-> ''Because it is not the purpose of this program to show the further development of my relationship [...] I will refrain from showing much. I wouldn't want to throw my dear viewers' time down the gutter, now would I? Nothing else is as boring to tell as a story of successful love.''
--> -- '''[[NoNameGiven Narrator]]''', ''TheTatamiGalaxy''

Hooray! [[RelationshipUpgrade They got together]]! Finally! We've watched them MeetCute, groaned at the arrival of the RomanticFalseLead, sat through seasons upon chapters of WillTheyOrWontThey, shouted hurray at their NowOrNeverKiss and this is the moment we've all been waiting for! And for good reason, because now...

Um, because now...

[[NowWhat Uh.]]

The RomanceArc is the gift that keeps on giving. Whole fandoms have been known to run solely on the fuel of {{shipping}} vitriol for years on end. Though they won't admit it, people ''will'' continue reading through a boring scene just to see whether this guy can work up the nerve to ask out that girl over there. But, for some reason, as readily as they attach themselves to potential couples, they shrug at the successful conclusion of the romance and move on. Actually ''getting to see'' what happens past the climax point of TheyDo [[TrueLoveIsBoring just doesn't get people hooked the same way the anticipation does.]] You can blame human WishFulfillment mentality which romanticizes the exact phase of "getting together with someone" beyond all reason, or writers' [[RelationshipWritingFumble inability to portray a relationship convincingly]], but there you are.

This may be why even in works far towards the idealistic end of the SlidingScaleOfIdealismVersusCynicism, everyone seems to stay forever trapped in a limbo of [[HeldGaze meaningful gazes]] and {{Moment Killer}}s; writers just don't want to take their chances with this reaction. It's also probably the underlying cause of {{Last Minute Hookup}}s and characters [[HookedUpAfterwards hooking up afterwards]] being so common. It's a rare writer who seriously builds on plain vanilla [[TrueLoveIsBoring True Love]] as a pillar of the plot.

Another possible reason for the above is that writing a convincing relationship, with genuine depth of character and development, is a much more difficult feat than pouring on the quick-reaction drama and will-they-won't-they. Once that latter crutch is no longer there for the writer to lean on, weaknesses in the writing suddenly show through that the audience was too distracted by the narrative tension to notice -- or care about -- earlier.

This trope may be an extreme reflection of [[http://news.bbc.co.uk/2/hi/health/4478040.stm what tends to happen, over time, to real life relationships]]; after the first year, the "honeymoon" of the romance is over. Few writers seek to capitalize on the RuleOfDrama potential here.

Contrast with BelligerentSexualTension and PlatonicLifePartners.

----
!!Straight Examples:

[[foldercontrol]]

[[folder:Anime & Manga]]
* After Usagi and Mamoru got together in the ''Anime/SailorMoon'' anime, they were shown together less and less; Mamoru's personality went from [[SatelliteLoveInterest "mysterious" to "two-dimensional"]] depending on how interested the writers were in him. This was painfully noticeable in the last season, when a pseudo-courting period by newcomer Seiya replicates the old tension well, while Mamoru got PutOnABus. The [[Manga/SailorMoon manga]] version avoids this trope by keeping Mamoru a well-developed (and much more BadAss) character even after the hook-up. Comparing his role in the fourth arc between manga and anime alone is dumbfounding; short version: in the former, he [[TookALevelInBadass gets a major power-up]], in the latter... he doesn't. It doesn't help that the [[Creator/KunihikoIkuhara anime adaptaion's director]] at the time flat out said he hated Mamoru and kept throwing in hints that Usagi should get with ''Rei''.
* The finale of ''Anime/{{Bakugan}} Battle Brawlers'' shows [[BelligerentSexualTension Dan and Runo]] ''finally'' getting together, and the first episode of the sequel series, ''Bakugan: New Vestroia'', has them still together. Then Runo and every other girl from ''Battle Brawlers'' gets PutOnABus.
[[/folder]]

[[folder:Comic Books]]
* ''ComicBook/SpiderMan'': Peter Parker and Mary Jane, according to Creator/JoeQuesada. Peter and Mary Jane were HappilyMarried for around 20 years. Joey Q, resident Editor in Chief, decides that Peter being single would lead to far more interesting stories than being tied down. Cue ''ComicBook/OneMoreDay'', massive ShipSinking, Quesada ''instantly'' drawing more backlash than his already-controversial DC counterpart Creator/DanDiDio ever managed, and an InternetBackdraft that is still present to this day.
* ''ComicBook/AvatarTheLastAirbenderThePromise'' runs into this with Aang and Katara. After they hooked up at literally the very end of the original series, the comic continuation has to treat them as a real couple, with the SickeninglySweethearts nature of it killing interest in both fans [[InUniverse and their friends]]. Sokka and Toph call their [=PDA=] "ooggie". Other fans were not disappointed and their relationship becomes a critical point in the climax.
[[/folder]]

[[folder:Comic Strips]]
* Young on-and-off couple Edda and Amos finally did the deed in ''ComicStrip/NineChickweedLane'' while in Brussels for a cello competition. Since then, some readers feel they've become noticeably unlikeable. [[DecompressedComic Decompression]] made it worse as the couple were still in Belgium for several real-time months. Those who disliked the strip feel the author seemed to be using it to play out "his unhealthy sexual obsessions."
* Referenced in ''ComicStrip/{{Candorville}}'' by [[GenreSavvy Lemont]]: he cites this trope as the reason he can't hook up with Susan.
* It happened with Baldo and Smiley in ''ComicStrip/{{Baldo}}'', and the author of the strip [[WordOfGod later cited it]] as the main reason behind [[BetterAsFriends their eventual breakup]].
[[/folder]]

[[folder:Literature]]
* ''Literature/{{Twilight}}'' has an especially extreme case; Bella and Edward get over the WillTheyOrWontThey ''midway through the first book'', and that book has three sequels (not counting ''The Short Second Life of Bree Tanner'', which doesn't follow Bella and Edward, and ''Literature/MidnightSun'', which has been abandoned by the author). ShippingBedDeath essentially happened almost as soon as the couple got together, and the fact that every book following just kept them together (with only some minor bumps along the way) made it worse.
[[/folder]]

[[folder:Live-Action TV]]
* In season 4 of ''Series/{{Community}}'', [[spoiler: Britta and Troy's relationship]] was interesting when it was two seasons of ship teases, but as soon as they got together, fans were unimpressed at the pairing. They wind up having an anticlimactic break up late in season 4.
* ''Series/{{Moonlighting}}'''s Dave and Maddie. Despite this trope occasionally being known as ''Moonlighting'' Syndrome, the show didn't really suffer from the leads getting together, it suffered from the leads not being in the same room for about a year afterward. There was no point at which they were together as a couple at all.
* You'd think that all of the people who wanted George and Izzie to end up together on ''Series/GreysAnatomy'' would have been happy that the writers are finally putting them together. Yet, some of the loudest complaints about that have come from former shippers rooting for that pairing.
* ''[[Series/LoisAndClark Lois & Clark: The New Adventures of Superman]]'' didn't last very long after Lois and Clark got together. It probably wasn't helped by the many false starts; the episode where they finally got married for real was actually titled [[NotMakingThisUpDisclaimer "Swear to God, This Time We're Not Kidding"]], and also ExecutiveMeddling which kept the writers' hands tied because Warner insisted that the marriage in the show coincide with the marriage in the comics. The comic book writers, amusingly, say they were ready to marry Lois and Clark off for ''years'' and had to wait on the TV show. So then... a case of real-life PoorCommunicationKills?
* Happens whenever lesbians hook up in German soap operas. Funny thing is, it's literally "bed" death, as most of the time the pair is seen sitting on the edge of a bed, holding hands -- and doing nothing else. Oh, with the exception of talking for countless scenes (but then again, TalkingIsAFreeAction).
* ''Series/{{Friends}}'': Ross and Rachel, who went through the WillTheyOrWontThey trek, were together for barely a season, broke up and returned to WillTheyOrWontThey territory for the next ''seven years''. The writers themselves admitted they got them together too fast and couldn't make their actual relationship interesting. Despite the hype, many fans grew frustrated with the couple and lost interest. By the time a definitive conclusion was reached, most fans no longer cared. Chandler/Monica played out differently.
* On ''Series/UglyBetty'', audiences were crying for Betty to hook up with the adorkable EnsembleDarkHorse Henry. Unfortunately, instead of focusing on the cute/funny interactions that made the couple popular in the first place, the writers decided to throw in every bit of contrived soap-opera drama they could think of for the sake of "plot." Audiences got sick of it mighty quick, and before long Henry was PutOnABus back to Tucson with his babymama.
* ''Series/{{Frasier}}'': The jury is still out on whether Niles and Daphne finally hooking up made their relationship less or more interesting; some fans cite this as the moment when the show [[JumpingTheShark jumped the shark]]. There are other factors. Keenan and Lloyd left the show ''at that very moment'' and other aspects of Seasons 8-10 were equally suspect. The eleventh season kind of bears this out, as N&D are also far more interesting there. Ostensibly, the coupling had something to do with Kelsey Grammer's ego, as he wanted the focus to shift to the title character (something also rather botched until the eleventh season). Season 11 in general was a huge reverse shark-jump. But most viewers agree that Niles and Daphne got together at just the right time, as they had avoided irritating or losing the interest of the viewers by not dragging the WillTheyOrWontThey on too long (as opposed to say, [[{{Friends}} Ross and Rachel]].) One could say that while Niles and Daphne suffered from this, they didn't ''have'' to, and they wouldn't have if Keenan and Lloyd had stayed. Incidentally, people forget that production problems is what made ''Moonlighting''[='s=] Maddie and Dave, this trope's poster child, suffer so severely from ShippingBedDeath: it's just more ''difficult'' to pull off a good post-RelationshipUpgrade romance than a {{UST}}-fueled one.
* Played with rather bizarrely in an episode of ''Series/ThirdRockFromTheSun''. Sally, Tommy and Harry use Officer Don's radio scanner to listen to the private phone calls of a woman named Andrea and her cheating boyfriend, which they treat as though it were a show. This leads to them actually meeting Andrea and Harry dating her. Harry and Andrea have a nice, drama-free relationship, causing Sally and Tommy to complain that "the show has really gone downhill since Harry was introduced". They try to convince Harry to act like a jerk so that the "show" will be interesting again.
* ''Series/TheXFiles'' is sometimes accused of this, but as Mulder and Scully probably got together right around the same time as some other major changes in the show (it actually happened offscreen, but it was implied they first slept together around the end of Season 7, right before David Duchovny left) it's hard to say whether to blame the hookup or other factors for the deterioration in writing quality. The producers were certainly afraid of ending the UST between Mulder and Scully, often mentioning the ''Moonlighting'' Effect. Unfortunately they dallied so much we saw them get together only in the second movie.
* Luke and Lorelei from ''Series/GilmoreGirls''. The writers forgot how to write the characters and what made them interesting as a couple, not because the couple itself didn't work. And then they introduced CousinOliver April and gave Luke the IdiotBall.
%%* ''Series/GetSmart'': Max and 99.
%%* ''Series/IDreamOfJeannie'': Jeannie and Major Nelson.
* The ''Series/DoctorWho'' revival is an interesting case here ([[TropeOverdosed as usual]]). The first season of the new series had a fair bit of {{UST}} between Rose and the Ninth Doctor, culminating in a romantic kiss in the finale. Then he became David Tennant. The relationship became a straight-up romance and lo, the flame wars started. Some loved it, some thought Rose had become a RelationshipSue, some thought the whole thing was a badly handled RomanticPlotTumor, some hated the idea of romance in ''Series/DoctorWho'' at all; it didn't ''kill'' the show, but the fights are still going on. Increasing the effect was that whether the Doctor was romantically interested in Rose varied hugely, depending on who had written any given episode.
* Caroline and Richard on ''Series/CarolineInTheCity''. So much {{UST}}, and so little of the caring once they got together. Oh my God.
* ''Series/ICarly'': The much hyped Sam/Freddie pairing. When ''iDate Sam & Freddie'' showed what an actual [[PortmanteauCoupleName Seddie]] relationship would look like, this was the reaction of many fans. Sam and Freddie's [[AbuseIsOkayWhenItIsFemaleOnMale chemistry as bickering sidekicks]] dissolves as soon as they get romantic and kills the {{UST}} Seddie fans saw before the arc started. Every kiss is identical and not filled with much passion. Their constant fighting is no longer cute and instead shows a dysfunctional relationship. The generally accepted reason for it is Creator/NathanKress and Creator/JennetteMcCurdy's long friendship ruining their ability to show or feel passion for each other. They have both stated they dislike the idea of the Sam/Freddie pairing or that they want their characters to not end up with anyone, and Jennette has said that she dislikes filming romantic scenes and that kissing Nathan feels like kissing [[LikeBrotherAndSister a brother]].
* ''Series/{{Ed}}''. Part of the premise of the show was the unresolved romantic tension between main characters Ed (played by Tom Cavanagh) and Carol Vessey (played by Julie Bowen). They got together, ratings dropped, show cancelled.
* ''Series/{{Bones}}'': Angela and Hodgins broke up randomly, right after dealing with their issues relating to Angela's ex so they could get married. They realized they didn't trust each other. It didn't take, and they were married in a jail cell a season later.
* Both averted and played straight in ''Series/{{Scrubs}}.'' They build on the relationships past the marriage stage with Turk and Carla and ''technically'' with Jordan and Dr. Cox (They're in a long-term non committed relationship with two children) but JD and Elliot have been playing the trope straight for almost the entire series. And did so until the last season, where they hooked up, finally grew up and stayed together for good. Dr. Cox and Jordan also got back together and stayed together.
* A complaint by some looking to explain a general decline in quality in the American version of ''Series/{{The Office|US}}''. Once Pam and Jim get together in between seasons 3 and 4, they became a little more boring. The writers have tried replacing them with other will-they-won't-they tensions and love triangles, such as breaking up Angela/Dwight, and then later introducing and breaking up Andy/Erin and Michael/Holly, but none of them had the same appeal as Jim and Pam's UST. Viewers complained that the show was turning into a "soap opera".
* ''Series/GossipGirl'', with Dan/Serena and Chuck/Blair. Both groups have hardcore rusted on supporters ''and'' they are ShipMates so tend to stick up for each other vocally. Other people (mostly the Dan/Blair & Serena/Nate ShipMates) are tired of the "Chuck does something horrible, they break up, Chuck redeems himself, Blair forgives him, they get back together" and the "Serena redeems herself, Dan forgives her, they get back together" shtick. Which in the case of Chuck/Blair is happening for about the 6th time.
* ''Series/{{Fringe}}'' may be in danger of this with Olivia and Peter. The writers promise that their relationship is central to the story. But every time it seems just about to start, it goes pear-shaped.
* ''Series/{{Glee}}'': While "Finnchel" are the biggest offenders of this trope, their entry are elaborated in the next section. Blaine/Kurt and Will/Emma have also fallen victim to this from the fandom. The former was the pairing was championed as being the first big mainstream gay pairing. Blaine's CreatorsPet status ended up turning fans sour. While with the latter, Will ended up being a jerk in the second season and it reached the point where fans started to root for Emma to stay with the blatant RomanticFalseLead she married.
* WordOfGod says this is the reason Vince and Howard of ''Series/TheMightyBoosh'' didn't get together. They kissed in the next to last episode of the show, but since Noel Fielding and Julian Barratt were GenreSavvy enough to know that the UST was a big part of the show, they broke them up and binned a script where they had sex, since they still have plans for live shows, a movie, or possibly even another series.
[[/folder]]

[[folder:Tabletop Games]]
* ''Reign'' by Greg Stolze addresses the concept in the [=GMing=] chapter, which states that while a loving, happy relationship may be the most rewarding thing to be had in real life (complete with a ShoutOut to Stolze's wife), it's dull as hell for a game and risks leaving players dissatisfied whether you explore or ignore the relationship. So better to only explore troubled, difficult relationships for dramatic purposes until someone wants a happy relationship on which to retire their character.
[[/folder]]

[[folder:Video Games]]
* SNK can be pretty guilty of this as well. Ever since ''VideoGame/FatalFury 3'' they did do ship tease regarding [[TheHero Terry Bogard]] and Blue Mary. SNK did enjoy using it at first with ''Fatal Fury 3'' and the ''Real Bout'' series and the earlier ''KOF'' games as well. However, over the course of the 2000's, while Terry is considered iconic for SNK he didn't really have any role in the ''KOF'' series anymore and is pretty much just there to appease older fans. Some have even feared that SNK would kill off Blue Mary since unlike Terry who used to be a main character Mary was always a secondary one. That and Terry's girlfriends have a tendency to end up dead (in the anime, anyway). Fortunately that hasn't happened yet.
[[/folder]]

[[folder:Western Animation]]
* Played straight through the first five seasons and all four movies of ''WesternAnimation/{{Futurama}}'' with Fry and Leela, culminating in a supposed LastMinuteHookup and making ample use of the show's sci-fi elements to push the relationship to points much farther than other fandoms' ships would be able to go without becoming unable to snap back to [[StatusQuoIsGod the status quo]] and keep WillingSuspensionOfDisbelief. Averted in the sixth season, where they are together but their relationship is not given too much screentime. The fact that both are both interesting and ''important'' characters in ways that have nothing to do with their romance helps a lot.
* An odd case happens between Duncan and Gwen of ''WesternAnimation/TotalDrama''. Their friendship was realistic and well-received, though Gwen always tried to make it clear that [[HesNotMyBoyfriend they were only friends]]. Due to this, Duncan suddenly kissing Gwen in ''World Tour'' not only felt like it [[StrangledByTheRedString came completely out of nowhere]], but resulted in the infamously disliked Gwen/Duncan/Courtney love triangle storyline. When it was time to actually show Duncan and Gwen as a couple, their every interaction was awkward and forced, with none of the [[BetterAsFriends charm or chemistry that they had when they were just friends]]. To make matters worse, the writers couldn't help from dropping hints that Duncan was still into Courtney the entire time, which [[FridgeLogic makes you wonder why the hell he cheated on her with Gwen in the first place]].
[[/folder]]

----
!!Aversions/inversions/mixed

[[folder:Anime & Manga]]
* ''LightNovel/SwordArtOnline'': Kirito and Asuna [[spoiler:get together in the first volume/by episode 10 of the Anime and are married (due in part to the ease of marriage in an online game) in a few scenes and less than a day in universe. Chronologically they then adopt a daughter within two weeks and thus the majority of the series has them in a stable relationship with a budding family.]] Far from killing the ship, this simply shifts the focus to the relationships between them and Yui, along with the emotional impact of their various trials.
* ''Franchise/SailorMoon'': Interestingly, Haruka and Michiru inverted the situation to their benefit compared to Mamoru×Usagi pairing. Despite being a creator-acknowledged OfficialCouple with a [[{{Fanservice}} blatantly cute]] [[{{Takarazuka}} butch/femme dynamic]] and no alternative ships in the fandom, their relationship was always [[HideYourLesbians selectively]] (albeit increasingly) explicit enough to keep the fans interested.
* This is averted in ''Anime/EurekaSeven'', where the [[UnresolvedSexualTension UST]] between Renton and Eureka is supplemented by the Coralian sub-plot. The very next episode after they get together, the Coralian plot takes center stage.
* Averted in ''Manga/KareKano''. At first it looks like most shoujos, with mildly BelligerentSexualTension (on Yukino's part, at least), some uncertainty whether Yukino and Arima will get together. This situation lasts for as late as... the second episode/volume. ''Then'' things start getting interesting: the threats to their relationship are not random encounters with {{Romantic False Lead}}s, but their own weaknesses and selfishness, and the focus is given more to the emotional maturing of the characters rather than the relationship itself.
* Sakura Tsukuba's ''[[Manga/MekakushiNoKuni The Land of The Blindfolded]]'' manga took a very similar approach as ''Kare Kano'', following the relationship threats and emotional growth of what became the OfficialCouple [[spoiler:Kanade and Aru]] out of the LoveTriangle.
* The OfficialCouple of ''VisualNovel/{{Clannad}}'' hooks up at roughly the halfway point in the series. The rest of the show is pretty much about them starting a life together, with a heavy focus on the emotional interdependence of their relationship. The second half (aka "After Story") is also generally considered the superior part of the show.
* Averted in ''Manga/ItazuraNaKiss''. In fact, a good number of fans will tell you that you wouldn't miss much by ''skipping'' the first season leading up to the OfficialCouple becoming, well, official.
* Averted in ''LightNovel/{{Toradora}}'' where the establishment of Ryuji and Taiga didn't kill the interest in their romance, rather it enhanced it.
* Averted in ''Manga/{{Genshiken}}'' by Sasahara and Oguie. Their UnresolvedSexualTension and WillTheyOrWontThey was cute enough, but it was better seeing each of them struggle with their first real relationship, deal with the difference between the person they were actually dating and the image they'd built up in their heads, and find out that they ultimately still really liked each other. In contrast, the anime was CutShort right before their first official date.
[[/folder]]

[[folder:Comic Books]]
* Rather cleverly subverted in ''ComicBook/ScottPilgrim''. All the action happened ''because'' he started a relationship with Ramona. And Scott actually undergoes his CharacterDevelopment ''by'' being in a relationship.
* Inverted with Clark Kent and Lois Lane: the status quo of [[TwoPersonLoveTriangle Clark being in love with Lois, who was in love with Superman]] stayed alive for 42 years before ''ComicBook/CrisisOnInfiniteEarths'' radically altered their backstories, and attempts to make it the status quo again fell flat as it would be out-of-character for the rebooted Lois Lane to be infatuated with a superhero, and fans were so fed up with the increasingly lame excuses for TheMasqueradeWillKillYourDatingLife that they were yelling for Clark and Lois to ''get on with it already!''. They ''finally'' got together in 1991, although [[ComicBookDeath Clark's death, resurrection, and subsequent complications]] delayed the marriage until 1995. Siegel and Schuster actually wanted to both have Lois and Clark get together ''and'' for Lois to discover Clark's alter ego and become his SecretKeeper way back in the 1940s, but [[ExecutiveMeddling editors wouldn't let them do it]] precisely because of this trope, probably making them single-handedly responsible for [[TropeCodifier codifying]] LovesMyAlterEgo.
* Subverted in ''ComicBook/{{Hellblazer}}''. While some fans thought that putting a man like John Constantine on a stable relationship, specially after almost all his friends and lovers have died horrible horrible deaths, was a really bad idea, the last years of Hellblazer comics are worth reading as his partner, Epiphany Greaves, is a reckless young alchemist rebel woman that knows that his life has been tainted by all the deaths and dangers that his lifestyle provides, not to mention she's a real ActionGirl. Some may say that they're a perfect couple. Also, John is still John, grumpy, bastard and asshole, but saw some character development while living with his wife.
* Discussed and defied near the end of ''ComicBook/YTheLastMan'', after Yorick and [[spoiler: Agent 355]] confront their feelings for each other. Being GenreSavvy and saturated with pop culture, Yorick specifically mentions ''Moonlighting'' as an example of [[DefiedTrope why they shouldn't rush things]]. [[spoiler: Sadly, they never get the chance, as 355 is assassinated then and there.]]
[[/folder]]

[[folder:Films -- Animation]]
* The ''WesternAnimation/{{Shrek}}'' movies avert this since even though the first movie ends HappilyEverAfter, the sequels show that Shrek & Fiona's relationship still has a lot of obstacles to deal with. ''Shrek 2'' deals with the ogre couple having to deal with being accepted by Fiona's human parents and each other and ''Shrek Forever After'' is motivated by Shrek tiring of married life and all the responsibilities that come with it.
[[/folder]]

[[folder:Literature]]
* The ''Literature/InDeath'' series is a very rare example of a successful aversion. While the main characters, Eve and Roarke, start out with a rather warped MeetCute (he's a murder suspect and she's the homicide detective), they marry by the end of book 4. There are over 30 books in the series.
* L. A. Meyer has been (narrowly!) averting this with [[StarCrossedLovers Jacky and Jaimy]] in ''Literature/BloodyJack'' since book one. The books are quite good, but the only reason many fans are still eager hangers-on by the ''tenth book'' is because everyone is painfully awaiting the TheyDo moment.
* The aversion is [[LampshadedTrope lampshaded]] in the ''Literature/LiadenUniverse'' novel ''Mouse and Dragon'', where the back cover blurb begins with "''After'' the happy ending." The heroine has hooked up with her husband, but that means she has to deal with the messy political situation around Clan Korval, along with discovering her husband's faults as well as his virtues.
[[/folder]]

[[folder:Live-Action TV]]
* Perhaps one of the greatest things about last season of ''Series/TheNanny'' is that it completely averted this. After a couple of seasons of WillTheyOrWontThey and {{Moment Killer}}s, Fran gets married to Max, and the show keeps being as good as it was before. This probably has something to do with the fact that the show main focus was not on their relationship, but on all the [[SliceOfLife silly things that happened to them]]. Combine that with a big cast of characters which can divert the audience attention, and you have a series that doesn't depend that much on WillTheyOrWontThey anymore.
* ''Series/{{Friends}}'' averted this with Chandler×Monica. We get to see them go from SecretRelationship to EverybodyKnewAlready to officially an item, get married, bickering, getting over it, eventually adopting children, and remaining in love the whole time. All of this without diminishing public interest in the couple. It helped that they had really good chemistry and that they sort of worked as BetaCouple to Ross×Rachel, ironically resulting in more people caring about them than [[SuperCouple Ross and Rachel]] because Monica and Chandler were actually happy, interesting and y'know together. But the SliceOfLife and EnsembleCast nature of the show helped the most.
* ''Series/That70sShow'' averted this with Eric and Donna. They got together after a LOT of teasing late in the first season, and the show remained just as interesting, if not ''more''. Although they did have a couple of breakups, they spent a large portion of their time on the show as a PowerCouple, and it didn't affect the quality at all.
* Inversions of this trope are known to occur too: For instance, pretty much everyone agrees that Dave and Lisa from ''Series/NewsRadio'', after subverting WillTheyOrWontThey by starting an intimate relationship in the second episode, are much more intriguing and entertaining when they're together as a couple, and that their break-up was a possible JumpTheShark moment.
* Averted by ''Series/{{Farscape}}'' with John and Aeryn, probably because they kept the two of them from getting together without possibility of "takebacks" until about three-quarters of the way through the last season. Other plausible reasons: they had to keep it secret because John was scared of Scorpius finding out, resulting in minimal screen time; when they were open about it they spent more time running for their lives and spinning [[GambitRoulette implausible plan after implausible plan in a desperate attempt to stay alive]] than in bed; they were the only two leads who looked fully human (though [[RuleThirtyFour that shouldn't stop]] ''Series/{{Farscape}}'' fans); or Claudia Black and Ben Browder may be just that good, which is very likely true even if any one of the above is ''also'' true. Because they are very, ''very'' good.\\\
It might also be relevant to note that Season 3's "Meltdown", generally considered the worst episode of the series, was also the one that featured the most explicit John/Aeryn action... though the sexy times were pretty hot, so it wasn't John and Aeryn's fault. Reportedly, Ben Browder actually wanted to invert the trope. Citing that "everyone knows that putting the leads together ends the show", he suggested early on that, in their first meeting, Aeryn and John should have slept together and then spent the rest of the show ''denying'' they had and trying to ''ignore'' the sexual tension. They were heavily implied to sleep together in the first season episode "a human reaction", they denied it ''fast''.\\\
The aversion might have been due to the fact that most of the relationships in ''Series/{{Farscape}}'' were well written with multiple levels of development. Hence it didn't become so much the 'build-up is better than the result' but 'the build-up determines the result' (i.e. the result is as good as the build-up). Or it could be because they just kept kicking ass...
* Lampshaded in ''Series/GossipGirl'' by Blair, who tells Chuck that she's worried they'll be boring now they're in a relationship (a major concern for the fans). He replies that they could "never be boring" and was proven right - their subversion of SickeninglySweethearts was dramatic, heartwarming and hilarious, and the main fan displeasure was that the cameras cut away whenever they started to roleplay or pulled out handcuffs.
* Averted in ''Series/{{Firefly}}''. ExecutiveMeddling wanted Wash and Zoe to hook up onscreen, but JossWhedon wanted to show a HappilyMarried couple ''([[{{Wangst}} at first]])''. And they were still fun to watch!
* Averted to a degree on the US version of ''Series/QueerAsFolk'' when playboy Brian Kinney and his boytoy-turned-fiancé Justin realized that getting married would mean a slow torturous death to their relationship when they both grew bitter with resentment for going against their character's natures. Of course, this led to a serious case of BittersweetEnding or even DownerEnding for shippers.
* Rachel and Finn on ''Series/{{Glee}}'' initially managed to invert this; it was the constant ''delaying'' of them getting together that made them boring to shippers, because [[TheyDo the conclusion]] was so inevitable. This was especially true when, after the creators promised that for Season 2 they would keep them together and "shift the focus to other couples," they instead broke them up again and did an ''exact repeat'' of their storyline in Season 1, dragging up the same two [[RomanticFalseLead Romantic False Leads]]. In Season 3, the trope was played straighter; the two remained together for the bulk of the season, but they continued to get the most focus, with the resentment over it such that when [[spoiler: Finn proposed]] in a mid-season episode, #[=RachelSayNo=] became a Twitter trending topic. It probably wouldn't be quite as fraught if it weren't for the fact that some [[FanPreferredCouple Fan Preferred Couples]] (e.g. Brittany/Santana, Quinn/Puck) remained in various stages of WillTheyOrWontThey during Finn and Rachel's never-ending, increasingly more and more contrived arcs. This all leads to FunnyAneurysmMoment[=/=]HarsherInHindsight after Finn's actor, Corey Monteith died of an overdose in real life, leading to TheCharacterDiedWithHim.
* Inverted, possibly on ''Series/TheBigBangTheory''. Penny & Leonard [[spoiler:finally had sex and became an OfficialCouple]] at the beginning of the third season, and it didn't hurt the ratings any. Although [[spoiler:the show did nothing interesting with the couple and then they broke up. BUT they get back together in the fifth season and this time around it's much better handled with the two intentionally taking it slow at first, make a point of being more open and honest with each other, and Penny even manages to say "I Love You"!]]
* A possible aversion of this occurred in ''Series/RobinHood''. At the end of season one Robin and Marian admitted their feelings for one another, and in season two they become engaged. In the season two finale, they have an impromptu wedding whilst awaiting execution. Now, despite there being ''plenty'' of material here for Robin and Marian to have spent season three as husband and wife, avoiding the wrath of Guy of Gisborne and battling Prince John's armies together, the episode in question ends with [[spoiler:Marian's death at the hands of Guy]]. According to the writers, they felt that they "had taken Marian's story as far as it could go," the insinuation clearly being that once the Marian-centric LoveTriangle had been resolved, the writers felt that there was no further need for Marian to remain on the show. Two new love interests for Robin were duly trotted out in season three. UnfortunateImplications? You betcha! This policy came back to bite the writers firmly in the ass: Robin×Kate (the ReplacementLoveInterest) never got a chance to reach a ShippingBedDeath because no one gave a shit about it to begin with.
* Averted in ''Series/StarTrekDeepSpaceNine'' with Worf×Jadzia and even more spectacularly with Odo×Kira, who had an entire ''episode'' devoted to getting them together and afterward were completely, utterly in love and acted like it, while still being their normal, fiery, {{Badass}}, amazing selves.
* Averted in ''Series/{{Chuck}}'', where Chuck and Sarah are more entertaining and watchable as a happy couple as they ever were when they wanted to be but couldn't for various reasons.
* The entire premise of ''Series/MadAboutYou'' was the aversion of this trope. It focused on a generally happily married couple living in an apartment in New York City. It ran for 7 seasons. The difference there though is that they were ''already'' married when the show began, rather than slowly getting together over a long period of time.
* ''Series/DoctorWho'' averts this with Amy and Rory; after their wedding at the end of Season 5 they still have just as much continuing development as before, and they're still just as much fun to watch.
* ''Series/{{Rhoda}}'' famously seemed to avert this by allowing its title character to get married after years of struggling on ''Series/TheMaryTylerMooreShow''. A mere eight weeks into the program saw a wedding with some of the highest ratings in the history of television. However, in the case of ''Rhoda'', it wasn't the audience who got bored - it was the writing staff. After two seasons of a happily married Rhoda, the writers decided she worked better as a single woman and opened Season 3 with a bitter separation and concluded in their divorce. Viewers abandoned the show in droves, and while it survived another two seasons, it never recovered.
* Averted by Marshall and Lily on ''Series/HowIMetYourMother'', who became actually ''more'' interesting (not that they had actually been dull before...just less prominent) when they stopped being Ted's roommates and got embroiled in the realities of married life. Also averted with Barney and Robin. Barney's basically just his crazy, funny self no matter what...but the writers didn't anticipate the chemistry they had and wrote the break-up into the show before seeing it. Eventually, they put them back together.
* Averted by all three couples on ''Series/ModernFamily''. They're all married, so there was no {{UST}} to begin with.
* Averted on ''Series/BabylonFive'' by John Sheridan and Delenn. It helped that they were in the middle of a war when they got together, and when that war ended they got to deal with another one -- and as soon as those wars were over, they went right in to helping straighten out the galaxy from the mess it had been left in ''after'' said wars. Who's got time to get bored with a romance when you're on the brink of annihilation every week?
* Averted on ''Series/{{Castle}}''. It was widely speculated that the show would never put Castle and Beckett together, as the show was powered by the UST between the two leads, and the fandom is powerfully driven by shipping. Even Castle's actor, Creator/NathanFillion, was openly against it. However, the two finally hooked up (although they haven't married yet) at the end of Season 4, and have been happily in a relationship all through Season 5. The stories are as good as ever, and the ratings are the best they've been. Even Fillion admits he was wrong and the "Moonlighting Curse" has been broken. They're as interesting as a couple as they were when they were flirting... possibly even moreso.\\\
Furthermore, season 4 (and season 3 to a lesser extent) are considered something of a weak point, mostly because the attempts to keep Castle and Beckett apart were pretty flimsy anyway. A good example is "The Limey". Castle and Beckett were each given a new RomanticFalseLead in the episode. Interestingly, instead of audience anger being directed toward the false leads (which happened previously with False Leads such as Detective Demming and Josh Davidson), the majority of the frustration instead landed on ''Castle and Beckett'', since they stubbornly refused to have a mature conversation about their feeling for each other, making it a rather obvious attempt to artificially extend the tension, leading fans to simply say "get on with it!"
* ''Series/{{Cheers}}'' didn't become popular until Sam and Diane got together as a couple in the second season. But it did stay popular after Diane got PutOnABus.
* On ''Series/{{JAG}}'', Harm and Mac didn't become a couple until the SeriesFinale. You can't get more of an aversion than that (apart from never becoming one at all).
* A lot of fans complained about Naomi and Emily's story in Season 4 of ''Series/{{Skins}}'' for averting this; having got together at the end of Season 3, Season 4 was all about them dealing with trying to keep the relationship going through [[YourCheatingHeart Naomi's infidelity]], a not atypical problem in real-life long-term relationships. Many people thought they should have split up, possibly just to watch them go through the (admittedly adorable) RomanceArc again.
* ''Series/LegendOfTheSeeker'' did not get worse at the end of the first season when Richard and Kahlan said "[[ItMakesSenseInContext Fuck it, we just won't have sex]]" and got together for good. In fact, it got considerably ''better'' -- although it helped that the RelationshipUpgrade was accompanied by a general GrowingTheBeard that was only partially caused by said upgrade. Possibly helped by the fact that anyone that has read the novels would see this as a foregone conclusion.
* ''Series/{{Bones}}'': While Angela and Hodgins remain an example, Bones and Booth have remained interesting even after getting together.
* This trope is the reason why Howard and Vince of ''Series/TheMightyBoosh'' didn't get together. The creators stated they originally planned on them becoming a couple during the TV show, but decided against it for fear of ruining the dynamic of the characters. Creator/NoelFielding says if Howard and Vince do ever get together, it wont be until he and Creator/JulianBarratt know for sure they're done with the characters.
[[/folder]]

[[folder:Video Games]]
* In ''VideoGame/LufiaIIRiseOfTheSinistrals'', at around the halfway point of [[TheHero Maxim]] actually ''marries'' [[ActionGirl Selan]] after narrowly beating what seems to be the big bad at first. A year passes and it is revealed there's still a lot more to the game. It could be said that the trope is fully inverted, because in this story the leading up to the romance is fairly underplayed but in the latter half of the game their relationship is important to the plot.
* Most Creator/BioWare games drag the romance sidequests out until the very end, or simply make it so that once you've finished the sidequest, that's the end of all dialogue options with that person. However, this is averted in the Merril and Anders Romances in ''VideoGame/DragonAgeII'', where either party can become an OfficialCouple with Hawke and move in during Act II. Both romance arcs continue from there, based on the person drama of each respective love interest.
* ''Franchise/MassEffect'':
** The fact that the series allows romances to be continued from one game to the next means that even if one game on its own would suffer from this, the relationship can continue into the next one and still continue to develop.
** ''VideoGame/MassEffect3'' averts. While most romances, even ones carried over from previous games, end up in a conversation that sets the relationship basically in stone, the dialogue with them doesn't end there. Even the obligatory PreClimaxClimax scene isn't the end of the content, unlike previous games in the series; Shepard and the LI can discuss their relationship further during the final goodbyes, and the Extended Cut added a couple of romance-related scenes to the endgame and ending (though not enough for some fans). The Citadel DLC really took it UpToEleven though, with a ton of pre-final level romance content for most characters, including dates and a party.
* Quite markedly averted in a certain route in ''VideoGame/GalaxyAngel''. In Forte's route, somewhere between the three games, Tact and Forte has somehow skipped the "I love you" phase to each other (or rather, replacing it with "I got your back, you watch mine.") and went straight to a decidedly mature take of living together as adults. The second and especially the third tests their resolve of being together as a commander and a soldier in a relationship. The third game's "breaking point" event is notable in that Forte's route is the only one not featuring relationship problems with Tact as a result of said event, instead having PTSD as a central theme.
* Inverted in ''VideoGame/TimeAndEternity''. Toki and the MC are already a couple by the time the game starts, and how they met and became a couple is hardly brought up, yet their wedding is a central plotpoint (in fact it's so central that, due to TimeTravel, it happens five times).
[[/folder]]

[[folder:Web Original]]
* One of the running plot threads in the first season of ''Podcast/WelcomeToNightVale'' is [[TheNarrator Cecil's]] (apparently unrequited) crush on HotScientist Carlos. Then, in the one year anniversary episode the two share a tender moment, and go on a first date a couple episodes later. The show is perfectly content in having the two of them be an adorable OfficialCouple, all while dealing with usual relationship difficulties (like the occasional missed date) along with the difficulties of living in a place like [[EldritchLocation Night Vale]].
* In WebVideo/TheNostalgiaCritic's review of ''Film/LesMiserables'', [[WebVideo/PawDugan Paw]] and [[WebVideo/TheNostalgiaChick Maven]] meet for the first time to sing a song criticizing how unrealistic the LoveAtFirstSight trope is... and proceed to immediately fall in love over the duration. The relationship has been going strong since. Bit of RealLifeRightsThePlot there, with the two actors being happy newly-weds in reality.
* Blog/LimyaaelsFantasyRants argues that this trope doesn't have to exist, and expresses a desire to read some stories about marriage, not just about the buildup. That said, part of what Limyaael wants is not "happily ever after," but "challengingly ever after," because actual relationships have problems that need to be worked out.
[[/folder]]

[[folder:Western Animation]]
* Many fans were nervous ''WesternAnimation/KimPossible'' would be subject to this once the two leads finally [[RelationshipUpgrade hooked up]] in the movie and found that the series [[SoWhatDoWeDoNow still had another season]]. To their credit, the writers kept the relationship instead of [[ResetButton copping out]]. There are differing opinions on how well their romance was handled, but most fans think it was good enough to [[AvertedTrope avert]] this trope.
* Averted on ''WesternAnimation/CodeLyoko'' with Ulrich and Yumi, since they never really resolved their relationship either way; not only did they not hook up, but they never really reached the BetterAsFriends stage either, meaning that their relationship was left in limbo at the end of the series.
* Look at one of the major complaints from the fandom of the first season of ''WesternAnimation/YoungJustice'', and one of the major points will Superboy and Miss Martian's RomanticPlotTumor. Come the season 2 premier, [[spoiler: the two have broken up, meaning the viewers will get a rinse, lather, and repeat of the previous season.]] By season 2, their romance (and romance in general really) received much less focus thus averting much of the annoyance it caused in the previous season. Instead it was used to heighten the two's character development over the TimeSkip. Superboy matured much more and MM [[spoiler: grew colder due to an off-screen death of her pseudo-mother, leading her to become a LOT more loose with her telepathic intrusion which is what leads to their breakup.]]
* ''WesternAnimation/JusticeLeague'' does a pretty good job of averting this. The writers did establish Green Lantern and Hawkgirl's romance very early, and they keep flirting with each other and getting closer. Once they finally drop all pretense and get together, [[spoiler:Hawkgirl's alien boyfriend shows up, she's revealed to be a traitor and while ultimately she betrays her race to save the Earth]], she leaves the league for a while. Once she returns, GL has moved on and is dating Vixen, but then [[spoiler:he travels to the future and meets his son, who has hawk wings, and is indeed Hawkgirl's son too.]] GL claims he won't let fate decide for him, and prefers to let things run their course.
[[/folder]]

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