Chandler: I'm married!
Wendy: So? I'm married.
Chandler: I'm happily married.
Oh. What's that like?
Against all the odds, in defiance of the laws of drama
, spitting in the face of the Awful Wedded Life
, there is...the Happily Married couple.
This is a couple, Alpha
, who are in love and not wangsting
it up dysfunctionally all the time. They avoid Poor Communication Kills
, won't jump to conclusions, and treat each other with love and respect. In short, whatever troubles they have are minor and don't lead to the misanthropy of No Accounting for Taste
or The Masochism Tango
Both inside and outside of Romance Parental Abandonment
, Shipping Bed Death
and the Cartwright Curse
tend to kill them off like flies.
It doesn't help that most drama considers the above "boring!"
(remember, Rule of Drama
) and will usually try to make things "interesting!"
with "plot twists" that threaten to split them up
, and otherwise fill their path with rocks to make them Star-Crossed Lovers
. (Their safest bet is probably as the Foil
to a more turbulent couple.)
The net effect of having a Happily Married couple in a series is one of stability. (As a general rule, Happily Married couples with kids will be depicted as more loving and more stable than those without
.) Just having them around gives viewers and characters in the show an emotional anchor and safety net, as well as someones to root for while the Official Couple
is deciding Will They or Won't They?
. (Occasionally, They Do
!) Needless to say, most viewers will thusly become very protective of said couple and complain when authors needlessly torment them.
These couples benefit from The Power of Love
. In addition, any time a sequel is set a generation later than the original, the main couple from the original will probably have this type of relationship to show that they did get a Happy Ending
— and Babies Ever After
to prove it.
Despite some fiction likening this to a Discredited Trope
, a lot
of people out there would call this Truth in Television
, which is why we won't list all those examples. (Congrats to you!) Apparently the secret is to understand that you will end up arguing at some point and that does not mean you are no longer in love but keep working at your marriage
, talk to each other
, do little things all the time, and never confuse falling in love and being in love; they feel different.
Not to be confused with Sickeningly Sweethearts
, which is basically puppy love. They can
overlap, but it's rare. This trope usually gives viewers Crowning Moments of Heartwarming
instead of tasting like diabetes
, though the cynicism of the viewers
still has to be taken into account. If and when they have kids, they will often become Good Parents
When this overlaps with Arranged Marriage
, it's a Perfectly Arranged Marriage
. When this overlaps with the characters being unrepentant villains,
it's Unholy Matrimony
. When it turns out that they're not really as happy as they let on
it's Happy Marriage Charade