward who married at a young age following the Teen Pregnancy that resulted in Jenna.
- Marshall and Lily on How I Met Your Mother barely escape this trope (they've been together since the first day of college). However, Lily's actual high school sweetheart, Scooter, is convinced he and Lily are this trope, and fifteen years later, he's still in love with her and chasing after her, trying to cajole her into leaving Marshall. One wonders why she hasn't slapped him with a restraining order yet...
- John Cougar Mellencamp's 1982 hit 'Jack and Diane' is all about this trope, and the aftermath when reality hits.
- A theme so common in youth-oriented music from the 1950's and early 1960's it could almost be a trope in itself.
- For Better or For Worse had Elizabeth and Anthony, who dated for a time in high school, decided they were Better as Friends, then were eventually Strangled by the Red String so that the strip could end with a wedding. Michael took this a few steps further with Deanna: she was his first crush back in elementary, moved away, then were reunited after he witnessed her car accident.
- Averted with the youngest Patterson, April: the Strip of Destiny revealed she'd moved away and had hooked up with an unnamed "country boy". Prior to this, however, the strip had teased the idea of her ending up with her childhood friend Gerald.
- The Tokimeki Memorial series lives and breathes this trope, thanks to the Legend of the respective High Schools of each game, where it's said that a confession at a specific place of the school (a World Tree in the first and fourth games, a Bell Tower in the second, a slope in the third, a church in the Gender Flip game) during Graduation Day will grant the young sweethearts eternal happiness in their couple. It's thus very Serious Business for (most of) the characters in those games to find love during their 3 years of High School and get this confession at the place of legend ; some of them even joined those specific schools for having the chance of being blessed by this legend, such as Yuu Satsuki of Tokimeki Memorial 4. One of the girls, Yukari Koshiki, is actually the fruit of the legend - her parents actually confessed their love under the tree.
- Pictured above: Kyo Kusanagi and his girlfriend Yuki in The King of Fighters, whose relationship gets quite the focus in the KOF: KYO spin-off game. And in an Unrequited Love version, Athena towards Kyo.
- Janet Claymont and Chadd Crossen from V4 of Survival of the Fittest. Turns out it was somewhat one sided though, as Chadd spent his dying moments forgiving Janet for cheating on him, whilst Janet spent hers regretting that she couldn't think of something more worthwhile than him.
- Parodied extensively on Clone High.
- Kim Possible and Ron Stoppable in Kim Possible. They were Best Friends since Pre-K but became an Official Couple at the Junior Prom.
- The final season of the show, their Senior Year, had an episode that actually tackled the "fall in love in High School, but what about College?" issue. Ron, who applies everywhere on the off chance of getting in anywhere, stresses over the fact that it's unlikely he'll wind up at the same college as Kim, who can attend just about any school in the world.
- On King of the Hill, Hank and Peggy, Bill and Lenore (before she crushed him in the divorce), and Dale and Nancy are this. And while Nancy does have an affair with John Redcorn for several years, its hard to understand how someone as odd as Dale got with her in the first place.
- Homer and Marge from The Simpsons, who briefly met as kids but actually got to talk and interact in highschool.
- Batman Beyond, Terry and his long-time on/off girlfriend Dana become this in the JLU, fully absorbed finale episode, "Epilogue", when Terry decides he's going to propose to her at the end of the episode.