Let’s face it, 2016 was tough, and 2017 doesn’t look to be much easier. So let’s delve into some of our favorite geeky romantic pairings to help us cope! Yep, it’s Valentine’s Day, that sickeningly sweet holiday when our authors nominate and then vote on ships for our Top 20 Romantic Couples in Geekdom (10 Canon/10 Fanon) list. It is now my duty to present to you the super cute and sexy ships of 2017!
1. Tracer/Emily (Overwatch)
Saika: We all got a collective Christmas gift this year in the Overwatch tie-in comic “Reflections”, which revealed that Lena “Tracer” Oxton was gay and introduced us to her significant other, Emily. We haven’t learned much about Emily yet, but even if she’s not officially a hero, she’s definitely a badass if she can keep up with Tracer. (Ha, puns.) These two are proof that even heroes can have cozy, happy relationships, and if that’s not inspiring and adorable, I don’t know what is.
2. Captain America/Punching Nazis (Marvel Comics)
Rin: In this, the year 2017 of our Lord [insert whoever your Lord is here], is there any more perfect pairing? While many people have tried to separate ol’ Cap from his Nazi punching roots, the bond between the two remains stronger than ever. And in a time where our country is fighting back against these cowards once more, we should all look to Cap’s example and take heart. Fight on, Cap! Fight on, America! Make Nazis afraid again.
3. Harley Quinn/Poison Ivy (DC Comics):
Lady Geek Girl: Harley and Ivy are basically meant to be together. Ivy tends to not like humans, preferring the company of plants, she seems to like Harley no matter what, and Harley is happy to find someone who loves and supports her like Ivy does. I am so happy that DC Bombshells finally made this amazing pairing canon!
4. Viktor Nikiforov/Yuuri Katsuki (Yuri!!! on Ice)
Luce: In the latter half of 2016, this perfect couple skated out of nowhere to capture our hearts. Yuuri, a young Japanese skater with an anxiety disorder, is strongly considering retiring from the world of figure skating when a surprise snowstorm in his hometown of Hasetsu brings with it Viktor Nikiforov, a five-time figure skating gold medallist and Yuuri’s personal idol. But most shockingly of all, Viktor wants to be his coach?! As it turns out, Yuuri and Viktor find each other mutually inspirational, and together they reach new heights in life, love, and figure skating. They’re a fantastically fluffy, homophobia-free pairing to take your mind off current events for an episode or two.
5. Bubbline (Adventure Time)
Greg: This one you probably know, but Marceline the Vampire Queen and Princess Bubblegum are adorable together and had a previous (not confirmed on screen) romantic relationship and clearly still have feelings for each other. Something about a lawful good princess and a chaotic neutral vampire punk rock girl is just so awesome! The miniseries “Stakes” hints that these two see a future where they spend their incredibly long lives together, so this one is arguably canon, but in such an oblique way that it may not technically count.
6. Hamilton/Eliza (Hamilton: An American Musical)
Syng: She was “helpless” for him the moment she looked into his eyes, and to him, she’s the “best of wives and best of women”. They may have had their ups and downs, but the relationship between Alexander Hamilton and his wife Eliza as depicted in the musical Hamilton is a testament to the power of love and forgiveness to overcome adversity. Hamilton starts out taking Eliza and her love for him for granted; after all, he was clever enough to “write her love letters ’til she fell”. Only after he sees how much he hurt her through his affair, and after the tragedy of their son’s death, does he realize that he does not deserve her kindness and loyalty. But what does Eliza offer instead of divorce papers (which would have been well-earned by then)? “Forgiveness. Can you imagine?” After Hamilton’s death, Eliza’s love for him lives on in the way she tries to “tell his story” and continue his good work. And this is all made even more poignant by the fact that the historical Eliza Hamilton never stopped loving her dear departed husband either, still wishing she could see him again even decades after his death.
7. Mulder/Scully (The X-Files)
Mikely: This is not a ship, my friends. This is the ship. This is the ur-ship. This is the ship that claimed the internet from its pornographic roots and dedicated it to fandom. Granted, it immediately collapsed back into porn about Mulder and Scully, but that’s when it finally started to mean something.
8. (tie) Chloe Price/Max Caulfield (Life is Strange)
Greg: These two eighteen-year-old girls are presented as lifelong best friends who develop a romantic connection after a long absence and traumatic series of events. The two possible endings to the game offer different outcomes with the only option that explicitly (rather than implicitly) confirms a romantic relationship being one where Chloe dies, invoking the bury your gays trope. I voted for this one because it’s such a fantastic ship I let an entire town full of friends and family die to get the ending where these two get a shot at a future together. As those in the LiS fandom would say, “Bae over Bay.”
8. (tie) Allura Vysoren/Lady Kima Of Vord (Critical Role)
Noodle: The poised and proper human wizard and the rough headstrong halfling paladin have the perfect “opposites attract” thing going on and are just the most adorable couple. They used to adventure together and then got together. They called things off for a while, but in the light of dangers threatening to destroy everything around them, they got back together. Allura and Kima will do everything they can to protect each other. And the height difference just puts it over the top.
9. Will Solace/Nico di Angelo (The Trials of Apollo)
Saika: I was so excited when my precious death-flavored cinnamon roll child Nico di Angelo finally started to learn to accept himself and came out of the closet back in the Gods of Olympus series. Now we’re onto the The Trials of Apollo, and the son of Hades has scored himself a bright and supportive bf in the optimistic son of Apollo, Will Solace. These two precious teens may never be main characters, but their relationship is still one of the best parts of Rick Riordan’s epic godly universe.
10. Dina/Becky (Dumbing of Age)
Dom: You want a cute relationship? Here you go! Dina is the dinosaur loving, science-touting, always-there-but-never-there friend in the group. Opposites attract in this case, as Becky is brash, loud and proud, and grew up with a heavily Christian background. While Dina’s parents were always objective and welcoming to their daughter, Becky’s community all but disowned her. In a way, these two helped each other find themselves, as cliche as that sounds. Becky is helping Dina open up and stop being as shy, while Dina is teaching Becky both science and how to deal with someone more reserved. Also they’re just so damn adorable! (And interracial couples are always great for representation!)
1. Peridot/Lapis (Steven Universe)
Dom: These two Homeworld Gems belong together if you ask me (and much of the fanbase). Despite not initially being the biggest fans of one another, they have become fast buddies due to living together. Their odd couple dynamic is not only cute, but it balances very well with their shared fish-out-of-water experience on Earth. Peridot is a hyperactive geek who loves to learn and obsesses over things, while Lapis is an extremely laid-back snark queen. They kind of come off like an artsy hipster couple, what with the fact that they farm and have an art display at their house.
2. Baze/Chirrut (Rogue One: A Star Wars Story)
Pan: There has never been a romance in Star Wars that can hold a candle to the tragic story of Rogue One’s Asian space husbands Baze and Chirrut. Whether they’re canonically romantically involved or not is a matter of some debate: there are plenty of sweet, tender moments between them in the movie, but since we don’t have a firm confirmation about the nature of their relationship, we can’t say for sure what the writers intended. Regardless, 10/10 heart-wrenching love story, would cry like a baby again.
3. (tie) Credence Barebone/A loving, supportive relationship (Fantastic Beasts and Where to Find Them)
Syng: Oh, our poor, dear, sad, Obscurial cinnamon roll son. Credence Barebone’s story in Fantastic Beasts is heart-wrenching. Adopted from a wizarding family by an abusive terror of a No-Maj who hates magic and wants to exterminate all wizards, Credence grows up hating himself and suppressing his magic so much that it manifests as an uncontrollably violent and vengeful Obscurus. He yearns so much for his adopted mother’s love and approval, but all he receives from her is pain and abuse. He thought he had found someone who cared and understood him in Graves, but finds out Graves was actually Grindelwald, trying to use the Obscurus for power. Even Credence’s adopted sister Modesty, who tries to defend him from their adopted mother, ends up terrified of him. Poor Credence has no one! He may have never experienced real love in his entire life! Since we know he’s still alive and returning in future Fantastic Beasts movies, those sequels had better give him someone to love and support him to help him heal! The Harry Potter stories have always been about how love can overcome all evil; let’s see it tame the evils of Credence’s past! We don’t even care if it’s a romantic partner; he just needs someone. Bonus points if it’s a queer romance, though. And please, let it be anyone but literal wizard Hitler!
3. (tie) Sherlock Holmes/Joan Watson (Elementary)
Noodle: I have a soft spot for romantic relationships born from strong friendships. It just makes sense to me when people who trust each other and care about each other in the first place, also fall in romantic love. It’s obvious that Joan and Sherlock care about each other very much. They challenge each other and grow better together. He named a bee after her. For Joan, the most important thing is their partnership. They just need to add kissing.
4. Pearl/Mystery Girl (Steven Universe)
Saika: For an episode, we were all Pearl’s wingman. (Wing-gem?) Pearl’s obvious crush on a Rose Quartz-lookalike rocker chick might be a little unhealthy, but it’s also a sign that she’s finally moving on from Rose. Steven, Amethyst, and yours truly were all rooting for Pearl to get the girl, but by the end of the episode all she got was her phone number. It’s a start, though, and who knows? Maybe next year they’ll be on the other side of this list.
5. Jyn Erso/Cassian Andor (Rogue One: A Star Wars Story)
Luce: Rogue One didn’t have any canonical love stories, and honestly, that fit the tale of the tragic guerilla soldiers just fine. But in deliberately not including any romance, the writers ended up inadvertently forging some battle-hardened chemistry between Jyn Erso and the rebel captain Cassian Andor. At first at odds, these two grew to have a mutual respect for and trust in each other, even (spoiler alert) dying in each other’s arms. I’m happy this pairing is on the fanon list as opposed to the canon one, but that doesn’t mean I won’t be on the lookout for Jyn/Cassian fanfiction in 2017.
6. Sabine/Ketsu (Star Wars Rebels)
Ace: This bounty-hunting duo is the perfect pair for anyone who wants more diverse representation. The two of them grew up together, and when Sabine realized the mistake she made when she joined the Imperial Academy on Mandalore, Ketsu was right there helping her to escape. Unfortunately, due to her own history and a familial betrayal, Sabine became isolated from her own emotions and past as a way to protect herself. She left Ketsu behind in order to join the Rebels and redefine her life. But Ketsu certainly managed to catch up with her when the two of them found themselves going after the same target. Although initially at odds, during their brief reacquaintance, the two of them worked together to escape the Empire once more, and Ketsu even risked her own life to save Sabine’s before joining the Rebel cause herself. True love conquers all obstacles.
7. Lucio/Dva (Overwatch)
Dom: These two would be a great couple. They’re both characters who were heroes to the people of their home countries at a young age and eventually became world wide celebrities. Lucio makes music loved across the world and Hana is a famous video game streamer and actress. Both warriors and celebrities, they both greatly enjoy each other’s work. Also, they’re both quippy and like to taunt and encourage teammates. The couple that jokes together is cute together.
8. Mazikeen/Dr. Linda (Lucifer)
Lady Geek Girl: Seriously, who doesn’t want to ship a demon and Lucifer’s therapist? Mazikeen is a demon from Hell sworn to protect Lucifer, but when they move to earth and she is forced to live in the human world, she has some problems adapting. Dr. Linda did so well helping Lucifer that Maz wanted her help too, but instead of becoming her therapist, Dr. Linda offered her friendship, and now the two are as close as anyone could be. Why not have these two gorgeous women hook up? They are way too cute together and are both so fun and beautiful that they truly deserve each other.
9. Eleanor/Tahani (The Good Place)
Mikely: In an afterlife managed by a dapper-but-ominous being named Michael, everyone is immediately shacked up with their supposed soulmate: not just an OkCupid match but the real deal. Emphasis on “supposed”—Eleanor, a dirtbaggy accidental resident of the Good Place, holds her ethicist roommate Chidi at arm’s length, while the beautiful, glamorous, and gregarious Tahani quickly grows frustrated imagining an eternity with the silent Buddhist monk Jianyu. She’s no happier when she finds out he’s actually a Jacksonville-based DJ and enthusiastic dirtbag in his own right. Tahani is used to everyone being in love with her, but Eleanor, who lived most of her life thinking she was straight, is increasingly unable to hold back pronouncements of her infatuation with Tahani. Both seemed amused by this possibility, but a season-ending memory wipe puts both characters back at square one, though with an audience that now knows better.
10. Original Percival Graves/Newt Scamander (Fantastic Beasts and Where to Find Them)
Lady Geek Girl: Okay, so technically they never actually met, but I mean, come on! Who doesn’t want to see the cute goofy shy magizoologist with the stiff, grumpy, rule-following director of magical security? No one! Everyone wants it! Well… I do at least…
Did your favorite ship make the cut? Who do you love on our list and who do you wish was on our list? Let us know in the comments!