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Saturday, April 20, 2024

Disclaimer: There are way, way too many couples throughout the history of pop culture to put in an article, let alone one publication. Many pairs were considered, but I believe the ones chosen represent a wide spectrum of romance, from classic to contemporary.

Everybody remembers his or her first love — or the first fictional character(s) that set an example of it. Romantic couples are a timeless tradition in pop culture history, their visual representations spanning a vast expanse of that big, unknown gray matter that is “love.” From Rhett Butler and Scarlett O’Hara’s classic chase to Peter and Lois Griffin’s crude matrimony, these dynamic, romantic duos have represented the good, the bad, the weird and the wonderful sides of passion.

1. Belle & Beast (Disney’s “Beauty and the Beast”)

As a rule of thumb, one cannot go wrong with an “opposites attract” Disney fairy tale, particularly this 1991 standard. Thoughtful bookworm Belle and secretive Beast would have never gotten together under normal circumstances. But hey, what kind of love story would that be? He did save her from a pack of hungry wolves, after all.

Lesson In Love: Don’t judge a book by its cover — even its hairy, hulking cover.

Classic Scene: The ballroom scene, during which royal blue and sparkling yellow transform the fledgling couple into an illustrious twosome.

2. Elizabeth Bennet & Fitzwilliam Darcy (“Pride and Prejudice”)

Jane Austen’s classic novel and the 2005 movie starring Keira Knightley gave legions of readers one of the most timeless (and stubborn) couples in literary history.

Lesson In Love: Sometimes things take time — but they’ll be worth it in the end.

Classic Scene: When Darcy (initially) professes his love for Elizabeth. The words “You’ve bewitched me” have never been more romantic.

3. Kurt Hummel & Blaine Anderson (“Glee”)

Starting in 2009, gay rights activism reached a new outlet (and a newer, younger audience) with the FOX show “Glee.” Stylish singer Kurt (Chris Colfer) meets charming crooner Blaine (Darren Criss) and BAM! — a new generation sees young love shining through a previously dimmed light.

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Lesson In Love: Things take time — starting off as friends may be the best thing to happen.

Classic Scene: When Blaine tells Kurt that he “moves him” and gives him his first real kiss. Watch the scene and trust me, you’ll be pressed not to squirm at the cuteness.

4. Allie Hamilton & Noah Calhoun (“The Notebook”)

No list of top fictional couples is complete without this instant classic of a couple. Southern charm and unyielding passion spread throughout the years in Nicholas Sparks’ novel; yet, Rachel McAdams and Ryan Gosling’s iconic portrayal in the 2004 film have arguably set the precedent for weepy romance films for years to come.

Lesson In Love: If true love is meant to be, it will happen. (Cheesy, but could you REALLY turn down Ryan Gosling’s puppy dog eyes? — or Ryan Gosling in general?)

Classic Scene: There are a few, but many identify the “kissing in the rain” scene as the pivotal moment.

5. Buttercup & Westley (“The Princess Bride”)

“As you wish…” Three words cause instant sighs. This 1987 fairy tale of sorts gave Robin Wright and Cary Elwes not only their big breaks in Hollywood, but their respective, joint place in the best, most ridiculously adorable list of pairs.

Lesson In Love: Always check your sources (something that “Romeo and Juliet” never bothered with).

Classic Scene: Buttercup throwing herself down a hill after Westley has become synonymously funny and iconic in the world of cinema.

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