You've all seen it. It's the Alternate Universe episode, there's a flashforward, or we're rejoining the characters after a sizable amount of time has passed. Two characters who were previously only dating, were just friends, or hadn't met yet are now happily settled. For one reason or another it's not enough to demonstrate that they're involved in a stable relationship; the fact needs to be established that they are married. This is almost always achieved through an awkward aside, which generally goes along the lines of "That's why I / you married you / me", "You shouldn't have married me", etc. Very occasionally used without dialogue by including an otherwise gratuitous shot of a wedding photo.
This is a spoiler-heavy trope. Expect unmarked spoilers ahead.
In Tengen Toppa Gurren Lagann, the Anti-Spiral traps Team Dai-Gurren in a Lotus-Eater Machine called the "Alternate Space Labyrinth," in which they live out their hearts' inner desires (for example, Simon's fantasy is getting to tag along with with the already-Killed Off for RealKamina much like they did in the beginning of the series, whereas Viral gets to realize his dream of having a family, which is impossible due to him being effectively immortal and Beastmen can't reproduce). One of these what-if scenarios (shown on a TV screen in this case) depicts Yoko and Kittan on their wedding day. What makes this so poignant is that, by that time in the series, Kittan had just died one or two episodes ago after giving a Last Kiss to Yoko. The implication is that, had Kittan not knowingly sacrificed himself to help the group escape from the Sea of Despair and things turned out differently in the battle against the Anti-Spiral, they might have become a couple for real. And then, in Kung-Fu JesusMessianic Archetype fashion, the spirit of Kamina shows up to help all of the heroes break free. In Yoko's case, he's seen turning off the TV display of her and Kittan.
At one point, Layla Miller and Jamie Madrox]] had a conversation in which Layla (who is, more or less, a Seer) offhandedly said that they would be married in the future. Keep in mind that, at this point, Layla was eleven years old. Jamie laughed it off as a joke, but later, when Jamie visits the future...
It's later confirmed, when a grown-up Layla returns from the future, begins a romance with Jamie, and sure enough, they elope in Vegas.
The Legion of Super Heroes had an infamous "Adult Legion" story in 1967 showing that some characters were married in the future. The first pair married for real in 1974 and the second in 1978.
In Avengers Academy, a version of Reptyl travels back from a future where he and Finesse are married and have a daughter.
Back to the Future, Part II has Doc taking Marty and Jennifer into the future where she sees their future home and kids, but everything else sucks. In Part III, however, Marty manages to avert the event that lead to that timeline.
One episode has the cast thrown into an alternate universe, where Henry finds himself married to a woman he only knew for 3 minutes in the original universe,. Inverted, sort of, with Lupo, who was engaged to Zane in the original universe, but now completely uninvolved with him.
There was another instance where a future Eureka was threatened by Henry's actions in the past (yay Time Travel Tense Trouble) and Jack had to go back and fix it. In the future, he was married to Allison. Thanks to the fix, it now never happened.
Stargate Universe features an alternate universe video log where multiple characters find out who they marry and have kids with.
Between seasons two and three of Battlestar Galactica (Reimagined), the narrative skips a year, and we return to find that the complex Love Dodecahedron of seasons past has resolved itself into four marriages: Tyrol and Cally, Lee and Dualla, Kara and Sam, and Helo and Sharon. Only one makes it through two more seasons to the series finale.
In a rather inexplicable example, the Doctor uses the final moments before his regeneration to visit various past companions, and finds Martha and Mickey years after their travels with the Doctor, fighting a Sontaran together - and married. This came across to some viewers as an uncomfortable instance of Pair the Spares, since Martha and Mickey were the only two dark-skinned companions in the revived series, and had never shown any noticeable interest in one another before. It is especially strange considering the fact that Martha had been established as having a fiance in one of her earlier appearances, and his disappearance from the narrative is never explained.
Amy and Rory are married in the fictional future of "Amy's Choice", several episodes before they get married for real.
River Song makes a comment like this about herself and the Doctor. Unlike most examples, we later actually see the wedding.
In the episode, "Hide", the Doctor meets a scientist and a psychic who are investigating a haunting, and discovers the "ghost" to actually be a time traveler stuck in a pocket universe. They rescue the girl, and at the end of the episode, the Doctor reveals the time traveler to be one of the scientist and psychic's descendants, even though they aren't married yet.
Peter Bishop spends a week in the future, where he is married to his long-time Love Interest Olivia Dunham. It does not end well for Olivia, unfortunately. Come to think of it, it doesn't end well for anyone.
In the penultimate hour, when Olivia makes one last trip to the red-verse after being ambered for over 20 years and not aging, she reunites with Bolivia and Lincoln, who have aged normally and are now middle-aged, married, and have a son, going by their wedding rings and the family picture glimpsed on Bolivia's desk.
Charmed. In a Season 2 episode, the sisters travel ten years into the future where they discover that Piper and Leo had been married, had a daughter together, and then divorced during the ten intervening years. After returning to their own time, Piper and Leo do get married in Season 3, but the daughter and divorce never happen. Instead, they have two sons and are shown to still be happily married 30-40 years later in the series finale's Distant Future.
In one of the futures that Peter Petrelli visits he finds Syler & Elle have hooked up & started a family. And Syler's a good guy.
Matt Parkman learns that in the future he and Daphne have gotten married, so he starts to pursue a relationship with her when he returns to the present for no other reason than he saw them together in the future.
Stargate SG-1. In "There But For the Grace of God" and "Point of View", Alt!Jack and Alt!Sam are engaged and married respectively. In "The Road Not Taken", Alt!Sam married Rodney McKay at one point but they divorced.
An episode of Star Trek: Voyager had Kes witness a future where she and Tom Paris were married and had children following "The Year of Hell" but ultimately it didn't happen this way partly because Kes retained her knowledge of the future and was able to warn the crew. By the time the "Year of Hell" actually happened Kes had left the ship and Tom later ended up marring B'lanna who had been killed in the original timeline.
In How I Met Your Mother ("Single Stamina"), Barney's brother James announces he's going to marry his boyfriend Tom. There's a flashforward to the future where the wedding takes place. In this flashforward, Marshall refers to Lily as to his wife, revealing to the viewers that they got married. (Not a big surprise, though.)
Babylon 5. Sheridan's temporal flash-forward in the season 3 two-part episode "War Without End" shows that, 17 years later, Sheridan had been married to Delenn, and they had a son named David. At the end of season 4 (about a year later), the two do get married.
Bones has Brennen and Booth as married nightclub owners in the Alternate Reality of the Season 4 finale. The episode has ALL of the characters from the show in vastly different roles from the norm.
Der Kestle: She was your ancetress, you know. So obviously it all worked out rather well.
In the final arc of the original Umlaut House Volair and Saundra's happily married future selves went back in time and resolved the UST between the present-day pair. Earlier their son had showed up but back then Saundra hadn't known that the timeline was fixed.
Futurama had an episode where Fry and Leela were married in an alternate universe.
In the Justice League, Hawkgirl and John Stewart briefly date and break up in the second season finale. Later, however, John travels into the future to discover that he and Hawkgirl apparently will have had a son, Rex "Warhawk" Steward (previously seen in Batman Beyond).
Played with when the kids from Phineas and Ferb travel to the future, where Candace's daughter refers to Isabella as "Aunt Isabella." Isabella takes this to mean she marries Phineas (her long-time crush) in the future... until it's mentioned that she also could have married Ferb.
While we never actually see them married, in one episode of Captain Planet that involved Time Travel, Wheeler notes that some of the future planeteers look an awful lot like him and Linka. Linka is quick to pick up on the implication and dismisses it as impossible.
Once in DuckTales when Magicka deSpell sent Scrooge into the future he encountered a shapely Webigale and a slimmed down Doofus who tell him they've gotten married. When he gets back to his own time, he tells Doofus to take care of Webby, which causes her to have a disgusted reaction.
The Arthur PBS series sometimes shows glimpses into the future where it's hinted certain characters may be married. Arthur is shown being married to Francine. Then again, as the future hasn't happened yet, this could be speculation.
In an Imagine Spot on The Simpsons Lisa, despondent over the "Simpson gene" which will make her stupid, imagines herself in the future as trailer trash married to The Ditz.
In an episode of Alvin and the Chipmunks, Simon uses a video time machine to see what the outcome would be if Alvin accepts either a cash prize, or a mystery prize; in both sequences, each of The Chipmunks and their respective Chipette counterpart are married. In fact, Alvin and Brittany are also shown having two sons, both of whom are named, Alvin, Jr.
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