Worth the wait. From Teen Wolf‘s Stiles and Lydia to Stranger Things‘ Joyce and Hopper, some TV shows introduced couples that took quite some time to finally get together.
The hit MTV series, which aired from 2011 to 2017, focused on a high school student who became a teenage werewolf after he was bitten by an alpha. Scott (Tyler Posey) ultimately had to balance the issues in his life with threats against his hometown.
While the lead character quickly found love with Allison (Crystal Reed), viewers couldn’t help but notice the subtle chemistry between Scott’s best friend Stiles (Dylan O’Brien) and Lydia (Holland Roden). The pair — who were known as Stydia — got together in the series finale but things took a turn when Teen Wolf was revived.
Fans were surprised when O’Brien ultimately chose not to appear in Paramount+’s Teen Wolf movie. Ahead of the project’s debut, Roden discussed how the film worked around Stiles’ obvious absence.
“It’s sort of like when you have 11 kids and one’s missing,” the actress exclusively told Us Weekly in January 2023. “Like, of course, you know that they’re missing. We’re sad they’re not there, but it’s nice that we got as many people together as we could.”
In the movie, Lydia revealed that she broke up with Stiles because she was having dreams about him dying in a car accident. The banshee ended their relationship in the hopes that it would protect her boyfriend.
According to showrunner Jeff Davis, the surprising split wasn’t solely inspired by O’Brien’s absence.
“You can leave it at the excuse that, oh, Stiles is off just doing something else while the movie happened. But I didn’t want to leave it at that,” he told TV Insider that same month. “I wanted to still be able to tell an emotional story and the idea that Lydia had a premonition and she couldn’t shake it and that was the reason she broke up with him was to save him, was to keep him alive, felt like [a] great heroic sacrifice in a way.”
Meanwhile, Stranger Things used supernatural elements to initially keep Joyce (Winona Ryder) and Hopper (David Harbour) apart. The duo faced many ups and downs before they found the right time to explore their feelings in season 4 of the hit Netflix series.
“It’s something that we’ve mapped out, how much they want to show is really up to them. Winona and I postulate a bunch of stuff, we have a bunch of theories. Some of them are very wild, and some of them are very tame,” Harbour told Variety in May 2022, shortly after the first installment of season 4 premiered. “In general, they had a time in high school — they knew each other when they were super innocent, and they had all this potential, both of them.”
The Black Widow star praised the journey that Joyce and Hopper took before becoming a couple.
“I certainly feel like, from what happened in season 3, it couldn’t work. The guy from season 3 and [the] woman from season 3 could not work,” he added. “Clearly there’s some chemistry and there is a longing for them to be together, but they would have to become different people.”
Scroll down for more TV couples that took the long road to happily ever after: