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Beta Couple
On your left, the couple the show is named after: The Flintstones. On your right... emmm... the other couple: The Rubbles.note 

Rachel: You were our Fred and Ethel Mertz!
Katie: Funny, I thought you were our Fred and Ethel Mertz.

The Beta Couple is present in the backdrop of many Romantic Comedies and Dramas with The Hero of the story looking at wooing their Love Interest, 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 The Hero and his 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 Poor Communication Kills? The Beta Couple had that, but worked it out. Caught cheating? Losing "the spark" for your Love Interest? The Beta Couple had that, and here's how they got through it. In addition to all of that, if there is sexual tension that the Official Couple is 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 more smoothly for them, letting them work as catalysts for the 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 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 Token Romance. See also Hooked Up Afterwards. Totally not related to Beta Test Baddie, but sometimes related to Pair the Spares or Romantic False Lead. Compare Alone Among the Couples, another foil to the main character's romantic life.

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


Examples

    open/close all folders 

    Anime & Manga 
  • Surprisingly, Agito and Yayoi from Air Gear, 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 Eureka Seven. 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 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 in which both members are still alive at the present time are the Yaoi Guys Gingetsu and Ran and even they are probably doomed in about five years.
  • Akane Higurashi and Kazuya Kurauchi act as a Beta Couple to the Love Triangle in the Mai-HiME manga.
    • And also to an extent in the anime: 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 Marmalade Boy, but specially Ginta Suoh and Arimi Suzuki (who had previously tried to break Yuu and Miki up, but found solace with each other when it failed) , as well as Meiko Akizuki and Namura-sensei.
  • Miroku and Sango from InuYasha. Though they have only a slightly easier time of it than the Alpha Couple.
  • The scarily fervent matchmaker friends to the leads of Lovely Complex.
  • Akane and Subaru provide some much-needed sweet romance in the midst of Hatsumi and Ryoki's twisted relationship in Hot Gimmick.
  • Souichi and Morinaga (the first wants to keep it Just Friends, the second is hoping for a Relationship Upgrade) in Challengers. The mangaka enjoyed writing about them enough to eventually give them their own spin-off series, The Tyrant Falls in Love.
  • Yamazaki and Chiharu (Zachary and Chelsea in the English dub) from Cardcaptor Sakura... even though they're both fourth-graders.
    • 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 Hana Yori Dango.
  • Junko and Kyosuke in Nana.
  • Tsuyoshi and Aya, classmates of Alpha Couple Sana and Akito in Kodomo no Omocha.
  • Roy Focker and Claudia LaSalle in Super Dimension Fortress Macross, and Ozma Lee and Cathy Glass in Macross Frontier, who play Beta Couple to their respective series's official Love Triangle. Also, Michel and Klan, although that particular Beta Couple met an unexpected end.
  • Sailor Moon:
    • 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 The Nineties anime, once they got their Relationship Upgrade.
    • Makoto and Motoki become one in the live-action series only, even getting engaged in the finale special.
  • Ogata Matake (Oga-chan) and Tanaka Eita in Shakugan no Shana serve as a Beta Couple to the Love Triangle of Yoshida, Shana, and Yuji (although adding Ike in sort of makes it a Love Dodecahedron).
  • Montmorency and Guiche from Zero no Tsukaima. Of course, they're only slightly less dysfunctional than Louise and Saito.
  • From Mars, we have Harumi and Tatsuya.
  • Austria and Hungary (despite being "divorced"... it's complicated) are this to Germany and North Italy in the Valentines strip of Axis Powers Hetalia.
  • Code Geass - 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 Celibate Hero, 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 (not that Suzaku stopped loving Euphie: she dies).
  • Takenaga and Noi from The Wallflower.
  • Mahou Sensei Negima!:
    • Konoka and Setsuna. Negi/Asuna is swamped in UST, Will They or Won't They?, and is only one piece of a massive Love Dodecahedron. At the end of the manga, while there is No Romantic Resolution 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. Kiss, pactio, etc. Wow. As of the conclusion of the manga, in contrast with the couples mentioned above, Natsumi/Kotaro are set in stone, given that they get married in the epilogue.
  • Romeo's best friend Benvolio and Juliet's adoptive sister Cordelia in Romeo X Juliet.
  • Princess Amelia of 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 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 one of Amelia's wristbands is tied to Zel's canteen in the credits of the last episode of the third season.
  • Neon Genesis Evangelion - Aside from the primary Love Triangle 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...
  • Tsubasa Reservoir Chronicle has somewhat of an inversion. The main protagonists Sakura and Syaoran were actually the ones with the more simplified relationship as opposed to the 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 Cardcaptor Sakura, so there was no question that they'd get together. Whereas Fai and Kurogane were entirely new characters who got their Character Development 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).
  • Nanami and Yuzuru in Dance in the Vampire Bund.
  • Orie and Hinako from Aoi Hana, who Fumi sees as having the ideal happy lesbian relationship.
  • Future GPX Cyber Formula has Shinjyo/Miki, Osamu/Clair and Shiba/Rena, if you're going to take them to account.
  • The Magical Girl Lyrical Nanoha series's non-Les Yay couples, Chrono/Amy and Erio/Caro. Note that Erio and Caro fall for each other very fast. One reason is because they are still kids.
  • In 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.
  • Tenshi Ni Narumon: Raphael and Mikael are somewhat an inverted Ho Yay 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.
  • Magic Knight Rayearth: Caldina and Lafarga.
  • Amue and Ryo Shirogane in Go Lion. AKA Romelle and Sven in Voltron.
  • Detective Conan has Heiji/Kazuha, as well as Makoto/Sonoko and Takagi/Miwako.
  • Rosalie and Bernard in Rose of Versailles, who are the only couple to survive at the end.
  • Ox and Kim of Soul Eater, although right now they're the only couple.
  • Yuuji and Shouko in Baka to Test to Shoukanjuu, though their relationship isn't all that different from the main's, lack of a Love Triangle aside. Voyeur and Aiko are probably a more "normal" example.
  • Hyper Police 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 Inu X Boku SS.
  • Duero and Parfait in Vandread. Considering that he's a medic and she's a mechanic onboard a Living Ship, their jobs allow them to be close at all times. 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 Yandere Kanojo, 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.
  • Maria and Mamoru in From the New World.
  • Bleach: Everything but the Rain is Isshin and Masaki's Meet Cute story, featuring Uryuu's parents as the Beta Couple. Ryuuken and Kanae provide a quiet, dignified and very intense contrast to Isshin and Masaki's 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 Sakura Trick.
  • Chitaru and Hitsugi in Akuma No Riddle. They don't end well.

    Comic Books 
  • Post-issue #50 in Archie Comics' Sonic the Hedgehog series, Antoine D'Coolette and Bunnie Rabbot became the beta couple to Sonic the Hedgehog and Princess Sally Acorn.
  • Druid City features the main character's homosexual brother, Mike, in an Opposites Attract relationship with Pet Homosexual 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.

    Fan Works 

    Films — Animation 
  • Alpha and Omega 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 Anastasia.
  • From the Cinderella sequels, we have Cinderella's stepsister Anastasia and the local baker.
  • Mulan 2 had not one, but three Beta Couples.
    • Don't forget Mulan's parents.
  • Tulio and Linda in Rio.
  • John and Mary in WALL•E.
  • Though all the couples in Toy Story 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.
    • 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.

    Films — Live Action 
  • Albert is the dating challenged man that "date doctor" 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 When Harry Met Sally.
  • Wedding Crashers 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 High School Musical. And in High School Musical 3, Ryan and Kelsi.
  • Kit and Ace in Failure to Launch.
  • Maida and Killjoy, in The Ice Pirates
  • Megan and Joe Dayton (Bonnie Hunt and Jim Belushi) from Return to Me.
  • Rusty and Willard (to main couple Ren and Arielle) in 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 Ever After.
  • Dianne and David in Shaun of the Dead. 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 Every Which Way But Loose.
  • Martin and Chessy in the 1998 version of The Parent Trap.
  • Rizzo and Kenickie in Grease are a Slap-Slap-Kiss version.
  • Rob and Carrie in Eternal Sunshine of the Spotless Mind.
  • 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 The Time Traveler's Wife, we have Gomez and Charisse, which is very different from the book version (see the Literature section below).
  • The 1998 made-for-television film Merlin has Frik and Morgan le Fay, whose romance ends a lot less happily than Merlin and Nimue's.
  • Most Porn with Plot 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 Undead Horse Trope 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 The Haunted Mansion, to Edward and Elizabeth (man, Disney likes their "E" names). A rather unromantic Beta Couple, but still more or less Happily Married.
  • Ingrid Bergman's character's older sister and brother-in-law in Indiscreet are the beta couple to Ingrid and Cary Grant.
  • Manny and Gina in Scarface (1983)
  • Balraj and Jaya in Bride and Prejudice.
  • Down with Love's Vikki Hiller and Peter MacMannus's relationship revolves around Barbara Novak and Catcher Block.
  • Enchanted's Nancy might lose her fiancée Robert to Naïve Everygirl 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 Wild Zero.
  • The Sorcerer's Apprentice 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 Sealed Good in a Can.
  • In Monsoon Wedding, 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.
  • Going the Distance 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.

    Literature 
  • Gyltha and Mansur are this in the Mistress Of The Art Of Death novels.
  • The Heroes of Olympus has Jason and Piper and Frank and Hazel.
  • Twilight has so many, it's almost the entire supporting cast. You have the Cullen family, the various werewolves and their imprintees, the human pairings, and several other vampire relationships (ie Garrett and Kate in Breaking Dawn).
  • Marianne Dashwood and Colonel Brandon to Elinor Dashwood and Edward Ferrars of Sense and Sensibility.
  • Jane Bennet and Mr. Bingley to Elizabeth and Mr. Darcy in Pride and Prejudice; the Official Couple (the girl who falls for a charismatic The Casanova before 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 Sense and Sensibility. 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 David Eddings's 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 Belgariad/Malloreon: 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 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 Beta Triangle of War and Peace, with Nikolai/Maria going on to become the full-fledged Beta Couple.
  • Kitty and Levin in Anna Karenina, to the Alpha Couple of Anna and Vronsky.
  • Charisse and Gomez appear to be the Beta Couple in The Time Traveler's Wife at first, but it is later revealed that Gomez harbors strong feelings towards Clare.
  • Faramir and Éowyn in The Lord of the Rings. More present in the book than The Film of the Book. Aragorn even makes them Prince and Princess of Ithilien, a province of Gondor.
  • From Lois McMaster Bujold's Vorkosigan Saga:
    • 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 The Great Gatsby. They don't really work out but compared to mess of the main Love Dodecahedron, 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 Mistborn, though Spook was originally a Mauve Shirt that got promoted to main character in the third book.
  • In The Fallen Moon by K.J. Taylor, Erian and Elkin to Arenadd and Skade. Antagonist/protagonist version.
  • Mari and Prince Kieran in Salamander. It's an unusual example because he's a Well-Intentioned Extremist villain for most of the story, including their courtship.
  • Sachar and Anisya in Oblomov.
  • Nino Sechetti and Lola Nirdlinger in Double Indemnity.
  • The duchesse de Nevers and Coconnas fill the spot in La Reine Margot, but they are less peaceful than Margot and La Môle.
  • The Hunger Games 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, Finnick's death means they take the Star-Crossed Lovers title well away from Katniss and Peeta.
  • In The Kingdom and the Crown we have Simeon's Number Two Yehuda paired up with Miriam's servant girl, Livia.
  • Never Wipe Tears Without Gloves has Seppo and Lars-Åke as Beta Couple to Rasmus and Benjamin's alpha.
  • The Mortal Instruments: Alec and Magnus; Luke and Jocelyn. Simon and Isabelle at the end of City of Ashes and during City of Fallen Angels.
  • The Flight Engineer 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.
  • Simona Ahrnstedt follows this pattern in her debut novel Överenskommelser. 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: Beata/Ossian and Venus/Nora.
  • Older Than Print in Parzival by Wolfram von Eschenbach with Gâwân (Gawain) and Orgeluse.
  • Tortall Universe
    • In Song of the Lioness 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 Protector of the Small'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 Provost's Dog Ersken and Kora, a Dog and a criminal who seem to have no trouble dealing with the Dating Catwoman situation. Meanwhile Beka and Rosto have copious amounts of UST thanks to her unwillingness to bed a criminal.
  • Circle of Magic: 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.

    Live Action TV 
  • Cheers featured Frasier and Lilith, Carla and Eddie, and Woody and Kelly.
  • On The Nanny, Niles and CC play this role after they 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 Community Troy and Annie were a Beta Couple to Jeff and Britta, but these were both eventually dropped once the show found itself.
    • Since then, Jeff and Annie have ascended to Alpha Couple (as of early season three in the Will They or Won't They? stage), while the show seems to be setting up Troy/Britta as the Beta Couple.
    • In Season 4, the Troy/Britta couple was broken up, in the homage to Freaky Friday episode. Since Donald Glover is leaving midway through Season 5, there doesn't seem to be a couple to take their place.
  • The Big Bang Theory: Howard and Bernardette to main couple Leonard and Penny.
    • Later, Sheldon and Amy.
  • Hale and Kenzi in Lost Girl.
  • In That '70s Show, Kelso/Jackie and later Jackie/Hyde to Donna/Eric.
  • Fred and Ethel Mertz in I Love Lucy, television's original Beta Couple.
  • Turk and Carla in 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 Turk and JD.
  • In Lie to Me, Torres and Loker are now confirmed to be this, to Lightman and Foster's Alpha.
  • 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 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 Mike.
  • Buffy the Vampire Slayer: 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 Angel this was modified with a Love Triangle 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 The West Wing are this trope to everyone else, as they were Happily Married 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 Josh and Donna, CJ and Danny, Toby and Andi, Sam and Ainsley, CJ and Simon, Josh and Amy, Sam and Mallory, Leo and Jenny, and Charlie and Zoe, all of whose romances were constantly trampled by politics, ethics, and Dysfunction Junction. But mostly politics.
    • Except for Josh/Donna and CJ/Danny of course, who were upgraded to Official Couple and ended up together in the final season.
  • 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 Chuck Cunningham Syndrome for season 4..
  • Stanley and Mimi in 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 Saved by the Bell (to main couple Zack and Kelly).
  • Chris and Shaz in Ashes to Ashes.
  • Helo and Athena in Battlestar Galactica, especially considering they are one of the only couples that remain steady throughout the series.
  • How I Met Your Mother 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, 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 The O.C., Seth and Summer were the Beta Couple to the Official Couple of Ryan and Marissa. In the third season, Ryan and Marissa break up for good and there is no real Official Couple. In the fourth and final season both Seth/Summer and Ryan/Taylor are given about equal weight.
  • Patrick and Sally on Coupling.
  • On Yes Dear, 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 Will They or Won't They? that mirrors Merlin and Gwen's in the first Series of Merlin. But in Series 3, Arthur and Morgana are revealed to be 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 Arthur/Merlin) is more popular among fans than the Arthur/Gwen coupling.
  • D'Argo and Chiana in Farscape, though theirs is a tempestuous, mostly physical relationship that's more off than on, 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 tragically brief relationship between Stark and Zhaan.
  • Smithy and Nessa in Gavin and Stacey. 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 Chuck: Both Morgan/Anna (and later Morgan/ Alex) and Captain Awesome/Ellie are Beta Couples to Chuck and Sarah's 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.
  • Bones:
    • Angela/Hodgins to Booth/Brennan. Angela/Hodgins are in many ways the LESS stable couple.
    • Doc Sweets and Daisy.
    • "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 True Blood, 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 Robin Hood. Their relationship ends up being much more successful than Robin and Marian's.
  • In Mad About You, 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 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 Triangle of Doom), and thus were promoted to Alpha status in their second series, with the attendant 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 Deadwood are the beta couple to Seth Bullock & Alma Garrett and later Seth & Martha Bullock.
  • Victor and Sierra in 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 Max and Liz and as another alien-human-hybrid/human relationship, embody this trope, in getting together first and with less angst, and typically providing more comedy with their 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 The X-Files 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 The X-Files: I Want to Believe.
  • Noah's Arc: Alex+Trey and Chance+Eddie typically play this role to Noah+his boyfriend at the time.
  • Billy Bob and Mavis Davis in Hearts Afire.
  • Curtis and Alisha during the first season of Misfits, despite also being the Official Couple 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 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 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 Rules of Engagement to the main, married couple Audrey and Jeff.
  • Cal and Chloe on Harper's Island. They both die. It's a murder mystery.
  • In Gilmore Girls, 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.
  • Wizards of Waverly Place:
    • Harper and Zeke have developed an adorable relationship. The Unfortunate Implications of their relationship stems from the fact that they are the respective sidekicks of 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 Stefan and Elena on The Vampire Diaries. 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 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, Lanie and Esposito, Alexis and Ashley, and Ryan and Jenny count as Beta Couples to the alpha couple, Castle and Beckett.
  • 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. Kurt and Blaine are another example.
    • After Finn's death, the remaining romances on the show were bumped up in importance: Kurt and Blaine became the main couple with Brittany & Santana and Sam & Mercedes as the Betas.
  • Leverage has Hardison and Parker to Nate and Sophie. Hardison and Parker have minor problems, but mostly as a result of Parker being emotionally troubled.
  • Once Angela was added to Boy Meets World in season five, Shawn and Angela became this to Cory and Topanga, except when they break up during season six.
  • On Parks and Recreation, 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 Merlin serve as the catalyst for getting Arthur and Guinevere back together.
  • On Married... with Children, Marcy and Steve (or later, Marcy and Jefferson) to Al and Peggy. Played With in that Al and Peggy loathed each other (most of the time.)
  • Lary and Megan on NUMB3RS.
  • In Chinese Paladin, Tang Yu and Ah Nu are this, although they fulfil the "foil to the main couple" role only in being equally dysfunctional.
  • Toshiko and Owen to Gwen and Rhys in 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 Doctor Who.
  • In Tinsel, Chuks and Ene are the Beta Couple to Soji and Telema for the first three seasons.
  • In Never Wipe Tears Without Gloves Seppo and Lars-Åke serve as Beta Couple to Rasmus and Benjamin's alpha.
  • In Babylon 5 Marcus and Ivanova could be considered this to Sheridan and Delenn. Subverted, since Marcus dies before Ivanova can ever reciprocate.
  • In 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 Murdoch Mysteries (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.

    Theatre 
  • Thanks to The Zeroth Law of Trope Examples, this is Older Than Steam:
    • Gratiano and Nerissa from The Merchant of Venice seem to fit into this category rather nicely, if we take Bassanio and Portia as the "alpha couple".
    • Much Ado About Nothing 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.)
    • As You Like It goes all the way to four couples, but Rosalind and Orlando are pretty clearly Couple A.
    • And Loves Labours Lost has five (with Berowne and Rosaline as Couple A).
    • Sir Toby and Maria in Twelfth Night. 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 A Midsummer Night's Dream. Oberon and Titania also qualify.
    • Bianca and Lucentio in The Taming of the Shrew who are played by Beta Couple Bill and Lois in Kiss Me Kate.
    • Valentine and Silvia in Two Gentlemen of Verona.
    • Tragic example: Iago and Emilia in Othello
  • Prince Valiant and Lucy the Maid in The Christmas Princess
  • You Can't Take It with You 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 Once In A Lifetime to May and Jerry's Couple A.
  • Annie Get Your Gun 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 The Most Happy Fella, whose Cleo and Herman have no counterparts in the non-musical source play.
  • The Wedding Singer, which makes Sammy and Holly an on-again, off-again couple.
  • In Sweeney Todd: The Demon Barber of Fleet Street, 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 crush [[Yandere on him]] that brings about the tragedy of the play.
  • West Side Story: Behind Tony and Maria, there are Bernardo and Anita.
  • Ragtime: Behind Coalhouse and Sarah, there are "Mother" and "Father". And then Mother and Tateh after Mom and Pop are splitsville.
  • Many of the Rodgers and Hammerstein musicals include a Beta Couple:
    • Oklahoma!: Behind Curly and Laurie are Ado Annie and Will.
    • 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.
    • South Pacific has Cable and Liat playing Beta Couple to Emile and Nellie.
    • In The King and I, 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.
    • The Sound of Music: Behind the Captain and Maria are the juvenile secondary couple of Liesl and Rolf, which doesn't work out in the end. Max and the Baroness are a tertiary couple.
    • Me and Juliet has Mac and Betty, though in the Show Within The Show Don Juan (played by Jim) and Carmen (played by Betty) end up as a secondary couple.
    • State Fair has Abel and Melissa, though Blueboy manages to find love as well.
  • Frank Schultz and Ellie May Chipley in Show Boat.
  • Tommy Djilas and Zaneeta Shinn in The Music Man. Cut Songs excluded, this Beta Couple has nothing to sing in this musical.
  • Bill Calhoun and Lois "Bianca" Lane from Kiss Me Kate.
  • Hines and Gladys from The Pajama Game.
  • Schultz and Schneider from Cabaret.
  • Nathan and Adelaide from Guys and Dolls 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 Damon Runyon'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 does not actually appear.
  • Boq and Nessarose from Wicked are probably the single most dysfunctional Beta Couple in this entire list.
  • Sue and Sandor in Bells Are Ringing.
  • Most shows in the Gilbert and Sullivan canon tend more towards Love Dodecahedron than this, but Despard and Margaret are a Beta Couple in Ruddigore.
  • Papageno and Papagena in the opera The Magic Flute.
  • Marcello and Musetta are a Masochism Tango variety of this in the opera La Boh?.
  • Hugo and Kim in Bye Bye Birdie, 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 Once Upon a Mattress.
  • Gideon and Alice from Seven Brides for Seven Brothers, as well as the other five, less-prominent brothers and brides.
  • Steven Kodaly and Ilona Ritter in She Loves Me.
  • In StarKidPotter's Me and My Dick, 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.
  • In the Heights 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 Who's Afraid of Virginia Woolf?. 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 Thoroughly Modern Millie. As a way of Cleaning Up Romantic Loose Ends it seems like Miss Dorothy and Trevor are going to hook up (which they actually did do in the original movie). Instead Dorothy hooks up with one of the Those Two Guys that rescues her instead. Then in an equally funny Pair the Spares The other half of Those Two Guys becomes Trevor's new employee, replacing Millie after she leaves.
  • A Little Night Music has an Alpha Couple in Fredrick and Desiree, as well as a Love Dodecahedron among the entire cast, but arguments could be made for Anne/Henrik, Petra/Frid, and Carl-Magnus/Charlotte as the Beta Couples.
  • Rusty and Willard, as well as Shaw and Vi in the musical of Footloose.
  • Natalie and Henry in Next To Normal.
  • 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.
  • Spring Awakening 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: Moritz kills himself, and while Hanschen and Ernst end the story slightly better off, Word of God says they weren't going to end up well either.
  • Both Angel and Collins and Maureen and Joanne from Rent qualify as this. The former is pretty much Happily Committed until Angel succumbs to advanced AIDS , while the latter is trapped in a "Tango: Maureen" that is played for laughs. Important to the sexual and ethnic All Token Band.
  • Behind Fiona and Tommy in Brigadoon there are some very dysfunctional pairings (which are very All Love Is Unrequited). 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 Pair the Spares.
  • The Desert Song 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 Of Thee I Sing. Jenkins and Miss Benson, respectively Wintergreen and Mary's secretaries, usually appear together but have no love plot of their own.
  • All Shook Up has Dean and Lorraine, who noticeably stay out of the major Love Dodecahedron that makes up the plot.
  • Animal Crackers had Winston and Arabella. The movie eliminated Winston and made Arabella a Composite Character with the other love interest.
  • Jeeves and Deeda in Cirque du Soleil's Amaluna.
  • Gloria and Jimmy in Flashdance: The Musical.
  • Dinah and Greaseball in Starlight Express.
  • Sosias and his wife Cléanthis in Amphitryon by Molière. In the later reworking by Heinrich von Kleist her name is Charis.

     Video Games 
  • Aerith and Zack form this to the God-confirmed Alpha Couple of Cloud and Tifa in Final Fantasy VII, since Aerith and Zack are both dead at the end.
  • Bubble Symphony, aka Bubble Bobble 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(source) , the new Beta Couple in Bubble Bobble Plus (WiiWare). They're still magenta and orange and both female.
  • Another subversion: 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 Outs 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 Lunar: The Silver Star. However, they're quite a bit more dysfunctional than the game's Alpha Couple of Alex and Luna. Nash and Mia, too.
  • Tali'Zorah vas Normandy and Garrus Vakarian at the end of Mass Effect 3, 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.
  • Aveline and Donnic in Dragon Age II. Notable for requiring an extremely silly sidequest to bring about, and for the even sillier lines the whole thing draws from the rest of your team.
    Varric: "Let me draw you a picture of where she wants you to touch her..."
  • Maybe not in a strictly romantic sense, but in Kingdom Hearts, 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 Illusion of Gaia, to main couple Will and Kara.
  • Ashelin and Torn from Jak and Daxter.
  • To some degree, Steiner and Beatrix in Final Fantasy IX.
  • Also to some degree, Irvine and Selphie in Final Fantasy VIII.
  • Lulu and Wakka from Final Fantasy X, who have a bit more of a harder time getting together than Tidus and Yuna, who were pretty much in Love at First Sight. Though understandable, as Lulu had previously been with Wakka's brother (who had died). But interestingly enough, 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.
  • Tales of Symphonia: Dawn of the New World has Lloyd and Colette.
  • Tales of Graces has barely enough evidence to give the Beta Couple designate to Pascal and Hubert. The amount of Ship Tease and the shippers on deck should make this really obvious...except the game yanks any romantic conclusion away at the last minute because Pascal is so Oblivious to Love.
  • Tales of the Abyss has 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 Dragon Quest V.
  • Agarest Senki 2 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 Cross Edge.

     Visual Novels 

    Web Comics 
  • A literal Beta Couple from El Goonish Shive. Okay. That was an awful pun.
    • In universe, though, Elliot and Sarah take this role, with Tedd and Grace serving as the main couple. Or Ellen and Nanase. Not sure where they fit.
      • Tedd/Grace and 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 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 Hooked Up Afterwards, and there are a fair share of Heterosexual Life-Partners.
    • 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 Handsome Lech and a stoic Deadpan Snarker can be. They become the main couple in the Spin-Off webcomic Friendly Hostility.
  • Erika and Largo in 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 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, 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 The Order of the Stick, who manage to play the calm, laid-back beta couple to Haley and Elan's angst-ridden alpha despite the fact that Roy spends a large proportion of a plot-arc dead. The role is also played by Mauve Shirt couple Kazumi and Daigo, who are happily married (and expecting) already, despite having only gotten together after Haley and Elan got together.
  • In most 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.
  • Mell and Caliban in Narbonic are a nice, steady evil couple who provide nice contrast to the main pairing of Dave and Helen.
  • Abbey and Daisy in Bittersweet Candy Bowl. 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, Slick sees Percy's romance and wishes his life were that simple.
  • Sunstone has the happily married Cassie and Tom make the various romantic heroes look like the shambles they are.

    Western Animation 
  • Code Lyoko: 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 Official Couple while the love square never gets resolved.
  • Zuko and Mai of Avatar: The Last Airbender .
    • Sokka and Suki as well.
  • Barney and Betty Rubble, to Alpha Couple Fred and Wilma Flintstone. In 1973, Charlton comics gave Barney and Betty their own book.
  • Matrix and AndrAIa in ReBoot.
  • Winx Club 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. At the end of season 4, there are only four due to Nabu's death.
  • Gerald and Phoebe from Hey Arnold!; heck, unlike Arnold and Helga this one isn't (mostly) one-sided.
    • Word of God mentioned that they would have been an explicit Beta Couple in 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 Phineas and Ferb. 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 older Vanessa is a Beta Couple for Phineas and Isabella.
  • Bonnie and Junior, and, more notably, Drakken and Shego in Kim Possible.
  • Beezy and Saffi, paired up by Jimmy Two-Shoes who is yet to know about Heloise's feelings for him.
  • Amy Wong and Kif Kroker from Futurama.
  • Libby and Sheen from Jimmy Neutron.
  • Skeeter and Beebe from Doug, to the title character and Patti, eventually.
  • Gunther and Jackie on Kick Buttowski, 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 Recess, it's hinted that Vince and Gretchen would become this eventually to T.J. and Spinelli.
  • Super Robot Monkey Team Hyperforce Go! has an inversion. It's the main character who has a Beta Couple relationship with his Robot Girl 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 more dysfunctional dynamic, pretty much making them the Alpha Couple of the show.
  • Adventure Time'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.
  • Roswell Conspiracies: Aliens, Myths and Legends: The Detail Team, Fitz and Neema, form the beta as opposed to Nick and Sh'lainn.
  • Bonnie and Joey and briefly Brian and Jillian in Family Guy to Peter and Lois
  • Ned and Maude in the early seasons of The Simpsons, Apu and Manjula in later seasons.
  • Rogue and Gambit in X-Men, playing backup to the Cyclops / Jean Grey / Wolverine love triangle.


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