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[[quoteright:327:[[WesternAnimation/TheFlintstones http://static.tvtropes.org/pmwiki/pub/images/Flintstones_alpha_beta_6025.jpg]]]]
[[caption-width-right:327: On your left, [[OfficialCouple the couple the show is named after]]: WesternAnimation/TheFlintstones. On your right... emmm... the other couple: The Rubbles.[[note]]Couple importance is directly proportional to their height.[[/note]]]]

->'''Rachel:''' You were our [[ILoveLucy Fred and Ethel Mertz]]! \\
'''Katie:''' Funny, I thought ''you'' were ''our'' Fred and Ethel Mertz.
-->-- ''Film/TheStoryOfUs''

The Beta Couple is present in the backdrop of many Romantic Comedies and Dramas with TheHero of the story looking at wooing their LoveInterest, to provide a {{Foil}} to his/her efforts you will see one of their closest friends have a remarkably easier time getting together. This "simpler" pairing is the Beta Couple.

The Beta Couple is always a secondary pairing (and {{foil}}) to the primary relationship. Often they are friends or confidants of one or both of them, it's not uncommon for TheHero and his [[TheLancer wingman]] to simultaneously try to hook up with the heroine and her maid of honor.

Usually, they serve as a barometer for how well or poorly the main (alpha) couple is doing and offer possible solutions to any problems. Hit a PoorCommunicationKills? The Beta Couple had that, but worked it out. Caught cheating? Losing "the spark" for your LoveInterest? The Beta Couple had that, and here's how they got through it. In addition to all of that, if there is [[{{UST}} sexual tension]] that the OfficialCouple is [[SelectiveObliviousness oblivious about]], the Beta Couple is all the more aware of it and will try to help them embrace it.

For these reasons, things tend to go [[HappilyMarried more smoothly]] for them, letting them work as catalysts for the [[OfficialCouple alpha couple's]] romance. That said, the Beta Couple is usually a source of comedy, and as such have more freedom to be unconventional and kinky and ''less'' problem (or at least [[TheMasochismTango conflict]]) prone than the alpha couple.

While the Beta Couple usually consists of secondary characters, sometimes the author(s) will decide that the main character has enough crap to deal with, make ''his'' relationship the Beta Couple, and make the bulk of the romantic conflict in the story concern the sidekick's relationship.

Compare TokenRomance. See also HookedUpAfterwards. Totally not related to BetaTestBaddie, but sometimes related to PairTheSpares or RomanticFalseLead. Compare AloneAmongTheCouples, another foil to the main character's romantic life.

Has absolutely nothing to do with [[TheMountainGoats The Alpha Couple]], surprisingly.

----
!!Examples

[[foldercontrol]]

[[folder:Anime & Manga]]
* Surprisingly, [[{{Jerkass}} Agito]] and [[NiceGirl Yayoi]] from ''Manga/AirGear'', who by the half-way mark of the series had already reached a level of intimacy that took the main couple thirty-five volumes of story to reach.
* Lots of couples in ''EurekaSeven''. Namely Holland x Talho, Ray x Charles, Sakuya x Norb. Dominic x Anemone is probably the most popular.
** Subverted by Dominic x Anemone. They face loads of troubles in their relationship throughout the series (mostly for Dominic, who spends [[ItGetsBetter almost]] the entire anime trying to get Anemone to notice him), and thus their relationship is more of a parallel to the main pair than a mere Beta Couple. The same may also be said for Holland x Talho. A true Beta Couple from the series would be Moondoggie x Gidget or, as suggested above, Norb x Sakuya.
* Though there are several couples in ''{{Clover}}'' the only seemingly happy pairing [[spoiler: in which both members are still alive at the present time]] are the YaoiGuys Gingetsu and Ran [[spoiler: and even they are probably doomed in about five years]].
* Akane Higurashi and Kazuya Kurauchi act as a Beta Couple to the LoveTriangle in the ''Manga/{{Mai-HiME}}'' manga.
** And also to an extent in the anime: [[spoiler: the scene where both Akane and Mai use their [=CHILDS=] makes it clear they are very similar. Akane is then defeated by someone she thought was a friend (Miyu), resulting in Kazuya's demise. Same thing happens to Mai (she gets attacked by Shiho, with whom she was friends before Shiho found out she was a contender for Yuuichi's heart, then Shiho's child gets destroyed by a brainwashed Mikoto, killing Yuuichi).]]
* Several couples in ''MarmaladeBoy'', but specially Ginta Suoh and Arimi Suzuki (who had previously [[OperationJealousy tried to break Yuu and Miki up]], but [[PairTheSpares found solace with each other when it failed]]) , as well as [[HotForStudent Meiko Akizuki and Namura-sensei.]]
* Miroku and Sango from ''Manga/InuYasha''. Though they have only a ''slightly'' easier time of it than the Alpha Couple.
* The scarily fervent matchmaker friends to the leads of ''Manga/LovelyComplex''.
* Akane and Subaru provide some much-needed sweet romance in the midst of [[LoveMartyr Hatsumi]] and [[BastardBoyfriend Ryoki's]] twisted relationship in ''Manga/HotGimmick''.
* Souichi and Morinaga (the first wants to keep it JustFriends, the second is hoping for a RelationshipUpgrade) in ''Challengers''. The mangaka enjoyed writing about them enough to eventually give them their own [[SpinOff spin-off]] series, ''TheTyrantFallsInLove''.
* Yamazaki and Chiharu (Zachary and Chelsea in the English dub) from ''Manga/CardcaptorSakura''... even though [[PuppyLove they're both fourth-graders]].
** [[YaoiGuys Touya and Yukito]] were another pair of main characters who became a couple by the end, so they could be considered a Beta Couple as well.
* Yuki and Sojiroh to a varying extent in the manga and J-Drama of ''Manga/HanaYoriDango''.
* Junko and Kyosuke in ''Manga/{{Nana}}''.
* Tsuyoshi and Aya, classmates of Alpha Couple Sana and Akito in ''Manga/KodomoNoOmocha''.
* Roy Focker and Claudia [=LaSalle=] in ''SuperDimensionFortressMacross'', and Ozma Lee and Cathy Glass in ''MacrossFrontier'', who play Beta Couple to their respective series's official LoveTriangle. Also, Michel and Klan, although [[spoiler:that particular Beta Couple met an [[HeroicSacrifice unexpected end]].]]
* ''Franchise/SailorMoon'':
** Haruka/Sailor Uranus and Michiru/Sailor Neptune. Interestingly, they are probably more stable and certainly more mature than the Alpha Couple consisting of Usagi/Sailor Moon and Mamoru/Tuxedo Kamen.
** Usagi's friends Naru and Umino in TheNineties [[Anime/SailorMoon anime]], once they got their RelationshipUpgrade.
** Makoto and Motoki become one in the [[Series/PrettyGuardianSailorMoon live-action series]] only, even getting engaged in the finale special.
* Ogata Matake (Oga-chan) and Tanaka Eita in ''LightNovel/ShakuganNoShana'' serve as a Beta Couple to the LoveTriangle of Yoshida, Shana, and Yuji (although adding Ike in sort of makes it a LoveDodecahedron).
* Montmorency and Guiche from ''LightNovel/ZeroNoTsukaima''. Of course, they're only ''slightly'' less dysfunctional than Louise and Saito.
* From ''Manga/{{Mars}}'', we have Harumi and Tatsuya.
* Austria and Hungary (despite being "divorced"... it's complicated) are this to [[HoYay Germany and North Italy]] in the Valentines strip of ''Webcomic/AxisPowersHetalia''.
* ''Anime/CodeGeass'' - Suzaku and Euphemia could be this… if there was an alpha to begin with. The typical beta couple is the couple involving the most important people after the couple involving the protagonist. But here, the protagonist is a CelibateHero, so Suzaku and Euphemia were the only couple displayed in some openings.
** Ougi and Villetta, kind of beta for Suzaku/Euphie, but actually the only couple which ends well [[spoiler:(not that Suzaku stopped loving Euphie: she dies)]].
* Takenaga and Noi from ''Manga/TheWallflower''.
* ''Manga/MahouSenseiNegima'':
** [[SchoolgirlLesbians Konoka and Setsuna]]. Negi/Asuna is swamped in {{UST}}, WillTheyOrWontThey, and is only one piece of a massive LoveDodecahedron. At the end of the manga, [[spoiler:while there is NoRomanticResolution for Negi (and it's made clear that if he gets together with anybody at all, it's not Asuna), the epilogue states Konoka and Setsuna both married in the same year, it just doesn't say to each other (though it is implied).]]
** Natsumi and Kotaro. As of chapter 262, they ''definitely'' count as canon. [[spoiler:Kiss, pactio, etc. Wow.]] As of the conclusion of the manga, in contrast with the couples mentioned above, [[spoiler:Natsumi/Kotaro are set in stone, given that they get married in the epilogue.]]
* [[spoiler: Romeo's best friend Benvolio and Juliet's adoptive sister Cordelia]] in ''Anime/RomeoXJuliet''.
* Princess Amelia of ''LightNovel/{{Slayers}}'' definitely has feelings for Zelgadis but, due to his quest to recover his human body and being the only serious guy of the group, for the most part he [[ObliviousToLove doesn't remark on it or doesn't care]]. However, she does make him blush a lot, and there are many hints that he cares for her quite deeply, especially in the second season.
** And the fact that we see that [[spoiler:one of Amelia's wristbands is tied to Zel's canteen in the credits of the last episode of the third season.]]
* ''Anime/NeonGenesisEvangelion'' - Aside from the primary LoveTriangle of sorts between Shinji, Rei and Asuka, we have both Kaji/Misato and Touji/Hikari. This being Evangelion, neither fares particularly well, at least not for long...
* ''Manga/TsubasaReservoirChronicle'' has somewhat of an inversion. The main protagonists Sakura and Syaoran were actually the ones with the more simplified relationship as opposed to the [[HoYay ambiguously canon]] Beta Couple Fai and Kurogane, possibly attributed to the fact that Sakura and Syaoran were carry-overs from the already canon version of themselves in ''Manga/CardcaptorSakura'', so there was no question that they'd get together. Whereas Fai and Kurogane were entirely new characters who got their CharacterDevelopment over the course of Tsubasa. Even so, they still frequently acted as parental figures to Sakura and Syaoran, as well as parallels/foils to them in various official artwork and in-story plots and jokes, such as their Outo Country names: Big Dog (Kurogane), Little Dog (Syaoran), Big Cat (Fai) and Little Cat (Sakura).
* [[spoiler:Nanami and Yuzuru]] in ''DanceInTheVampireBund''.
* Orie and Hinako from ''AoiHana'', who Fumi sees as having the ideal happy lesbian relationship.
* ''Anime/FutureGPXCyberFormula'' has Shinjyo/Miki, Osamu/Clair and [[CanonImmigrant Shiba/Rena]], if you're going to take them to account.
* The ''Anime/MagicalGirlLyricalNanoha'' series's non-LesYay couples, Chrono/Amy and Erio/Caro. Note that Erio and Caro fall for each other very fast. One reason is because [[PuppyLove they are still kids]].
* In ''Manga/{{Bakuman}}'', Akito Takagi and Kaya Miyoshi are the Beta Couple. Their down-to-earth approach to love and marriage and their frequent bickering is a nice contrast to the romantic idealism of the Alpha Couple, Moritaka Mashiro and Miho Azuki. The contrast between the two couples is not lost on any of the people involved, as Mashiro wonders if he and Azuki should be more like Takagi and Miyoshi (who have gotten married despite confessing their feelings later than Mashiro and Azuki), before resolving to keep his promise.
* ''TenshiNiNarumon'': Raphael and Mikael are somewhat an inverted HoYay Beta Couple to Noelle and Yuusuke as it's implied that they have been in a relationship long before the series actually started and their relationship is...a lot less innocent that Noelle and Yuusuke's.
* ''Manga/MagicKnightRayearth'': Caldina and Lafarga.
* Amue and Ryo Shirogane in ''GoLion''. AKA Romelle and Sven in ''{{Voltron}}''.
* ''Manga/DetectiveConan'' has Heiji/Kazuha, as well as Makoto/Sonoko and Takagi/Miwako.
* Rosalie and Bernard in ''Manga/RoseOfVersailles'', [[spoiler:who are the only couple to survive at the end.]]
* [[BadassBookworm Ox]] and [[CuteWitch Kim]] of ''Manga/SoulEater'', although right now they're the ''only'' couple.
* Yuuji and Shouko in ''LightNovel/BakaToTestToShoukanjuu'', though their relationship isn't all that different from the main's, lack of a LoveTriangle aside. Voyeur and Aiko are probably a more "normal" example.
* ''HyperPolice'' uses this trope later on in the series when Tommy and Poe hook up. Tommy is already Banten's wingman, and Poe takes Natsuki under her wing (And her slippers, yeouch!) to try and save her relationship.
* Watanuki and Karuta in ''Manga/InuXBokuSS''.
* Duero and Parfait in ''{{Vandread}}''. Considering that he's a medic and she's a mechanic onboard a LivingShip, their jobs allow them to be close at all times. [[NoHuggingNoKissing Not that they ever do anything beyond compliments and awkward touches...]] especially because they both grew up in societies that shunned the other gender as subhuman, leaving them unable to come to terms with their feelings.
* It's kinda... ''complicated'' in ''Manga/YandereKanojo'', since the supposed first couple (Reina and Manabu) is went out without hitch. The ''secondary'' couple (Hijiri and Shiratori) is the one who shown the growth. There are another, less significant Beta Couple, like Reina's parents, and The Principal and his wife.
* [[spoiler:Maria and Mamoru]] in ''Literature/FromTheNewWorld''.
* ''Manga/{{Bleach}}'': ''[[HowWeGotHere Everything but the Rain]]'' is Isshin and Masaki's MeetCute story, featuring Uryuu's parents as the Beta Couple. [[spoiler: Ryuuken and Kanae provide a [[BroodingBoyGentleGirl quiet, dignified and very intense]] contrast to Isshin and Masaki's [[BirdsofAFeather wild, crazy, and unconventional]] romance. However, the beta couple's fate is even more tragic than the alpha's, setting up vitally important plot points.]]
* Shizuku and Kotone in ''Manga/SakuraTrick''.
* Chitaru and Hitsugi in ''Manga/AkumaNoRiddle''. [[spoiler:They don't end well.]]
* ''Manga/TonariNoKashiwagiSan'' has Sayaka and Kazuki who often help Kotone and Yuuto along with their stumbling more-than-friends-but-not-quite-going-out relationship, both through direct advice and as a DoubleDate couple to keep the two from being too nervous, although mostly Yuuto, as Kotone is [[ObliviousToLove even more innocent]] than that.
[[/folder]]

[[folder:Comic Books]]
* Post-issue #50 in ArchieComics' ''ComicBook/SonicTheHedgehog'' series, Antoine D'Coolette and Bunnie Rabbot became the beta couple to Sonic the Hedgehog and Princess Sally Acorn.
* ComicBook/DruidCity features the main character's homosexual brother, Mike, in an OppositesAttract relationship with PetHomosexual Dusty Crocker. While they have their own problems, Mike and Dusty's relationship spans the entirety of the series and serves as a contrast to the far more tumultuous relationships that the main character, Hunter Hastings and female lead Becky Fink, engage in separately.
[[/folder]]

[[folder:Fan Works]]
* FanFic/DungeonKeeperAmi: The alpha couple is Ami and [[spoiler: Jadeite]], the beta is Cathy and Jered. However, there ''are'' other couples meantioned, most noteably for humor: [[OurElvesAreDifferent Venna]] and [[WhiteMage Snyder]], and [[CombatTentacles Tserk]] and [[WingedHumanoid Cerasse]].
* Taniguchi and Yanagimoto in ''Fanfic/KyonBigDamnHero'' have officially stated that Taniguchi is trying to paint themselves as the Beta Couple to Kyon and whichever girl he's being shipped with. There's Haruhi, Mikuru, Yuki, Kanae, Tsuruya so far...
* [[Literature/HarryPotter Sirius]] and [[OriginalCharacter Aletha]] in the Fanfic/{{Dangerverse}}--quite literally, since they live in a "Pack" and are considered the Beta male and female.
* [[Manga/LuckyStar Tsukasa and Miyuki]] in ''FanFic/StarsAbove''... [[spoiler:or rather, Tsukasa and the Demon disguised as Miyuki...]]
* [[Anime/YuGiOh Kaiba and Yugi]] in FanFic/DecksFallEveryoneDies (the alpha couple is Joey and Tristan).
* In a lot of Manga/{{Naruto}} fanfiction that puts Naruto and Hinata in the spotlight, Sasuke and Sakura are usually the Beta Couple. The inverse is also possible - for example, in WhiteRain, Sasuke and Sakura are the main pairing, with Naruto and Hinata as the Beta Couple.
** For those who don't particularly like Sasuke and Sakura, there are a lot of other pairings that can step up to the plate.
* Henry and Jeri from the ''FanFic/TamersForeverSeries''
* Dib and Tak in the ''FanFic/MyHostageNotYours'' series.
* In ''Fanfic/ADelicateBalance'', [[WesternAnimation/MyLittlePonyFriendshipIsMagic Lyra and Bon Bon]] are a Beta Couple to Twilight and Applejack.
* [[http://www.fanfiction.net/s/6524186/1/Project-VOCALOID Project: VOCALOID]] has no less than [[UpToEleven THREE.]] Namely, LukaxGakupo, MeikoxKaito, and TetoxTed.
* In the ''Manga/FairyTail'' fandom, Gajeel/Levy is often the Beta Couple to Natsu/Lucy.
* Most fanfics of ''Anime/PuellaMagiMadokaMagica'' center on either Madoka/Homura or Kyouko/Sayaka. The one that isn't the main focus will usually be the Beta Couple to the one that is.
** ''FanFic/ResonanceDays'' can't use the former pairing due to [[DeadToBeginWith its setting]], and instead employs [[HappilyMarried Mami/Charlotte]] as the Beta to Kyouko/[[MeaningfulRename Oktavia]].
* Rhymey and Fluttershy in ''FanFic/MyLittleUnicorn''.
[[/folder]]

[[folder:Films -- Animation]]
* ''WesternAnimation/AlphaAndOmega'' has Garth and Lilly, who were spending time together while the Western pack desperately searches for Kate before a pack war starts. While Kate and Humphrey, who were darted and trucked to Idaho and struggling to get back to Jasper, falling in love along the way, Garth and Lilly find themselves hitting it off beautifully. In fact, it gets to the point where the Western pack Alpha prince would be more than happy having Lilly substitute for Kate, even though Lilly is an Omega.
* Vlad and Sophie in ''WesternAnimation/{{Anastasia}}''.
* From the ''Disney/{{Cinderella}}'' sequels, we have Cinderella's stepsister Anastasia and the local baker.
* ''Disney/{{Mulan}} 2'' had not one, but ''three'' Beta Couples.
** Don't forget Mulan's parents.
* Tulio and Linda in ''WesternAnimation/{{Rio}}''.
* John and Mary in ''WesternAnimation/WallE''.
* Though all the couples in ''WesternAnimation/ToyStory'' are on equal standing, Buzz and Jessie are this to Woody and Bo Peep, pairing up at the end of the second movie. And we cannot forget Mr Potato Head and Mrs Potato Head.
** [[spoiler:They ''were'' this to Woody and Bo Peep before the couple got tragically split for good between ''Toy Story 2'' and ''Toy Story 3'', anyway.]]
[[/folder]]

[[folder:Films -- Live Action]]
* Albert is the dating challenged man that "date doctor" ''Film/{{Hitch}}'' is trying to help get together with celebrity Allegra Cole. Despite his nervousness things go smoothly for them. While Albert and Allegra's relationship continues to progress, Hitch finds that none of his tried and tested methods are working for him, despite being a master of the art.
* Marie and Jess in ''Film/WhenHarryMetSally''.
* ''Film/WeddingCrashers'' has Jeremy and Gloria, a mentally unstable nymphomaniac. Despite torturing Jeremy with/during sex, and being desperately possessive and ''scary'', the two end up getting together while John and Claire hit a rough patch. The irony here is that John forced Jerry to date Gloria so he would have shot with Claire, only for it not to pan out at first. It's even more ironic (and plays the trope straight) considering John and Claire didn't hook up until they were forced to be in the same room with each other during Jerry and Gloria's ''wedding'' as the best man and maid of honor.
* Chad and Taylor in ''Film/HighSchoolMusical''. And in ''High School Musical 3'', Ryan and Kelsi.
* Kit and Ace in ''Failure to Launch''.
* Maida and Killjoy, in ''Film/TheIcePirates''
* Megan and Joe Dayton (Bonnie Hunt and Jim Belushi) from ''Return to Me''.
* Rusty and Willard (to main couple Ren and Arielle) in ''Film/{{Footloose}}''.
* Lucas Belvaux has made a trilogy of movies (a comedy, drama and thriller) re-telling the same few days from three perspectives. Each of the three couples was the alpha couple in one of them and a beta couple in the two others.
* Jacqueline/Capt. Laurent to Danielle/Prince Henry in ''Film/EverAfter''.
* Dianne and David in ''Film/ShaunOfTheDead''. In the end, it turns out to be more complicated than this.
* In a way, Jack the Bartender and Annie from the movie ''{{Penelope}}''.
* Orville and Echo in ''[[Creator/ClintEastwood Every Which Way But Loose]]''.
* Martin and Chessy in the 1998 version of ''Film/TheParentTrap''.
* Rizzo and Kenickie in ''Film/{{Grease}}'' are a SlapSlapKiss version.
* Rob and Carrie in ''Film/EternalSunshineOfTheSpotlessMind.''
* ''A Kind of Loving'' begins with the wedding of Christine and David, and they provide a tranquil counterpoint to the stormy relationship of Vic and Ingrid throughout.
* In ''Literature/TheTimeTravelersWife'', we have Gomez and Charisse, which is very different from the book version (see the Literature section below).
* The 1998 made-for-television film ''Series/{{Merlin|1998}}'' has [[spoiler: Frik and Morgan le Fay]], whose romance [[spoiler: ends a lot less happily than Merlin and Nimue's.]]
* Most PornWithPlot movies will slightly parody this or take it to its "area". The routine is of a normal suburban couple which needs its love life spiced up by the couple that "has seen it all and knows it all". Of course, it tends to become an UndeadHorseTrope because of all its use, so sometimes it's parodied, subverted, played with (the couple is of lesbians, or it's just one woman teaching everything etc.) and whatnot.
* Ezra and Emma in ''Film/TheHauntedMansion'', to Edward and Elizabeth (man, Disney likes their "E" names). A rather unromantic Beta Couple, but still more or less Happily Married.
* Creator/IngridBergman's character's older sister and brother-in-law in ''Indiscreet'' are the beta couple to Ingrid and CaryGrant.
* Manny and Gina in ''Film/{{Scarface 1983}}''
* Balraj and Jaya in ''Film/BrideAndPrejudice''.
* DownWithLove's Vikki Hiller and Peter [=MacMannus=]'s relationship revolves around Barbara Novak and Catcher Block.
* {{Enchanted}}'s Nancy might lose her fiancée Robert to NaiveEverygirl Giselle, but at the end of the movie she marries Giselle's ex boyfriend Prince Edward.
* Jacques and Lulu in the movie musical ''The Love Parade'' provide a plebeian contrast to the royal principal couple.
* Toshi and Hanako in ''Film/WildZero''.
* ''Film/TheSorcerersApprentice'' has Balthazar and Veronica as the beta to Dave and Becky's alpha. Their relationship is more relaxed and simple despite the fact that Veronica spends most of the movie as a SealedGoodInACan.
* In ''Film/MonsoonWedding'', the romance between the day labourer and the maid Alice progresses faster than the one between the husband and wife despite the fact that those two are the ones actually getting married.
* ''Film/GoingTheDistance'' has two, Erin's sister and her husband, who provide more traditional relationship advice, and Garrett's co-worker and her boyfriend (mentioned, but never seen), who provide more long-distance related advice.
[[/folder]]

[[folder:Literature]]
* Gyltha and Mansur are this in the ''Literature/MistressOfTheArtOfDeath'' novels.
* ''Literature/TheHeroesOfOlympus'' has Jason and Piper and Frank and Hazel.
* Marianne Dashwood and Colonel Brandon to Elinor Dashwood and Edward Ferrars of ''Literature/SenseAndSensibility''.
* Jane Bennet and Mr. Bingley to Elizabeth and Mr. Darcy in ''Literature/PrideAndPrejudice''; the OfficialCouple (the girl who falls for a charismatic TheCasanova before [[WrongGuyFirst discovering his true colors]] before growing to esteem and appreciate a worthy man) and Beta Couple (the man forbidden from proposing to the girl he loves because his family doesn't believe she is rich enough) are essentially reversed from ''Literature/SenseAndSensibility''. Jane and Bingley are a humorous example because they're only the Beta Couple to the ''reader''. Since Elizabeth is the protagonist, she and Darcy of course form the Alpha Couple of the story. However, in the world of the story itself, it's Elizabeth and Darcy who are the Beta Couple, since pretty much from the get-go, the people ''around them'' are waiting to see if Jane and Bingley will hook up.
* Sparhawk and Kalten in Creator/DavidEddings's ''[[Literature/TheElenium Elenium]]'' and ''Tamuli'' series. Sparhawk marries Queen Ehlana and Kalten falls for her personal maid Alean. Also Melidere and Stragen, and Talen and Danae, and Sephrenia and Vanion.
* It's taken to an extreme in the ''[[Literature/TheBelgariad Belgariad]]/Malloreon'': [[spoiler:Hettar and Adara, Silk and Velvet, Durnik and Polgara, Mandorallen and Nerina, Lelldorin and Ariana, 'Zakath and Cyradis, Relg and Taiba, Beldin and Vella, a reunited Belgarath and Poledra]]... granted, for those who love happy-ever-after cliches, Eddings is made to order.
* It's a [[FourthDateMarriage smooth and quick hook-up]] for Roger and Bonnie in Jennifer Crusie's romance novel ''Bet Me'', compared to the more rocky relationship of their respective friends Cal and Min.
* Sonya/Nikolai/Maria are the [[LoveTriangle Beta Triangle]] of ''Literature/WarAndPeace'', with Nikolai/Maria going on to become the full-fledged Beta Couple.
* Kitty and Levin in ''Literature/AnnaKarenina'', to the Alpha Couple of Anna and Vronsky.
* Charisse and Gomez appear to be the Beta Couple in ''Literature/TheTimeTravelersWife'' at first, but it is later revealed that [[spoiler: Gomez harbors strong feelings towards Clare]].
* Faramir and Éowyn in ''Literature/TheLordOfTheRings''. More present in the book than TheFilmOfTheBook. [[spoiler:Aragorn even makes them Prince and Princess of Ithilien, a province of Gondor.]]
* From Creator/LoisMcMasterBujold's Literature/VorkosiganSaga:
** There's a weird case in ''Barrayar''. Aral and Cordelia Vorkosigan, in all other respects the book's protagonists, play Beta Couple to Koudelka and Droushnakovi in a minor subplot.
** Mark and Kareen in ''A Civil Campaign'', both as secondary to Miles and Ekaterin, and due to the planet where they're attending school.
** Miles and Ekaterin play beta couple to Taura and Roic in "Winterfair Gifts."
* Nick Carraway and Jordan Baker in ''Literature/TheGreatGatsby''. They don't really work out but compared to mess of the main LoveDodecahedron, they are pretty normal.
* Conaire and Caitlin are a classic Beta Couple in Jules Watson's ''The White Mare''. He's the hero's right-hand man and she's the heroine's best friend, and their relationship is ''far'' less complicated than that of the main couple.
* Spook and Beldre in ''Literature/{{Mistborn}}'', though Spook was originally a MauveShirt that got promoted to main character in the third book.
* In ''Literature/TheFallenMoon'' by K.J. Taylor, Erian and Elkin to Arenadd and Skade. Antagonist/protagonist version.
* [[TheLancer Mari]] and [[spoiler: Prince Kieran]] in ''Literature/{{Salamander}}''. [[spoiler: It's an unusual example because he's a WellIntentionedExtremist villain for most of the story, including their courtship. ]]
* Sachar and Anisya in ''Literature/{{Oblomov}}''.
* Nino Sechetti and Lola Nirdlinger in ''Film/DoubleIndemnity''.
* The duchesse de Nevers and Coconnas fill the spot in ''Literature/LaReineMargot'', but they are less peaceful than Margot and La Môle.
* ''Literature/TheHungerGames'' has Finnick and Annie. While Katniss and Peeta/Gale are never really sure where they stand, Finnick and Annie are deeply in love, with Katniss envying their certainty. Finnick helps Katniss deal with her worry over Peeta, and in the end, [[spoiler:Finnick's death means they take the Star-Crossed Lovers title well away from Katniss and Peeta]].
* In ''Literature/TheKingdomAndTheCrown'' we have [[TheHero Simeon's]] NumberTwo Yehuda paired up with [[LoveInterest Miriam's]] servant girl, Livia.
* ''Series/NeverWipeTearsWithoutGloves'' has Seppo and Lars-Åke as Beta Couple to Rasmus and Benjamin's alpha.
* ''Literature/TheMortalInstruments'': Alec and Magnus; Luke and [[spoiler: Jocelyn]]. [[spoiler: Simon and Isabelle]] at the end of City of Ashes and during City of Fallen Angels.
* ''Literature/TheFlightEngineer'' has Chief Petty Officer Paddy Casey and Second Lieutenant Cynthia Robbins. The fact that their relationship is against regulations prompts Casey to try and get into officer candidate school.
* ''Creator/SimonaAhrnstedt'' follows this pattern in her debut novel ''Literature/{{Overenskommelser}}''. We have Beatrice and Seth, the troubled alpha couple, who need a painful twenty months to sort things out, contrasted by Sofia and Johan, the much happier beta couple. But the story also introduces us to another beta couple, Jacques and Vivienne, who need as much time to sort things out as the alphas do.
** Magdalena and Gabriel in "De skandalösa" also get two beta couples in the end: [[spoiler: Beata/Ossian and Venus/Nora]].
* OlderThanPrint in ''Parzival'' by Wolfram von Eschenbach with Gâwân (Gawain) and Orgeluse.
* ''Literature/TortallUniverse''
** In ''Literature/SongOfTheLioness'' Eleni Cooper and Baron Myles quickly fall for each other while Alanna is sorting out what kind of romance she even wants with Jon, George, and Liam. Jon and Thayet play like this as well (despite him being king) since they pretty much fall in love at first sight.
** Raoul and Buri start dating and soon become engaged in ''Literature/ProtectorOfTheSmall'''s third book. Kel is busy dealing with her crush on Dom and wondering how far her relationship with Cleon will go given their situations. Neal and Yuki also seem to have a pretty easy relationship.
** In ''Literature/ProvostsDog'' Ersken and Kora, a Dog and a criminal who seem to have no trouble dealing with the DatingCatwoman situation. Meanwhile Beka and Rosto have copious amounts of {{UST}} thanks to her unwillingness to bed a criminal.
* ''Literature/CircleOfMagic'': Lark and Rosethorn are in a happy, stable, and open relationship. Although this isn't made explicit until the ''Circle Reforged'' books, those are the only books in which the protagonists start exploring romance anyway, usually with a lot of fumbling.
[[/folder]]

[[folder:Live Action TV]]
* ''Series/{{Cheers}}'' featured Frasier and Lilith, Carla and Eddie, and Woody and Kelly.
* On ''Series/TheNanny'', Niles and CC play this role after they [[PairTheSpares were hooked up together]]. They were quite a fun Beta Couple since they hated each-other as much as they were in love, so they were always attacking the other.
* On ''Series/{{Community}}'' Troy and Annie were a Beta Couple to [[BelligerentSexualTension Jeff and Britta]], but these were both eventually dropped once the show [[AffectionateParody found itself]].
** Since then, Jeff and Annie have ascended to Alpha Couple (as of early season three in the WillTheyOrWontThey stage), while the show seems to be setting up [[PairTheSpares Troy/Britta]] as the Beta Couple.
** In Season 4, the [[spoiler: Troy/Britta]] couple was broken up, in the homage to ''Freaky Friday'' episode. Since [[spoiler: Donald Glover is leaving midway through Season 5]], there doesn't seem to be a couple to take their place.
* ''Series/TheBigBangTheory'': Howard and Bernardette to main couple Leonard and Penny.
** Later, Sheldon and Amy.
* [[spoiler: Hale and Kenzi]] in ''Series/LostGirl''.
* In ''ThatSeventiesShow'', Kelso/Jackie and later Jackie/Hyde to Donna/Eric.
* Fred and Ethel Mertz in ''Series/ILoveLucy'', television's original Beta Couple.
** Don't forget Ed and Trixie Norton from ''TheHoneymooners''!
** Before the Nortons and the Mertzes, there were Harry and Blanche Morton, next door neighbors of [[Radio/TheBurnsAndAllenShow George Burns and Gracie Allen]].
* Turk and Carla in ''Series/{{Scrubs}}''. At multiple times J.D. has mentioned that they act as a unit giving advice to others, to the point in one fantasy based episode they were portrayed as a two-headed witch.
** One could argue that Turk is in both the Alpha AND Beta Couple, if you consider the Alpha Couple to be [[HoYay Turk and JD]].
* In ''Series/LieToMe'', Torres and Loker are now confirmed to be this, to Lightman and Foster's Alpha.
* ''Series/{{Friends}}'': Monica and Chandler become this to main couple Ross and Rachel in the later seasons. However they vary from the classic Beta couple mould as a lot of screen time is given to their developing relationship and they certainly face problems. (Rather than having it 'all figured out' from the beginning). The difference is they learn to deal with their issues while [[{{TheMasochismTango}} Ross and Rachel bicker and fight]]. Ironically this means you see more of their relationship (spanning over half the series) than Ross and Rachel who were only together for about a season.
** Eventually Phoebe and [[spoiler: Mike.]]
* ''Series/BuffyTheVampireSlayer'': At various times Willow and Xander would be in a relationship to contrast Buffy's various relationships. Willow/Oz and Xander/Cordelia in the earlier seasons, then Willow/Tara and Xander/Anya in the later seasons (and Willow/Kennedy in the last).
** On ''Series/{{Angel}}'' this was modified with a LoveTriangle for the Beta Couple between Gunn, Fred and Wesley, while Angel began a relationship with Cordelia.
*** To be specific, Gunn and Fred were the Beta Couple on their own during seasons 3 and 4. While Angel and Cordy were trying to figure out that they were in love with each other in the third season and god knows what happened to Cordy in the fourth, Gunn and Fred had a fairly stable relationship from the time they got together until "Supersymmetry".
* Although there wasn't any one official couple for the show, Jed and Abby, on ''TheWestWing'' are this trope to ''everyone'' else, as they were HappilyMarried with the ups and downs of a normal, well-adjusted couple (or as normal as possible for a President and First Lady). This was in contrast to [[WillTheyOrWontThey Josh and Donna]], [[DatingCatwoman CJ and Danny]], [[AmicablyDivorced Toby and Andi]], [[BelligerentSexualTension Sam and Ainsley]], [[BodyguardCrush CJ and Simon]], [[TheMasochismTango Josh and Amy]], [[MeddlingParents Sam and Mallory]], [[MarriedToTheJob Leo and Jenny]], and Charlie and Zoe, all of whose romances were constantly trampled by politics, ethics, and DysfunctionJunction. But mostly politics.
** Except for [[spoiler:Josh/Donna and CJ/Danny]] of course, who were upgraded to OfficialCouple and ended up together in the final season.
* ''Series/ICarly'': Gibby/Tasha, to either Carly/Freddie or Sam/Freddie.
** Appear to have broken up when Tasha's actor went off to become a lingerie model, leaving Tasha as a victim of ChuckCunninghamSyndrome for season 4..
* Stanley and Mimi in ''Series/{{Jericho}}''. Oddly enough however, their pairing became the only major romance of focus throughout most of season one and all of season two pummeling the hell out of the pretty much forgotten (by the writers) Heather/Jake/Emily triangle, which from a story-telling standpoint, should've been the romance arc of focus.
* Slater and Jessie on ''SavedByTheBell'' (to main couple Zack and Kelly).
* Chris and Shaz in ''AshesToAshes''.
* Helo and Athena in ''[[Series/BattlestarGalacticaReimagined Battlestar Galactica]]'', [[spoiler: especially considering they are one of the only couples that remain steady throughout the series.]]
* ''Series/HowIMetYourMother'' has Marshall and Lily, getting engaged in the pilot episode and having been together for some 8 years prior. Besides a temporary break-up in the early second season they act as a unit and are seen by Ted as the perfect couple that he wants to model himself after. What is interesting is there is a distinct lack of an Alpha Couple or at least a rotating Alpha Couple with Ted and whoever he is dating, such as Robin for the entire second season. Barney/Robin also has the trappings of an alpha couple because of how chaotic their relationship was, [[spoiler:but they get married before even Ted does]]. In the end, the ultimate Alpha Couple will be Ted and "the mother."
* For the first two seasons of ''Series/TheOC'', Seth and Summer were the Beta Couple to the OfficialCouple of Ryan and Marissa. In the third season, Ryan and Marissa break up for good and there is no real OfficialCouple. In the fourth and final season both Seth/Summer and Ryan/Taylor are given about equal weight.
* Patrick and Sally on ''{{Coupling}}''.
* On ''YesDear'', it depends on the episode. It's twice as likely Greg and Kim serve the position than Jimmy and Christine, however.
* Arthur and Morgana have a WillTheyOrWontThey that mirrors Merlin and Gwen's in the first Series of ''Series/{{Merlin}}''. But in Series 3, Arthur and Morgana are revealed to be [[spoiler: brother and sister]], so it's pretty unlikely to become canon! It should be noted, however, that it hasn't stopped the shippers. In fact, you could argue that almost ''every'' potential Beta-pairing (including Gwen/Lancelot, Merlin/Morgana, and particularly [[HoYay Arthur/Merlin]]) is more popular among fans than the Arthur/Gwen coupling.
* D'Argo and Chiana in ''Series/{{Farscape}}'', though theirs is a tempestuous, mostly physical relationship that's more off than on[[spoiler:, and is ultimately doomed]]. Nevertheless, both Chiana and D'Argo often dispense relationship advice to Crichton and Aeryn. A (marginally) less dysfunctional example is the [[spoiler: tragically brief]] relationship between Stark and Zhaan.
* Smithy and Nessa in ''GavinAndStacey''. However, in later seasons Gavin and Stacey's relationship stabilises considerably, while Smithy and Nessa's provides most of the drama, essentially making the eponymous Gavin and Stacey the Beta Couple.
* Found on ''Series/{{Chuck}}'': Both Morgan/Anna (and later Morgan/[[spoiler: Alex]]) and Captain Awesome/Ellie are Beta Couples to Chuck and Sarah's [[OfficialCouple alpha couple storyline]].
* ''{{Firefly}}'' has Zoe and Wash, a married couple, as the Beta Couple to Mal/Inara and Simon/Kaylee,(Gamma couple?), though neither Mal/Inara nor Simon/Kaylee are actually a couple throughout the series.
* ''Series/{{Bones}}'':
** Angela/Hodgins to Booth/Brennan. Angela/Hodgins are in many ways the LESS stable couple.
** [[TheWoobie Doc Sweets]] and [[CloudCuckooLander Daisy.]]
** [[spoiler: "The Witch in the Wardrobe" sounded somewhat surprising (but much-loved) wedding bells for Angela and Hodgins, after several episodes of rekindled feelings. As of the fifth season finale, they're on honeymoon in Paris.]]
* In ''Series/TrueBlood'', Sam and Tara are an off-again, on-again Beta Couple, as well as Arlene and Terry.
* Will and Djaq from the 2006 series of ''Series/RobinHood''. Their relationship ends up being much more successful than Robin and Marian's.
* In ''MadAboutYou'', Fran and Mark (although in a "what not to do" sense), and later in the series, Debbie and Joan. Or alternatively, one could consider Paul and Jamie to be the Beta Couple to those guys, as they were more stable than Fran and Mark, and they were together for longer than Debbie and Joan.
* In ''Series/{{Skins}}'', despite its numerous couples in every generation, only Grace/Rich in Generation 3 truly fit this trope, as they've had relatively smooth sailing compared to every other possible coupling in their cast. In the previous generations, both ''intended'' Beta Couples (Sid/Cassie and Naomi/Emily) proved to be far more popular than their generations' Alpha Couples (Tony/Michelle and the Freddie/Effy/Cook [[FanNickname Triangle of Doom]]), and thus were promoted to Alpha status in their second series, with the attendant [[ConflictBall Conflict Balls]] being thrown their way. And it wasn't like they were without conflict to begin with anyway.
* In Venezuelan telenovela ''Cosita Rica'' (2003), although Diego Luján and Paula C were the alpha couple, their respectives siblings -- Verónica and Cacique -- being the beta couple, attracted a lot more attention than the alpha one, to the point the actress who played Paula C almost left the show because of this. In fact, the actors who played Verónica (Marisa Román and Cacique (Edgar Ramírez) became very famous. Ramírez even made his way into Hollywood, appearing alongside Keira Knightley in Domino and in Bourne Supremacy.
* Twist and Brian are the Beta Couple to Tim and Daisy's Alpha in ''Spaced''.
* Sol Star and Trixie in HBO's ''{{Series/Deadwood}}'' are the beta couple to Seth Bullock & Alma Garrett and later Seth & Martha Bullock.
* Victor and Sierra in ''{{Series/Dollhouse}}'' are the beta couple to Paul and Echo. Subverted in that Paul and Echo never got beyond the {{UST}} phase, while Victor and Sierra ended up with a kid.
* Michael and Maria on ''{{Roswell}}'', respectively the best friends of [[OfficialCouple Max and Liz]] and as another [[InterspeciesRomance alien-human-hybrid/human relationship]], embody this trope, in getting together first and with less angst, and typically providing more comedy with their [[ShutUpKiss totally different kind of relationship]], but somewhat subvert it, acting more as a a reverse barometer- when they were doing well, Max/Liz usually weren't, and vice versa.
* John Doggett and Monica Reyes on ''Series/TheXFiles'' could be considered the beta couple to Mulder and Scully's alpha, though their relationship and UST started mostly after Mulder and Scully were already an established couple. Unfortunately for fans of the ship, the show didn't run long enough with them as head investigators of the X-Files for their relationship to be fully established (though there was a good dose of shippiness in season 9); it is unclear what became of them after the series finale. They did not appear in ''Film/TheXFilesIWantToBelieve''.
* ''NoahsArc'': Alex+Trey and Chance+Eddie typically play this role to Noah+his boyfriend at the time.
* Billy Bob and Mavis Davis in ''HeartsAfire''.
* Curtis and Alisha during the first season of ''Series/{{Misfits}}'', despite also being the OfficialCouple and having a fair bit of relationship drama in their own right. Whether or not the show ''itself'' actually treats them as a beta couple is debatable, but the fandom indisputably saw Nathan and Kelly as the alpha couple, despite them not getting past the UST stage. Come the second season, things change entirely, with [[spoiler: Alisha and Simon]] becoming the alpha couple (both in-universe and in the eyes of the fandom), and Nathan and Kelly's awkward almost-romance [[ShipSinking fizzling out as they decide to just be friends]] - although they're still a hugely popular pairing among fans, so whether this is ''really'' the end for them has yet to be seen.
* Adam and Jennifer (engaged to be married) in ''Series/RulesOfEngagement'' to the main, married couple Audrey and Jeff.
* Cal and Chloe on ''HarpersIsland''. [[spoiler:They both die. It's a murder mystery.]]
* In ''GilmoreGirls'', Lorelai Gilmore's best friend Sookie has a much easier time finding a mate in Jackson than Lorelai has making it work with any of her boyfriends. Rory Gilmore's best friend Lane also has a much easier time making a permanent relationship than Rory does.
* ''WizardsOfWaverlyPlace'':
** Harper and Zeke have developed an adorable relationship. The UnfortunateImplications of their relationship stems from the fact that they are the respective sidekicks of [[BrotherSisterIncest Alex and Justin Russo]].
** Alex and whomever she is dating, and Justin and whomever ''he'' is dating. True to form, Harper and Zeke (who got together at the end of season 2) have outlasted their best friends' more passionate but more fleeting relationships.
** At one point, even Juliet and Mason were a Beta Couple, due to the fact they had been in a romantic relationship, before each one became Justin and Alex's girlfriend and boyfriend respectively.
* Caroline and Matt were one to [[OfficialCouple Stefan and Elena]] on ''TheVampireDiaries''. Possibly subverted as it was always made pretty clear that Matt still had a thing for Elena. A more traditional Beta Couple would be Alaric and Jenna. Season 2 has two Beta Triangles to the main Stefan-Elena-Damon one: Tyler-Caroline-Matt and Jeremy-Bonnie-Luka.
* Piper and Leo in ''Series/{{Charmed}}'' are this for most of Phoebe's or Paige's relationships - especially Phoebe and Cole in seasons 3 and 4.
* As of season 3, [[spoiler: Lanie and Esposito]], Alexis and Ashley, and Ryan and Jenny count as Beta Couples to the alpha couple, Series/{{Castle}} and Beckett.
* ''Series/{{Glee}}'':
** Artie/Tina was this for the first season, compared to the Rachel/Finn/Quinn/Puck mess and Terri/Will/Emma. In the second season, after breaking up with Artie over the summer, Tina and ''new'' boyfriend Mike became this, compared to the Rachel/Finn/Quinn/''Sam'' mess and Holly/Will/Emma/Carl. In the second half of the season, Puck/Lauren and later Kurt/Blaine have also assumed this role.
** After [[TheCharacterDiedWithHim Finn died]], the remaining romances on the show were bumped up in importance: Kurt/Blaine became ''Glee's'' Official Couple with Brittany/Santana and Sam/Mercedes as the Betas.
* ''Series/{{Leverage}}'' has Hardison and Parker to Nate and Sophie. Hardison and Parker have minor problems, but mostly as a result of Parker being [[TheWoobie emotionally troubled.]]
* Once Angela was added to ''BoyMeetsWorld'' in season five, Shawn and Angela became this to Cory and Topanga, except when they break up during season six.
* On ''Series/ParksAndRecreation'', Andy and April have become this to Leslie and Ben, even giving the latter couple relationship advice on a few occasions.
* Tristan and Isolde on ''Series/{{Merlin}}'' serve as the catalyst for getting Arthur and Guinevere back together.
* On ''MarriedWithChildren'', Marcy and Steve (or later, Marcy and Jefferson) to Al and Peggy. PlayedWith in that Al and Peggy loathed each other ([[TheyReallyDoLoveEachOther most of the time.]])
* Lary and Megan on ''{{Numb3rs}}''.
* In ''ChinesePaladin'', Tang Yu and Ah Nu are this, although they fulfil the "foil to the main couple" role only in being equally dysfunctional.
* [[TheWoobie Toshiko]] and Owen to Gwen and Rhys in ''Series/{{Torchwood}}''. Jack and Ianto start out as the Beta Couple and become the official one in Season 3, replacing Gwen and Rhys.
* River and 11 to Amy and Rory in ''Series/DoctorWho''.
* In ''{{Tinsel}}'', Chuks and Ene are the Beta Couple to Soji and Telema for the first three seasons.
* In ''Series/NeverWipeTearsWithoutGloves'' Seppo and Lars-Åke serve as Beta Couple to Rasmus and Benjamin's alpha.
* In ''Series/BabylonFive'' Marcus and Ivanova could be considered this to Sheridan and Delenn. Subverted, since Marcus dies before Ivanova can ever reciprocate.
* In ''Series/{{Carrusel}}'' Susana and Rene have a smooth and stable relationship...as compared to Valeria and David having so much drama!
* Constable Crabtree and Dr Grace in ''Series/MurdochMysteries'' (to Murdoch and Dr Ogden). He's a bright by-the-book police officer, she's a New Woman pathologist. He's sometimes shocked by her modernity, but usually finds she inspires him, she can get exasperated by some of his more old-fashioned values, but respects that he sticks to his principles. And yes, that's also a perfect description of William and Julia.
[[/folder]]

[[folder:Theatre]]
* Thanks to TheZerothLawOfTropeExamples, this is OlderThanSteam:
** Gratiano and Nerissa from ''Theatre/TheMerchantOfVenice'' seem to fit into this category rather nicely, if we take Bassanio and Portia as the "alpha couple".
** ''Theatre/MuchAdoAboutNothing'' plays with the conventions. Initially, Claudio and Hero are the happy beta couple, and Beatrice and Benedick are the bickering alphas. The rest of the cast decides to trick B&B into admitting their love for each other, with amazingly quick success--by the midpoint of the play, everyone's soppy in love. Then Claudio is led by slander into accusing and abandoning Hero, and Benedick agreeing to challenge him on Beatrice's behalf. The play ends with both couples getting married. It's almost as if Shakespeare set out to write a sappy romance with Claudio and Hero as the Alphas but got so interested in the Beta Couple that they got promoted. (The opera version drops the whole Claudio and Hero story.)
** ''Theatre/AsYouLikeIt'' goes all the way to ''four'' couples, but Rosalind and Orlando are pretty clearly Couple A.
** And ''Theatre/LovesLaboursLost'' has ''five'' (with Berowne and Rosaline as Couple A).
** Sir Toby and Maria in ''Theatre/TwelfthNight''. Sebastian and Olivia, too -- more so than Toby and Maria, since the former are tangled with the main plot and the latter are subplot characters.
** Helena and Demetrius in ''Theatre/AMidsummerNightsDream''. Oberon and Titania also qualify.
** Bianca and Lucentio in ''Theatre/TheTamingOfTheShrew'' who are played by Beta Couple Bill and Lois in Theatre/KissMeKate.
** Valentine and Silvia in ''Theatre/TwoGentlemenOfVerona''.
** Tragic example: Iago and Emilia in ''Theatre/{{Othello}}''
* Prince Valiant and Lucy the Maid in ''The Christmas Princess''
* ''YouCantTakeItWithYou'' has two to compliment Alice and Tony: Alice's mother Penny and father Paul, and her sister Essie and brother-in-law Ed.
* George and Lucy in ''OnceInALifetime'' to May and Jerry's Couple A.
* ''AnnieGetYourGun'' did until it was revised to eliminate the parts of Tommy Keeler and Winnie Tate, along with their two song-and-dance numbers.
* Another good example of musical comedy's predilection for adding a Beta Couple for the sake of comic relief is ''Theatre/TheMostHappyFella'', whose Cleo and Herman have no counterparts in the non-musical source play.
* ''TheWeddingSinger'', which makes Sammy and Holly an on-again, off-again couple.
* In ''Theatre/SweeneyToddTheDemonBarberOfFleetStreet'', the two couples are Anthony and Johanna as well as Sweeney and Mrs. Lovett, but it's not straightforward which couple is which. Anthony and Johanna have the more conventional romantic arc, with Todd and Lovett helping them out, and Mrs. Lovett's courting of Todd being more in the way of comic relief. On the other hand, Sweeney Todd ''is'' the title character and lead role, and it's Mrs Lovett's doomed [[StalkerWithACrush crush]] [[Yandere on him]] that brings about the tragedy of the play.
* ''Theatre/WestSideStory'': Behind Tony and Maria, there are Bernardo and Anita.
* ''Ragtime'': Behind Coalhouse and Sarah, there are "Mother" and "Father". [[spoiler:And then Mother and Tateh after Mom and Pop are splitsville.]]
* Many of the Rodgers and Hammerstein musicals include a Beta Couple:
** ''Theatre/{{Oklahoma}}'': Behind Curly and Laurie are Ado Annie and Will.
** ''Theatre/{{Carousel}}'': Behind Billy and Julie are Mr. Snow and Carrie. The original play ''Liliom'' had these as Wolf and Marie, though it played them far less for comedy.
** ''Theatre/SouthPacific'' has Cable and Liat playing Beta Couple to Emile and Nellie.
** In ''Theatre/TheKingAndI'', Tuptim and Lun Tha are written like a Beta Couple, but Anna's relationship with the King of Siam is obviously not a romantic one. Both relationships end in tragedy.
** ''Theatre/TheSoundOfMusic'': Behind the Captain and Maria are the juvenile secondary couple of Liesl and Rolf, which doesn't work out in the end. [[ThoseWackyNazis Max and the Baroness]] are a tertiary couple.
** ''Me and Juliet'' has Mac and Betty, though in the ShowWithinTheShow Don Juan (played by Jim) and Carmen (played by Betty) end up as a secondary couple.
** ''Film/StateFair'' has Abel and Melissa, though Blueboy manages to find love as well.
* Frank Schultz and Ellie May Chipley in ''ShowBoat''.
* Tommy Djilas and Zaneeta Shinn in ''TheMusicMan''. {{Cut Song}}s excluded, this Beta Couple has nothing to sing in this musical.
* Bill Calhoun and Lois "Bianca" Lane from ''Theatre/KissMeKate''.
* Hines and Gladys from ''Theatre/ThePajamaGame''.
* Schultz and Schneider from ''Theatre/{{Cabaret}}''.
* Nathan and Adelaide from ''Theatre/GuysAndDolls'' are an odd case, as they are a Beta Couple in role alone; in stage time and importance they are equal to Sky and Sarah. It also should be noted that they were never paired in Creator/DamonRunyon's original stories.
* Jimmy and Snookie from ''110 in the Shade''; less so in the original non-musical play it was based on, ''The Rainmaker'', in which Snookie [[TheGhost does not actually appear]].
* Boq and Nessarose from ''Theatre/{{Wicked}}'' are probably the single ''most'' dysfunctional Beta Couple in this entire list.
* Sue and Sandor in ''Theatre/BellsAreRinging''.
* Most shows in the Creator/GilbertAndSullivan canon tend more towards LoveDodecahedron than this, but Despard and Margaret are a Beta Couple in ''Theatre/{{Ruddigore}}''.
* Papageno and Papagena in the opera ''Theatre/TheMagicFlute''.
* Marcello and Musetta are a [[TheMasochismTango Masochism Tango]] variety of this in the opera ''LaBoh?''.
* Hugo and Kim in ''Theatre/ByeByeBirdie'', though the movie makes them less secondary.
* Christine and Dell in ''The Beautiful Game'' and its rewrite ''The Boys in the Photograph''.
* Harry and Lady Larkin in ''OnceUponAMattress''.
* Gideon and Alice from ''Film/SevenBridesForSevenBrothers'', as well as the other five, less-prominent brothers and brides.
* Steven Kodaly and Ilona Ritter in ''She Loves Me''.
* In [[AVeryPotterMusical StarKidPotter's]] ''MeAndMyDick'', the main Beta couples are the alpha couple's body parts, Dick and Miss Cooter and Joey and Sally's hearts, and Joey and Sally can only get together when they are happily paired off. There are a couple less prominent beta couples too, like The Old Snatch and Big T.
* ''InTheHeights'' has two couples but both are given equal prominence. If one had to be picked it would be Nina and Benny behind Usnavi and Vanessa since Usnavi is clearly the main character.
* Deconstructed mercilessly in ''WhosAfraidOfVirginiaWoolf''. At first, newlyweds Nick and Honey appear to be this to the severely dysfunctional marriage of George and Martha. By the end, however, it's become apparent that though George and Martha are indeed a dysfunctional couple, they also have a very strong bond holding them together. By contrast, Nick and Honey have dealt with problems by ignoring or hiding them, and are implied to be on the road to an even more miserable marriage.
* Subverted in ''ThoroughlyModernMillie''. As a way of CleaningUpRomanticLooseEnds it seems like Miss Dorothy and Trevor are going to hook up (which they actually did do in the original movie). Instead [[spoiler: Dorothy hooks up with one of the ThoseTwoGuys that rescues her instead]]. Then in an equally funny PairTheSpares [[spoiler: The other half of ThoseTwoGuys becomes Trevor's new employee, replacing Millie after she leaves.]]
* ''ALittleNightMusic'' has an Alpha Couple in Fredrick and Desiree, as well as a LoveDodecahedron among the entire cast, but arguments could be made for Anne/Henrik, Petra/Frid, and Carl-Magnus/Charlotte as the {{Beta Couple}}s.
* Rusty and Willard, as well as Shaw and Vi in the musical of {{Footloose}}.
* Natalie and Henry in ''NextToNormal''.
* ''Fame'' has either Nick and Serena to Schlomo and Carmen... or Schlomo and Carmen to Nick and Serena, depending on how you look at it.
* ''SpringAwakening'' has both Moritz/Ilse and Hanschen/Ernst as the Beta Couples to Melchior/Wendla. Subverted in that both relationships are as twisted and messy as the main one: [[spoiler: Moritz kills himself, and while Hanschen and Ernst end the story slightly better off, WordOfGod says they weren't going to end up well either.]]
* Both [[MagicalQueer Angel and Collins]] ''and'' Maureen and Joanne from ''{{Rent}}'' qualify as this. The former is pretty much [[HappilyMarried Happily Committed]] until [[spoiler: [[BuryYourGays Angel succumbs to advanced AIDS]] ]], while the latter is trapped in a [[MasochismTango "Tango: Maureen"]] that is played for laughs. Important to the sexual and ethnic [[FiveTokenBand All Token Band]].
* Behind Fiona and Tommy in ''Theatre/{{Brigadoon}}'' there are some very dysfunctional pairings (which are very AllLoveIsUnrequited). Meg and Jeff, with Jeff not into Meg at all. Then there's Maggie who is love with Harry who is in love with Jean who is marrying Charlie.
* A standard feature of any ''{{Usles}}'' pantomime - the main love interests usually have friends, advisors or servants who fall for each other. Sometimes this doesn't happen until the very end of the show, when it can also end up as a case of PairTheSpares.
* ''Theatre/TheDesertSong'' had reporter Benjamin Kidd and his good-girl sweetheart Susan, but all film adaptations after the 1929 one removed either or both characters.
* Subverted in ''OfTheeISing''. Jenkins and Miss Benson, respectively Wintergreen and Mary's secretaries, usually appear together but have no love plot of their own.
* ''Theatre/AllShookUp'' has Dean and Lorraine, who noticeably stay out of the major LoveDodecahedron that makes up the plot.
* ''Theatre/AnimalCrackers'' had Winston and Arabella. The movie eliminated Winston and made Arabella a CompositeCharacter with the other love interest.
* Jeeves and Deeda in Creator/CirqueDuSoleil's ''Amaluna''.
* Gloria and Jimmy in ''{{Flashdance}}: The Musical''.
* Dinah and Greaseball in ''StarlightExpress''.
* Sosias and his wife Cléanthis in ''Amphitryon'' by {{Moliere}}. In the later reworking by [[DichterAndDenker Heinrich von Kleist]] her name is Charis.
[[/folder]]

[[folder: Video Games]]
* Aerith and Zack form this to the [[WordOfGod God-confirmed]] Alpha Couple of Cloud and Tifa in ''VideoGame/FinalFantasyVII'', since Aerith and Zack are [[ItWasHisSled both]] [[PosthumousCharacter dead]] at the end.
* ''Bubble Symphony'', aka ''VideoGame/BubbleBobble [[NonLinearSequel II]]'', introduces Cororon and Kululun, both who also get cursed with Bub and Bob and turn into bubble dragons. Coro and Kulu are magenta and orange respectively. They never appear in any other ''Bubble Bobble'' game.
** Keep in mind that Bub and Bob are male, and Coro and Kulu are female.
** And Pab and Peb[[labelnote:(source)]]Title Operations Guide in Shop Channel[[/labelnote]], the ''new'' Beta Couple in ''Bubble Bobble Plus'' (WiiWare). They're still magenta and orange and both female.
* Another subversion: ''VideoGame/{{Contra}} 4'' for the DS not only brought back Bill and Lance, the original ''Contra'' duo, but also introduced a Beta Duo in the form of Mad Dog and Scorpion, whose names are {{Shout Out}}s to Bill's and Lance's former nicknames from the American localization of the NES games. While Bill and Lance wear blue and red (their colors from the NES games), Mad Dog and Scorpion wear green and purple, which were Bill's and Lance's colors in the arcade version of ''Super Contra''.
* Kyle and Jessica in ''VideoGame/LunarTheSilverStar''. However, they're quite a bit more [[SlapSlapKiss dysfunctional]] than the game's Alpha Couple of Alex and Luna. Nash and Mia, too.
* [[spoiler: Tali'Zorah vas Normandy and Garrus Vakarian]] at the end of ''VideoGame/MassEffect3'', should you have not romanced either one of them. Especially prevalent if your romance was Liara. Joker and EDI also become an item after the latter gains a {{Fembot}} body.
* [[TheStoic Aveline]] and [[SatelliteLoveInterest Donnic]] in ''VideoGame/DragonAgeII''. Notable for requiring an extremely [[CrowningMomentOfFunny silly]] sidequest to bring about, and for the even sillier lines the whole thing draws from the rest of your team.
--> '''[[DeadpanSnarker Varric]]:''' "Let me draw you a picture of where she wants you to touch her..."
* Maybe not in a strictly romantic sense, but in KingdomHearts, Roxas and Namine's relationship certainly parallels with the relationship of the official couple Sora and Kairi, since Roxas and Namine are the Nobodies clones of Sora and Kairi.
* Lance and Lilly in ''IllusionOfGaia'', to main couple Will and Kara.
* Ashelin and Torn from ''JakAndDaxter''.
* To some degree, [[InspectorJavert Steiner]] and [[LadyOfWar Beatrix]] in ''VideoGame/FinalFantasyIX''.
* Also to some degree, [[TheGunslinger Irvine]] and [[GenkiGirl Selphie]] in ''VideoGame/FinalFantasyVIII''.
* Lulu and Wakka from VideoGame/FinalFantasyX, who have a bit more of a harder time getting together than Tidus and Yuna, who were pretty much in LoveAtFirstSight. Though understandable, as Lulu had previously been with Wakka's brother (who had died). But interestingly enough, [[spoiler: Lulu and Wakka get married and have a kid before Tidus and Yuna, seeing how Tidus was the fayth's dream and had to leave Yuna.]]
* TalesOfSymphoniaDawnOfTheNewWorld has Lloyd and Colette.
* ''VideoGame/TalesOfGraces'' has ''barely'' enough evidence to give the Beta Couple designate to [[spoiler:Pascal and Hubert.]] The amount of ShipTease and the [[ShipperOnDeck shippers on deck]] should make this really obvious...except [[spoiler: the game [[MaybeEverAfter yanks any romantic conclusion away at the last minute]] because Pascal is so ObliviousToLove.]]
* ''VideoGame/TalesOfTheAbyss'' has [[spoiler: Natalia and Asch]] playing Beta to Tear and Luke. Note that this doesn't fit the idea of the Beta Couple as having a simpler or more easy-going relationship. ''At all.''
* Prince Henry and Marina from VideoGame/DragonQuestV.
* ''AgarestSenki2'' has two of them. The first couple is Janus and Chloe in the first generation, and the second couple is Ignis and Cynthia in the second generation. Both couples then had a child each (Jude, and Lizerotte respectively).
* Troy and Anesha in ''VideoGame/CrossEdge''.
[[/folder]]

[[folder: Visual Novels]]
* In ''VisualNovel/UminekoNoNakuKoroNi'', [[GoKartingWithBowser Lambdadelta/Bernkastel]] serves as this to [[MindGameShip Beatrice/Battler]] for some. Interestingly enough, so can [[CannotSpitItOut Jessica/Kanon]] and [[ThePowerOfLove George/Shannon]]. [[spoiler:For extra MindScrew fun, later arcs heavily imply that Beatrice, Shannon and Kanon are the same person.]]
[[/folder]]

[[folder:Web Comics]]
* A literal [[http://www.egscomics.com/?date=2002-07-23 Beta Couple]] from ''Webcomic/ElGoonishShive''. Okay. That was an awful pun.
** In universe, though, Elliot and Sarah take this role, with Tedd and Grace serving as the main couple.[[spoiler: Or Ellen and Nanase.]] Not sure where they fit.
*** Tedd/Grace and [[spoiler: Ellen/Nanase]] are the alpha couples since a large part of the storyline revolves around their relationships. Elliot/Sarah is a definite Beta Couple though, and maybe [[spoiler: Susan/Catalina, although they aren't a couple.]].
* Casey and Mary in ''Casey and Andy''. Subverted somewhat in that Andy Weir ditches the "one for romance" part of the idea and just plays both couples (Casey/Mary and Andy/Satan) for laughs.
* Several in ''{{Girly}}'': Officers Policeguy and Hipbone, Chuy and Autumn, and Lucy and Yumi. A few others are heavily implied to have HookedUpAfterwards, and there are a fair share of HeterosexualLifePartners.
** Let's just say this comic has a lot of love to give.
* Fox and Collin in ''Boy Meets Boy'', as loving as a cheerful HandsomeLech and a [[TheStoic stoic]] DeadpanSnarker can be. They become the main couple in the SpinOff webcomic ''FriendlyHostility''.
* Erika and Largo in ''Webcomic/MegaTokyo'' are a classic case of a Beta Couple used to provide a light, humorous contrast (most of the time) to the much more dark and dramatic main couple: Piro and Kimiko.
* ''WalkyVerse'': Billie and Danny to Joyce And Walky.
** And [[spoiler: Jason and Sal possibly count as well.]]
** For another "main character in beta couple" example, Ethan and Drew.
* Melissa and Kurt from ''{{Multiplex}}''. Outside of Kurt's habit of pulling pranks on Melissa, they're the rock of love compared to the Jason/Jay/Becky/Angie quagmire.
* ''The Law of Purple'' subverts this trope in an odd way; there are two clearly defined couples amongst the main characters, which take turns being the Alpha and Beta couples depending on which pair contains the character(s) who are the focus of the current arc. At the time of this writing, [[spoiler: Blue and Lette]] are the designated Beta Couple. And that's not even considering what the rest of the cast is up to...
* Subverted in ''Questionable Content'' when alpha couple Faye and Marten doesn't happen and Beta interest and Alpha character end up forming a strange mix between Alpha and Beta couple -- Dora and Marten.
* Roy and Celia in ''Webcomic/TheOrderOfTheStick'', who manage to play the calm, laid-back beta couple to Haley and Elan's angst-ridden alpha despite [[spoiler:the fact that Roy spends a large proportion of a plot-arc ''dead'']]. The role is also played by MauveShirt couple Kazumi and Daigo, who are happily married (and expecting) already, despite having only gotten together ''after'' Haley and Elan got together.
* In most [[Webcomic/GirlGenius Heterodyne stories]], while Bill is canonically paired with Lucrezia, his brother Barry is paired with whoever the "High Priestess" character happens to be this time.
* [[spoiler:Mell and Caliban]] in {{Narbonic}} are a nice, steady evil couple who provide nice contrast to the main pairing of [[spoiler:Dave and Helen]].
* Abbey and Daisy in ''BittersweetCandyBowl''. This is in stark contrast to the angst, anger, heartbreak, confusion and jealousy experienced by the (many) other characters on an almost daily basis, though Abbey certainly has some personal issues.
* In ''{{Sinfest}}'', [[http://www.sinfest.net/archive_page.php?comicID=2015 Slick sees Percy's romance and wishes his life were that simple.]]
* ''Webcomic/{{Sunstone}}'' has the happily married Cassie and Tom make the various romantic heroes look like the shambles they are.
[[/folder]]

[[folder:Western Animation]]
* ''WesternAnimation/CodeLyoko'': Jeremie and Aelita are the Beta Couple for the Yumi/Ulrich relationship and the William/Yumi/Ulrich/Sissi love square, and they in fact become an OfficialCouple while the love square never gets resolved.
* Zuko and Mai of ''WesternAnimation/AvatarTheLastAirbender''.
** Sokka and Suki as well.
* Barney and Betty Rubble, to Alpha Couple [[WesternAnimation/TheFlintstones Fred and Wilma Flintstone]]. In 1973, Charlton comics gave Barney and Betty their own book.
* Matrix and [=AndrAIa=] in ''ReBoot''.
* ''WesternAnimation/WinxClub'' has at the end of season 1 two Beta Couples: Stella and Brandon, and Tecna and Timmy. By the end of season 2, Musa has hooked up with Riven, while Flora is dating Helia. At the end of season 3, there are ''five'' with Aisha and Nabu dating each other. All of the couples have gone through their rough spots and struggles, while Musa and Riven have almost as much conflict as Bloom and Sky, the main couple. [[spoiler:At the end of season 4, there are only four due to [[HeroicSacrifice Nabu's death.]]]]
* Gerald and Phoebe from ''WesternAnimation/HeyArnold''; heck, unlike Arnold and Helga this one isn't (mostly) one-sided.
** WordOfGod mentioned that they would have been an explicit Beta Couple in ''[[SpinOff The Patakis]]'', had the series been green-lighted. They would've been the "cool couple" to contrast with the more complicated relationship of Helga and Arnold.
* Stacy and Coltrane on ''WesternAnimation/PhineasAndFerb''. Since both of them are rather laid-back, their romance is meant to be a contrast to Candace's neurotic attempts to get Jeremy's attention.
** One could argue Ferb's pining for the [[MayDecemberRomance older]] Vanessa is a Beta Couple for Phineas and Isabella.
* Bonnie and Junior, and, more notably, [[spoiler:Drakken and Shego]] in ''WesternAnimation/KimPossible''.
* Beezy and Saffi, paired up by WesternAnimation/JimmyTwoShoes who is [[ObliviousToLove yet to know about Heloise's feelings for him]].
* Amy Wong and Kif Kroker from ''WesternAnimation/{{Futurama}}''.
* Libby and Sheen from ''WesternAnimation/JimmyNeutron''.
* Skeeter and Beebe from ''WesternAnimation/{{Doug}}'', to the title character and Patti, eventually.
* Gunther and Jackie on ''WesternAnimation/KickButtowski'', albeit only canon in one episode (despite Gunther calling her lovely and etc in later episodes) does serve as a beta couple for the much more popular Kick and Kendall relationship.
** Often used as a beta couple in ''Kick Buttowski'' {{Fanfiction}} stories focusing on Kick and Kendall's relationship (which is most of them).
* In ''WesternAnimation/{{Recess}}'', it's hinted that Vince and Gretchen would become this eventually to T.J. and Spinelli.
* ''WesternAnimation/SuperRobotMonkeyTeamHyperforceGo'' has an inversion. It's the ''main character'' who has a Beta Couple relationship with his RobotGirl girlfriend. While Chiro and Jinmay are shown with a solid and happy relationship since her introduction and she's usually absent, it's Sprx and Nova the ones who get more screen time and have the [[BelligerentSexualTension more dysfunctional dynamic]], pretty much making them the Alpha Couple of the show.
* ''WesternAnimation/AdventureTime'''s Jake the Dog has a fairly stable long-term relationship with Lady Rainicorn, contrasting Finn's difficult growing into puberty and dealing with unrequited crushes.
* ''WesternAnimation/RoswellConspiracies'': The [[ThoseTwoGuys Detail Team]], Fitz and Neema, form the beta as opposed to [[TheHero Nick]] and [[LoveINterest Sh'lainn]].
* Bonnie and Joey and briefly Brian and Jillian in ''WesternAnimation/FamilyGuy'' to Peter and Lois
* Ned and Maude in the early seasons of ''WesternAnimation/TheSimpsons'', Apu and Manjula in later seasons.
* Rogue and Gambit in ''WesternAnimation/XMen'', playing backup to the Cyclops / Jean Grey / Wolverine love triangle.
[[/folder]]

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