Slow Burn TV Couples Worth the Wait

Without a doubt worth the drama and the wait.

Some of the best couples on TV have been the ones you’ve had to wait for.

There’s nothing quite like that will-they-or-will-they-not excitement to get you hooked on a show and a ship.

Here are some of the best.


Scully and Mulder out X-Files

FOX / About

The burn was so slow you didn’t even know if you wanted them to be together? On the one hand, duh, but on the other hand, their platonic relationship was so, so good.


Alison and Emily out Pretty little liars

ABC / About

Emily and Alison don’t start off on the best of feet. They are friends, but Ali gets caught up in her manipulative ways and doesn’t immediately match Emily’s feelings for her. Over time, the two realize why their connection is so strong and that it’s definitely more than friendship.


Damon and Elena out the Vampire Diaries

The CW / Via

Slow-burn, which is also enemies for lovers? This relationship gave the viewers the most. Elena first dates Damon’s brother Stefan, but she’s starting to see the good in Damon. Fans had to wait almost five seasons to see this one.


Leslie Knope and Ben Wyatt dating Parks and Recreation

NBC / Via

Colleagues can become your friends, but you never expect them to become your soulmate as well. We can watch the development between these two and the payout was totally worth it.


Jane and Rafael out Jane the maiden

CBS Television Studios / Via

Jane and Rafael accidentally wind up in each other’s lives, but timing is everything. Throughout the show, Rafael shows that he isn’t always the best guy and doesn’t please Jane, but he grows through his love for her and she matures to meet him in a place where their love could truly flourish.


Emma Swan and Killian Jones dating Once Upon a time

ABC / Via

It wasn’t love at first sight for the two of them, but over time you just knew they were made for each other. The kiss changed everything and they lived happily ever after.


Stiles and Lydia out teenage wolf

MTV / Via

Seeing unrequited love unfold is always a win for Forwarders, and it was clear from the start that Stiles had a thing for Lydia. Once they got into the same circles, they became an unlikely duo that ended up becoming many fans’ OTP.


Oliver Queen and Felicity Smoak out arrow

Warner Bros. Television / Via

Oliver and Felicity threw fans off with a near-miss on their undeniable chemistry. Patience paid off when the tech genius and the villain officially got together.


Fran and Maxwell continue The nanny

CBS / Via

From the moment Fran walked into this mansion, you could tell Maxwell was taken with her. As a widow/workaholic, he had some complicated feelings to process, but over time, Fran showed him why he wanted to make time for all the things he once liked to miss. Fans wanted this relationship to happen so badly that the showrunners were instructed to bring them together or face cancellation.


Jake and Amy out Brooklyn Nine Nine

NBC / Via

Amy was super tense and Jake was very relaxed so you knew the two would balance each other out perfectly. Other relationships came and went, but their banter always felt like more than banter, and before we knew it, the show had us reveling in their relationship and their happy life together.


Pacey and Joey out Dawson’s Creek

Sony Pictures Entertainment / Via

We all knew Joey wasn’t meant for Dawson, but it wasn’t like Pacey was always the obvious choice. Once her spark was shown, it could not be ignored. Through great ups and downs, fans cheered on this couple.


Luke and Lorelai out Gilmore Girls

Dorothy Parker drank productions here / Via

Luke is always there for Lorelai and their chemistry is undeniable from the jump. The timing wasn’t always on their side, but when they got it right, it was perfect.


Sam and Diane out cheers

NBC / About

Sam and Diane gave us everything just to throw it away. Years of flirting tensions bring us an amazing couple, but Diane’s decision in the end is a punch in the stomach for fans of this couple.


Amy and Jonah dating Supermarket

NBC / About

You can tell Jonah’s infatuation from the moment he interacts with Amy, but she is just a colleague in him. After a while, co-workers became friends and friends became more, but their relationship wasn’t without complications that made you wonder if they’d make it to the end.


Brittany and Santana joy

FOX / About

Brittany and Santana start out as friends just fooling around and experimenting. Through these interactions, they realize that they mean more to each other. It’s not easy coming to terms with their understanding of their sexuality and other people’s thoughts about it, but this is a couple who love and support each other through everything.


Charles and Lisa out Younger

Darren Star Productions / Via

Charles and Liza had chemistry from the start, but she was too busy trying to figure out herself. His feelings grew and he took a step, but other people in her life had other plans for her. Even if they find themselves on the same page, they’re still guessing before they go all out and take fans on a true rollercoaster of emotions.


Max and Helen out New Amsterdam

NBC / Via

Max and Helen assume they weren’t big fans of each other and develop a deep bond when he is diagnosed with cancer. Their friendship is beautiful, but it’s clear there’s so much more to it. They struggled to get the timing right, but their relationship is the heart and soul of New Amsterdam without doubt.


Niles and Daphne out Frasier

NBC / Via

Daphne charmed Niles with her cool demeanor and willingness to be herself. The only problem? She seemed oblivious to it, no matter how obvious Niles was getting. When she realizes that she has feelings for him too,


Will Graham and Hannibal Lecter dating Hannibal

NBC / Via

Will is torn between his desire to bring Hannibal to justice and the way he is being coerced by him. It shows how obsession can create more, and while it’s not healthy on any level, it is. We didn’t see this couple fully recognized, but all who knew did.


Jane and Lisbon dating The mentalist

CBS / About

Jane and Lisbon give us some of the best slow burns. They start out as partners who want to get different things out of their professional lives. But they start to see each other’s side and become friends. It looks like it’s going to end there, but their relationship is developing in a way that makes you root for them, even though it seems entirely unlikely that the pairing would make it.

Who is your favorite TV slow burn couple?

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