They Do

Everything About Fiction You Never Wanted to Know.

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.
Beatrice: You Hangeth up first.
Benedick: No, you hangeth up first.
Beatrice: No, you.

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.

Spoilers ahoy.

Examples of They Do include:

Anime and Manga

Comic Books


  • 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 Book of 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.

Live-Action TV

  • 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.
  • 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.


Web Originals

  • 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.
    • As this relationship actually happens to be a threesome with The Millstone as its third member, there's no way the drama will ever be lacking. (Although she is getting better.)

Western Animation