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Benedick: I protest I love thee.
Beatrice: Why, then, God forgive me!
Benedick: What offence, sweet Beatrice?
Beatrice: You have stayed me in a happy hour. I was about to protest I loved you.
Benedick: And do it with all thy heart.
Beatrice: I love you with so much of my heart that none is left to protest.
Will They or Won't They? Well, They Do.
The conclusion of a Romance Arc with a Happy Ending. The point where we are finally done with breakups, misunderstandings and second thoughts. If the story is done with them, they live Happily Ever After. If it isn't, when the rest of it happens to them they'll have each other. Give them enough time, and they'll likely be Happily Married by then.
Unless the story decides to start up a whole new string of complications from scratch somewhere in the far future, they finally get to catch a break. And chances are they had to go through a lot to earn it.
If there has been an engaging "will it work?" plot up to this point, a They Do can induce a variation of Shipping Bed Death (or, of course, it can induce the standard brand if it doubles as a Relationship Upgrade)- in which case, cue a last second split up, one party getting run over by a bus or some other malarkey. Writers may try to avert this by segueing into a new kind of story- shifting the focus to a newer couple to keep the old romance plots open, or using the stable relationship to open up fresh new avenues for comedy, drama and adventure.
Contrast with Maybe Ever After, which is when a romance arc ends without clearly confirming whether or not They Do.
Anime & Manga
- Da Capo plays it straight with Junichi hooking up with Nemu, his stepsister, and all the troubles they had to face afterwards made the series' quality improve by orders of magnitude. Special mention to the extremely sad endings Miharu, Yoriko, Kotori and Sakura received. Especially Sakura. In Da Capo If, Nemu is dead and Junichi is with Kotori.
- An atypical example in Da Capo II, where Koko and Yoshiyuki hook up in the very first episode (Is it possible to not get Strangled by the Red String when you do that?). They break up late into the first season, making this the "new set of complications" Downer Ending variant.
- The Official Couple of Kare Kano is a fantastic instance of this trope; most of the interesting conflict starts after they become boyfriend and girlfriend in the manga version. In the anime it's the other way around, due to the amazingly bad last handful of episodes after the author threw a fit over the anime's comic elements and the director quit.
- Itazura na Kiss continues at full steam after they get married. Some fans will just tell you to skip the first season, because that's where it gets better.
- Tomoya and Nagisa of Clannad fame (at one point a Diabolus Ex Machina steps in, with Tomoya being screwed over repeatedly, first with Nagisa's death, then Ushio's, but then they get better).
- Inuyasha and Kagome as well as Sango and Miroku.
- Takagi and Miyoshi, the Beta Couple of Bakuman｡. Interesting in that they are involved in a more complex love triangle and get together before the Official Couple.
- Kyo and Tohru from Fruits Basket.
- Ed and Winry in the manga of Fullmetal Alchemist.
- Akira and Utako from Man of Many Faces.
- Misaki and Usui from Kaichou wa Maid-sama.
- Yusaku and Kyoko from Maison Ikkoku.
- Keitaro and Naru from Love Hina.
- Germany and Italy in the Valentine's day strip in Axis Powers Hetalia.
- Gilbert and Serge of Kaze to Ki no Uta.
- Sora and Sunao of Sukisho.
- Alan and Chaton of Marchen Awakens Romance.
- Side characters Bisca and Alzack from Fairy Tail. They even have a little girl.
- Martian Successor Nadesico Akito and Yurika finalize their relationship between the events of the final episode (where they kiss) and The Movie when they're married.
- Reed Richards and Susan Storm of Fantastic Four. They are perhaps one of the oldest and most stable couples in comics... even Marvel Civil War couldn't split them up!
- Cyclops and Jean Grey may not have been married until the 90s (deaths, resurrections, and Replacement Goldfish will do that to a couple), but had been in a relationship for about as long as Reed and Sue, becoming an old married couple since before they ever tied the knot. Then... the first of the trilogy of marriages being forcibly broken up because they are "more interesting" now (the others being Spider-Man / Mary Jane and Hank Pym / the Wasp.)
- At the end of the Transfer of Power arc, Apollo and Midnighter marry and adopt baby Jenny Quantum. Business continues as normal.
- Lois and Clark of Superman. Ironically, Seigel and Shuster wanted to give them a Relationship Upgrade early on, but DC said no. It took about sixty years and two Continuity Reboots before they found themselves back in a place where it could happen, and further Continuity Reboots haven't made a dent in it.
- As of the most recent DC Continuity Reboot, the Lois and Clark marriage is gone.
- Titania and Crusher "The Absorbing Man" Creel of Marvel Comics.
- Peter Parker and Mary Jane went through this for two decades. Though their marriage has since been erased from history by a demon in the mainstream books, they remain very much happily married in other continuities, including one where they have kids. In the newspaper dailies, the two have been married for well over twenty five years.
- Shrek and Fiona at the end of the first film. The second and third ones are actually built around their relationship.
- Kaylee and Simon at the end of Serenity.
- Sabriel and Touchstone of the Old Kingdom trilogy. Just as much fun to read eighteen years into their marriage as when she unfroze him from Popsiclehood. (For the record, Lirael and Nick look like they might be headed this way, too.)
- Han Solo and Leia in the original Star Wars trilogy. Later Luke and Mara Jade in the Expanded Universe.
- The Star Wars Expanded Universe gave us more than you would think. Corran and Mirax Horn, Wedge and Iella Antilles, Tycho and Winter Celchu, Wes Jansen and his ego... Corran and Mirax are a particularly good example, though, since they got a series chronicling their Fourth Date Marriage, then several books chronicling the results of that marriage.
- In the Vorkosigan Saga, Diplomatic Immunity has Miles Vorkosigan Happily Married and still at the top of his game. Of course, you could say It Runs in The Family - this is the Vorkosigans we're talking about. Miles's parents Cordelia and Aral get Happily Married at the end of Shards of Honor, continue to be awesome throughout Barrayar, then settle down to a life of (comparatively) Retired Badass-ness.
- Commander Vimes of the Discworld series started out as a parody of the Film Noir detective, so obviously he couldn't be in a happy relationship. He got married to Lady Sybil in his second appearance though and it stuck throughout the wacky adventures he's been through.
- Amelia Peabody's son Ramses and adopted daughter Nefret, after going through several books of misunderstanding one another, finally get married and become another Battle Couple, without repeating the style of Peabody and Emerson (although they do produce yet another generation of alarmingly precocious children).
- In John C. Wright's The Golden Transcedence, after two and half books insisting that Daphne Tercius, being a version of his wife Daphne Prime, is not his wife, Phaethon reflects on the differences, tells Daphne Tercius that she is not his wife, and asks her to marry him as herself, not as a version of his wife.
- In Mystic and Rider, Senneth and Tayse are both completely Badass and made of awesome, and they finally manage to get past the Anguished Declaration of Love phase at the very end of the book. In the subsequent books, in which they are together, and then married, they are far, far more awesome because they complete each other. Battle Couple extraordinaire; terrifyingly powerful fire mystic dedicated to simple human kindness marries sword-wielding Badass Normal who loves her more than life itself.
- Harry Potter and his best friend's sister Ginny's Big Damn Kiss in Harry Potter and The Half Blood Prince signifies this. The same later happens with Ron and Hermione in Harry Potter and The Deathly Hallows. In the Where Are They Now Distant Finale we get to see both couples married and their children.
- In a strange variation on a theme, in Hal Duncan's The Bookof All Hours, Jack Flash/Carter and Puck/Thomas really do finally get to be together (without either one being brutally murdered by the other) ... sorta. Considering how by the end of Ink, Reality has been re-written so many times that not even Reynard/Guy/Fox could put the thing back together, and he was the damn book's keeper, the fact that they're present in any shape or form is impressive, to say the least (particularly after what happened to Seamus). In any case, they get things their way eventually, in whatever variant of reality that still includes them. If you would like directions on the various interpretations of the situation, you'll find Mind Screw on your right, and you can follow that straight down until you hit Go Mad From the Revelation (after which your confusion will no longer be a problem).
- In The Eyre Affair, there are great complaints that Jane and Mr. Rochester don't get this. Thursday fixes it. Then there's her and Landen.
- In L.M. Montgomery's Anne of Green Gables series, one of the bigger questions is whether Anne will stop hating Gilbert and realize she's actually madly in love with him. After getting over her stubborn pride, a rejected marriage proposal, two years dating the wrong guy, and Gilbert almost dying of typhoid fever, she finally accepts his proposal and they live Happily Married ever after, with six children.
- L. Jagi Lamplighter's Prospero Regained ends with a marriage.
- Babylon 5 with Sheridan and Delenn. They walked through fire for their love, and after They Do the series keeps on going.
- [LoisAndClark:TheNewAdventuresOfSuperman\] does this with the title characters, and keeps going afterward.
- Adama and Roslin in Battlestar Galactica. Though she died in the finale, his actions afterwards (eg: the ring) would suggest that this still applies.
- The Agathons' marriage (Karl "Helo" Agathon and Sharon "Athena" Valeri) seems to be going OK too, despite him killing her! (It was at her request and, being a cylon, she got better).
- Tim and Dawn at the end of UK The Office. Their counterparts Jim and Pam on the US version similarly get the conclusion to their ongoing Will They Or Won't They at the first episode of season 4 (though you can already tell that's where they're headed at the end of season 3).
- John and Aeryn in Farscape finally get together for good in the second half of season 4, and get married in The Peacekeeper Wars.
- They were also together for much of Season 3, which went pretty well, except John had been made into two separate, equal copies, and the one she was with performed a Heroic Sacrifice. When she was reunited with the surviving John, she didn't want to look him in the eye at first.
- And they are awesome! It is interesting to note, though, that their relationship is slowly and steadily built despite having two opposing empires hunting their asses, and Moya being a station interchange for Dysfunction Junction. With all the psychological problems and recurrent attempts by their foes to break them, they really do earn their happy ending and it works.
- The point where Fran and Max get married in The Nanny.
- Sonny and Chad finally got together partway through season 2 of Sonny With a Chance. They've only been together a couple episodes but the show seems to have pulled it off successfully.
- The X-Files' Mulder and Scully. In the 2008 movie, while they do have their issues, they appear to be happy together.
- In Scrubs, there's JD and Elliot in the eighth season when they finally get together with a stable relationship after a majority of the series (aside from a break from the fourth season to end of the sixth season) went through their on-and-off-again relationship.
- Joel and Maggie on Northern Exposure, considered by many to be the show's Jump the Shark moment.
- Odo and Kira's relationship in Star Trek: Deep Space Nine, which avoided becoming a Shipping Bed Death.
- Tom and B'Elanna in Star Trek: Voyager.
- Deliberately averted in Burn Notice. Fiona and Michael sleep together in a season 2 episode after she thought he had been killed in an explosion. In the commentary, one of the writers says that they were afraid that if the two got together, they'd play out this trope, but then realized (apparently from experience) that getting back together with an ex doesn't mean that any issues have been resolved, and often makes things more uncomfortable and complicated.
- Charlie and Amita from Numb3rs. Hooked up season three or thereabouts and have stayed a stable couple since. Charlie even asks Amita to marry him in the season five finale.
- Niles and Daphne on Frasier. Except for the stupid "fat farm" arc, but that was the actress more than anything.
- Hodgins and Angela in Bones, after the writers got over their brainless moment. They got married in a jail, of all places.
- Booth and Bones
- Sarah and Chuck finally got together in the middle of the third season.
- Though their wedding came in the fourth season, with planning for the big day forming part of the season's arc.
- Carter and Allison of Eureka admit they love each other and spend the night together in the middle of season 4.
- Doctor Who Amy and Rory in The Big Bang.
- Glee: Finn and Rachel.
- Andy and April in the third season of Parks and Recreation. So much that they get married just a few weeks after dating.
- Josh and Donna in The West Wing, even though it took them seven seasons.
- Ted and The Mother in How I Met Your Mother, although he hasn't actually gotten around to telling us how it happened yet.
- Danny and Lindsay on CSI: NY
- Grissom and Sara, CSI
- King Arthur crowns Guinevere his Queen at the end of series four of Merlin.
- In the Power Rangers Zeo episode "A Season to Remember", a look into the distant future shows Tommy and Kat happily married, with grandchildren. Fans, however, have argued with each other quite extensivly over whenever or not this episode was canon or, like another Christmas Special "Alpha's Magical Christmas", was a novelty one-shot.
- In Castle, Kate Beckett and Rick Castle. Finally!
- The song "Dance Little Jean" is about a girl whose parents are finally marrying.
- The Order of the Stick: Haley and Elan. And for those who were waiting 400+ comics for that to happen, you are not going to be disappointed.
- In Erstwhile, Maid Maleen and the prince.
- In No Rest for The Wicked, Claire remembers this in her backstory.
- In Dept Heaven Apocrypha, flagship couple Milanor and Nessiah stumbled into a relationship quite early on. Even though they're together and that's (probably) not going to change, between one thing and another, there's still been plenty of drama to go around.
- Avatar: The Last Airbender: Mai and Zuko are a couple
as of the end of the seriesas soon as Mai was introduced. The same goes for Sokka and Suki.
- According to Word of God, Aang and Katara's kiss in the finale is deliberately framed like that of a bride and groom at their wedding, so yeah, them too.
- The Sequel Series, The Legend of Korra has the new Avatar learning Airbending from Tenzin, the youngest son of Aang and Katara. So yeah, they got hitched.
- Casey Jones and April O'Neil in the second Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles cartoon hooked up at the beginning of the third season; with the exception of an early, minor hiccup, the relationship continued strong ever since, culminating in their marriage at the end of the seventh season.
- Kim and Ron of Kim Possible hook up in the series's first Grand Finale. The show got a Post Script Season in which the relationship was handled quite wonderfully, and Word of God says they get married eventually.
- Princess Sissi is about all of the problems that first got in the way of Elizabeth of Bavaria marrying Franz.
- Robin and Starfire from Teen Titans get a Last-Minute Hookup in Teen Titans: Trouble in Tokyo, even though their attraction to each other was long known to everyone, including the villains.