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Break up to make up

That's all we do

First you love me

Then you hate me

That's a game for fools.
—The Stylistics, Break up to make up

There are probably only so many things a story can examine about a romantic relationship. This is one of the big ones.

Will They or Won't They? has gone by.

They Do.

Now, something -- infidelity, voting for the wrong political party, or even slurping soup in a really irritating way -- has happened and one party has to decide if they can bear it for all time.

The cause of the breach is presented here as both serious and silly (Because, brother, that soup thing is just nasty!), to highlight that the instigation is not the thing. The story will examine how the offended party comes to grips with it. Sometimes the decision will come down on the Make Up side, and sometimes it will not.

Also see Feud Episode. Frequently used to reassert Status Quo Is God, or as a way to Retcon a relationship (in that case, they will not only break up, but the relationship will quickly be forgotten as if it never happened.)

Examples of Make Up or Break Up include:

Live Action TV

Western Animation

  • This happens more or less once per season between Marge and Homer on The Simpsons.


  • Examined in several ABBA songs. One man, one woman ends in makeup, while When all is said and done is on the breakup side.
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