Thank god for television. When the world is on fire — literally and figuratively — it's nice to know that you can always disappear into another world and visit your favorite characters for a bit. And if you're anything like us then there's no better feeling than watching your favorite TV couple thrive.
Unfortunately, in these trying times, not every ship is unsinkable.
From ships that broke our hearts (we're looking at you, Sanvers) to the fictional couples that continue to redefine hashtag-goals, here are the TV couples (in no particular order) who made us laugh, cry, and believe in love in 2017.
Spoilers for many, many television shows past this point.
Betty and Jughead, RiverdaleThe CW
Looking back, we really should have seen Bughead coming. After all, the romantic coupling of Archie's best friends just makes sense. From the beginning, Riverdale established that there was more to Betty Cooper than mooning over Archie from her bedroom window. There was a darkness bubbling beneath her picture-perfect facade — a darkness only Southside's own Jughead Jones could relate to.
Their relationship was a slow burn; they were friends, then partners in crime-solving, and they fell into a comfortable coexistence before finally acting on their feelings. Betty sees beyond Jughead's weirdo persona, and in return, Jughead sees Betty for who she really is: an outsider, just like him.
Randall and Beth, This Is UsNBC
Randall and Beth are the glue that holds the Pearson family together. (So much so that it makes me tremendously upset knowing Beth never got a chance to meet father-in-law Jack.) A marriage is a partnership, and Randall and Beth work so well together because they treat each other like equals, and when they disagree on something, they talk through it. It's refreshing to see a healthy, mature couple solve their problems through open and honest communication. Did we mention they have crazy chemistry?
Maggie and Alex, SupergirlThe CW
This one hurts. Maggie and Alex were not only important to each other but they were also important to the fans, who saw their relationship as a beacon of strength and queer visibility on television. Their love was so powerful and all-consuming that it makes sense that they both got a bit swept off their feet. (Hey, once you find a person who loves The Barenaked Ladies as much as you do, you don't let that person go easily.) But Maggie not wanting kids was a deal-breaker, and in the end, Alex made the painful decision to end their relationship. Still, Maggie and Alex will always be soulmates.
Luke and Claire, Marvel's The DefendersNetflix
When shit goes down, you want a girl like Claire Temple in your corner. She's routinely surrounded by super-powered beings and vigilantes, and yet she doesn't flinch when face-to-face with danger. She's a bad bitch who also happens to be incredibly warm and empathetic. Of course Luke wants to get coffee with her! Claire and Luke may not be endgame material (not with Jessica Jones around, anyway), but it's nice to see Luke relax for once. When he's around Claire, he doesn't have to carry the weight of the world on his impenetrable shoulders. Instead, he gets to be his charming and romantic self — when he's not busting bad guys, of course.
Jon Snow and Daenerys Targaryen, Game of ThronesHBO
In the Season 7 finale, Jon Snow and Daenerys Targaryen stopped making dreamy heart-eyes at each other and did the damn thing in Dany's bedchambers. For some fans, this has been a romantic pairing decades in the making — a literal song of ice and fire, if you will — despite the fact that during that same scene we also learn that Jon is actually the son of Daenerys's older brother Rhaegar. Honestly, who cares if Jon and Daenerys are technically related? As if grosser things haven't happened in the Seven Kingdoms.
Barry and Iris, The FlashThe CW
Remember when Barry sacrificed himself to the Speed Force and Iris stepped up to become the leader of Team Flash in his temporary absence? Iris West had always been Barry Allen's emotional anchor, but this season of The Flash, she became the heart and soul of the team, outsmarting metahumans (and the occasional wedding-crashing Nazi) every step of the way. Even though Barry is The Fastest Man Alive, it's been nice to see him slow down this season to support Iris. That's what makes their relationship so special: Their union may have been fated, but Barry and Iris never stop working to make themselves better partners.
Kara and Mon-El, SupergirlThe CW
Mon-El isn’t perfect, but over the course of his tumultuous relationship with Kara, he became a better hero — and a better person. That’s not to say he still doesn’t have more growing to do (though, those seven years in the future sure seemed to make a big difference), but Kara is his guiding light. As for the Girl of Steel, having someone as carefree as Mon-El in her life helped her unwind and made her realize that she could — and deserves to — have it all. That, and Melissa Benoist and Chris Wood’s onscreen chemistry is positively electric.
Jamie and Claire, OutlanderStarz
No other couple on television puts us through hell like Outlander's Jamie and Claire. For the past three seasons, their love has literally defied the time-twisting odds. After 20 years (and two centuries) apart, Jamie and Claire's long-awaited reunion was deeply romantic and emotionally devastating. For the first time in their unlikely union, Claire and Jamie were more like strangers than lovers. But their passion for each other is still unparalleled. They're like two halves of the same whole who are still awkwardly trying to figure out how they fit together.
Shoshanna and Byron, GirlsHBO
For those of you who, like me, consider the penultimate episode of Girls the true series finale, then there was nothing better than the reveal that Shoshanna Shapiro was engaged. It was an unexpected yet brilliant twist. It was a clever way to address the fact that Shosh had been M.I.A. for most of the season. Why? Because she had been falling in love with Byron, a nice guy she met at a Sprinkles vending machine, and distancing herself from her toxic friends. Shoshanna finally got the life she always wanted — and she did it by venturing out on her own.
Isak and Even, SkamTumblr
The groundbreaking Norwegian teen drama, Skam, was a popular web series in its home country before becoming a global sensation thanks to its impassioned teen fans on Tumblr. The relationship between Isak and Even played a significant part in the show's cultural resonance, as the third season followed listless Isak as he struggled to come to terms with his sexuality and fell in love with his charming and troubled classmate Even. They're the kind of couple that make each other stronger individuals. Even's tenderness broke through Isak's walls, and as a result, Isak learned that he was happiest when he was truly being himself.
Kate and Toby, This Is UsNBC
To be honest, Toby was annoying as hell in Season 1 of This Is Us. Even worse? He was emotionally manipulative to Kate, forcing her out of her comfort zone with all of the patience and grace of an elephant on roller skates. But this season of the hit NBC drama proved that while Toby may lack any and all subtlety, he does truly care for Kate. When Kate got pregnant, it was Toby who helped ease her fears and put a smile on her face. In fact, that's the basis of their relationship: Toby is more than willing to act a fool in public to make Kate smile. Not to mention, he's 100 percent #TeamKate all day, every day.
Lucas and Max, Stranger Things 2Netflix
Mike may have called Eleven every day for 353 days straight, but Lucas risked his young life to fight Max's psycho (and most certainly racist) older brother Billy, and he deserves some respect. Not to mention, he, unlike Dustin, learned that the way to get a girl to notice you is to stop talking and start listening. Stalker + Zoomer 4ever.
Hannah and Clay, 13 Reasons WhyNetflix
The tragedy of Hannah Baker is the emotional crux of 13 Reasons Why, but the complexities of her relationship with Clay also play a crucial part in the story. From the very first episode we know Hannah is dead and, therefore, what she and Clay could have been will never be more than a tragic hypothetical. But that doesn't negate the obvious feelings they felt for each other. Hannah and Clay just made sense together — both a little too smart and sardonic for their own good. It's just a shame that neither of them saw what could have been until it was too late.
Damon and Elena, The Vampire DiariesThe CW
Through all of their turbulent ups and downs, Damon Salvatore and Elena Gilbert were endgame after all. In the series finale of The Vampire Diaries, Stefan makes the ultimate sacrifice for his brother, giving him the gift of a long and happy human life with his true love. Elena had always been Damon's moral compass, the person who mellowed his madcap ways and relentless masochism, and in return, he encouraged her to enjoy every minute of life.
Lorna and Marcos, The GiftedFox
Fox's The Gifted is at its best when it focuses more on its complex cast of mutants and less on the government agencies trying to hunt them down. Case in point: Lorna and Marcos's dreamy flashback scene in Episode 3 ("eXodus"). It's such a quiet moment between two broken people, and the sparks between them are palpable — and, you know, visible. There's also the fact that their powers combined can create an aurora borealis, which might be the coolest thing ever.
Oliver and Felicity, ArrowThe CW
After years of will-they-or-won't-they drama, Olicity finally — finally! — tied the knot this season and, as predicted, it was slightly awkward thanks to Felicity's adorable rambling. (Even though they will never be forgiven for crashing Barry and Iris's wedding.) Still, even up to the impromptu nuptials, watching Oliver and Felicity work through their real and complex emotional fights as a couple is always thrilling. They've come a long way since their "lying about my secret love child" days, and it's just nice to see Oliver so happy.
Mylene and Zeke, The Get DownNetflix
R.I.P. The Get Down, an electric story about young people finding their voices at a time when young, marginalized people were made to feel invisible. Some of the best scenes in The Get Down are those between Zeke and the neighborhood girl of his dreams, Mylene. In those often tender moments, creator Baz Luhrmann let his kids be kids. They feel everything so deeply that their more intimate moments feel, at times, too personal. Mylene and Zeke's star-crossed romance proves that nothing comes close to a first love.