Itoshiki: You could even say that relationships in high school are a preview of love, for when you seriously fall in love!... I think I just said something smart.This is when a couple has started dating in high school. Some teenagers treat their relationships like the end-all and be-all of the world, and sometimes the author agrees, implying or directly showing that they marry and live Happily Ever After. Obviously, this rarely happens in Real Life nowadays, but "rarely" means it's still pretty much Truth in Television (just not dominant). Fiction writers might do this to avoid addressing the sad fact that the lovely couple making out at the end of a teen romance story would probably break up after high school in the real world, especially if one or both parties go to college. In a Magical Girl setting, sometimes this is justified by the assertion that they fall in love Because Destiny Says So. To some extent, this may simply be harkening back to a simpler time, as, prior to the end of World War II, a much smaller percentage of the U.S. population went to college, and those who didn't frequently married straight out of high school. Compare also with Childhood Friend Romance.
Abiru Kobushi: No, not really.
Itoshiki: Oh. Yet high schoolers these days skip the preview and go straight for the real thing!... I think I really said something smart this time.
Abiru Kobushi: No, not really.
Itoshiki: Oh. Yet high schoolers these days skip the preview and go straight for the real thing!... I think I really said something smart this time.
open/close all folders
Anime and Manga
- Bleach has Ichigo Kurosaki and Orihime Inoue, who met in their junior high years (in very troubled circumstances), then were high school classmates and had lots of Ship Tease while still in school, and by the end of the manga were Happily Married.
- Gohan and Videl in Dragon Ball Z and Dragon Ball GT who met when Gohan attended public school for the first time. Their first non-school interaction was her chasing him down in a helicopter for having saved a busload of people in his superhero identity. They eventually got married and had a daughter.
- High School of the Dead has Saya and Hirano. Especially poignant since Saya used to have a crush on Takashi when they were children... but since he's in a Love Triangle with Rei and Saeko, she and Hirano started having Belligerent Sexual Tension...
- In Jewelpet Sunshine, Ruby (a Jewelpet) and Mikage (a human) fall in love in the last year of high school and after finishing it, at the end of the show, Mikage makes the decision of turning into a Jewelpet so he can be with her forever.
- In Kare Kano we have Yukino and Arima, due to Teen Pregnancy.
- In the Kashimashi: Girl Meets Girl manga, the sweethearts are bound by the "fate-gene" and will both die when one of them stops loving the other. Add this to the fact that they are still very young and of the same gender in a fairly homophobic society and you have a situation which might complicate their future lives.
- Akane and Kazuya in Mai Hime are paired up right from the get-go. When he dies, Akane's whole world collapses. When Kazuya's Back from the Dead, Akane recovers and happily joins the last HiME battle, and they're last seen as borderline Sickeningly Sweethearts.
- Yumi and Sachiko from Maria-sama ga Miteru might qualify. In any case, Sachiko wants to attend Lilian University just to stay near Yumi.
- In the original Mazinger Z manga, and most of continuities, Kouji and Sayaka are this, meeting and falling in love when they attended high-school.
- Rino and Nozomu from My Girlfriend Without Wasabi met their first day of college (Nozomu's first day anyways, Rino was a third year student). By the time of I Can't Understand What My Husband is Saying four years later, they're Happily Married.
- Haru and Tsurezure from Ojojojo started dating when they were 17/16 and a newspaper article in Komori-san Can't Decline! (set about 4 years later) clarifies that they got married about four years later. The epilogue to their series even shows that they have a kid.
- In Ouran High School Host Club, Haruhi and Tamaki start dating at the end of their first/second year of high school and got married about two years later.
- RaButa follows the relationship of Harundo Horiuchi and Kurume Gotouchi. All of their cameos in later Cool-Kyou Shinsha works depict them as a married couple.
- Ranma ½, though they have a rough time getting there, and never do quite make it, Word of God says they will eventually work it out.
- Sailor Moon:
- The manga perpetrated the Because Destiny Says So version of the trope with Mamoru and Usagi, but mostly averted it otherwise. (Usagi is in middle school and Mamoru is finishing high school), but it's averted in the 90s anime where Mamoru is already in college. Then Sailor Moon Crystal puts Mamoru back into highschool.
- Haruka and Michiru are a straight example, though.
- School Days. DON'T make us elaborate.
- Takashi and Miho, Hana's parents, from 7 Seeds had a "students' marriage" when they were in college.
- Tiger & Bunny's first Drama CD implies that Kotetsu Kaburagi married Tomoe Amamiya, a superhero fan from his high school class who helped him come up with his eventual superhero codename. (Not only that, but she was actually thrilled to learn that he wanted to be a superhero, since she had thought he was a delinquent up until then!) Sadly, poor Tomoe was also an Ill Girl, and she passed away some years before the series started.
- Tokyo Mew Mew. This even extended to Ichigo's parents, who themselves met in junior high.
- Tonari no Kashiwagi-san:
- Yuuto wants this sort of relationship with Kotone, to the point that he applied to the same university as her (which is actually far harder than the one he was initially planning on going to).
- Kotori and Takuya's relationship is half this, half Childhood Friend Romance, since she was in 12th grade and he was in 6th when they started dating.
- The manga Ultra Maniac includes not one but three couples who pair up in junior high, and are still strongly together at the end of high school, suggesting a Happily Ever After for all of them.
- Played with in Ultimate Spider-Man. In #13, Peter tells his best friend Mary Jane his secret, but Mary's squeals of delight lead Aunt May to a wrong conclusion as to what is going on in Peter's room. She however reminds Peter that his parents met in high school.
- A Crown of Stars: Shinji and Asuka met in middle school. The liked each other but due to their numerous traumas and the ongoing war they were unable to connect. After the war and the end of the world they were forcibly separated for three years. They met again but they were apparently too mind-broken to have a healthy relationship. Though they got help and after many talks, soul-searching and forgiveness they reconciled and got married.
- Advice and Trust: After their First Kiss Shinji and Asuka had a long, civil talk where they open up to each other and realized they were the same. They got together but they tried to keep their relationship secret out of fear to be separated. When an adult found out about their relationship and objected they firmly declared this was NOT a middle-school crush and they did not plan breaking up... ever.
- The Child of Love: Shinji and Asuka were fourteen and went to the same school when they had an one-night stand and Asuka got pregnant. Asuka's pregnancy strained their complicated relationship but they fell in love despite everything and after a while got married.
- Children of an Elder God: Shinji, Asuka and Rei met when they were fourteen. Although Shinji also had feelings for Rei he fell in love with Asuka. At the end of the history he and Asuka left human civilization together. It is implied that they will always be together, not matter what.
- Doing It Right This Time: Shinji, Rei and Asuka were fourteen when they met (the latter was thirteen to be precise). Shinji liked both girls and they liked him back, but due to their psychological issues they were unable to make a connection. After going through a war, the end of the world and returning to the past they do not want to repeat past mistakes and they are very sick of romantic angst, jealousy and woe so the three of them get together.
- Ghosts of Evangelion: Shinji and Asuka met when they were fourteen and thirteen, respectively, and they remained together during their whole lives.
- Shinji and Asuka cared for each other since they were thirteen, but due to their numerous trauma and neuroses they were unable to reach out each other until they were nineteen. For the time the story starts out they have been married for five years.
- Touji and Hikari are a straighter example, having met in middle school and being together (and engaged) after twelve years.
- Higher Learning: Shinji and Asuka went to the same middle school and they liked each other but they could not connect due to their troubles and their different ways to deal with their psychological issues. However a new teacher encouraged them to look things from another perspective and they slowly grew closer and eventually became a couple.
- The Ikaris: Shinji and Asuka liked each other but they were in denial and oblivious to each other's feelings. Then one night they got drunk and got married. To Asuka's distress and annoyance she found out the marriage was legal even if they were only fourteen.
- Last Child of Krypton: Asuka started to go to Shinji's school when she moved to Misato's apartment. During the Angel War they grew closer and eventually fell in love and got married. At the last chapter of the redux Asuka told him she got pregnant.
- Once More with Feeling: Shinji and Asuka were fourteen and thirteen respectively when they met. They liked each other but Shinji never saw it until it was too late. After returning to the past he is trying to make things right this time and hook up with the only girl he has ever loved.
- The One I Love Is: Asuka and Rei competed over Shinji when they went to the same school until he chose Asuka. In the epilogue they got married.
- RE-TAKE: Two-for-one in this story. After returning to the past -or so he thought- Shinji starts to reach Asuka out. They fell in love and Asuka proposed to him despite of them being only fourteen. Later Shinji found out that was not his past but an alternate dimension. He returned to his own time with his Asuka and they finally got together. Meanwhile their counterparts tried to solve their own issues. The series concludes when that timeline's Shinji travels Germany to find his Asuka and proposed to her. She says yes.
- Superwomen of Eva 2: Lone Heir of Krypton: Asuka and Shinji went to the same middle-school together. Shinji fell for Asuka because her passion and bravery and Asuka fell for Shinji for he was nice, caring and was always there for her. After a talk where Asuka told she needed someone she could rely upon and Shinji confessed, they got together.
- The Second Try: Due to the complexities inherent to time-travel Shinji and Asuka are middle-schoolers... and are married, although no one else knows. After the end of the world they worked together to survive, fallen in love and got married... and then they were sent back in time, waking up in their teenager bodies. Before the Final Battle Shinji proposed to Asuka again (technically for first time) and she accepted. In the sequel they were planning their wedding.
- Thousand Shinji: Shinji met Asuka when he was fourteen. Despite of being a trickster and a manipulative bastard he fell for her very, very hard. She also fell in love with him, and for the end of the story they were married.
- In Neon Genesis Evangelion: Genocide, Shinji and Asuka were teenagers when they met and fell in love. Although they love each other, they argued and fought a lot, and Shinji despaired of coming to understand Asuka. However, after the death of Kaworu they slowly learn to open up to each other, and Shinji swears that he'll never leave her, not matter what.
- The Back to the Future trilogy:
- In Back to the Future, Lorraine states that she knew she would spend the rest of her life with George McFly after they kissed at the High-School Dance. Depending which timeline you're using, this is one week or less after she met him. There may be a slight subversion, though, as in the original timeline, the marriage was less than perfect.
- The main character, Marty, also has this relationship with his girlfriend, Jennifer — we see them married with two kids in Back to the Future Part II. Again, in this first timeline, the marriage isn't very happy.
- The High School Musical trilogy:
- Troy and Gabriella. In the final movie they end up going to colleges 32.7 miles away from each other, so they can stay together. note .
- Chad and Taylor offer a more realistic example: They date for most of the trilogy but let things comes to an end when they graduate, as Chad admits that you don't take the girl with you after high school. The other couples such as Ryan/Kelsi, Jason/Martha and Zeke/Sharpay are also shown to be more casual, and it's obvious Troy and Gabriella are the exception rather than the rule.
- Brutally parodied by Not Another Teen Movie. Jake spends much of the film trying to get together with Janey. At the end, she debates whether she should go off to an art school in Paris. Jake starts to convince her not to go, then he realizes the problems with this trope:
Jake: Maybe you should get on that plane to Paris. Cause if you stay, we really only have the summer, then I go to college and we'll talk on the phone and spend the occasional weekend together which is nice. But chances are one night I'm gonna get wrecked and have unprotected sex with some girl in my dorm. You'll find her thong and call me a slut... I'll call you a cock-tease and we'll break up. So when you really think about it, what's the point?
- In Se7en, Bradd Pitt and Gwyneth Paltrow are a married couple who were high school sweethearts. Morgan Freeman comments on how rare that is. It does NOT end well, sadly.
- The ultimate fate of Jenna and Matt in 13 Going on 30.
- The Hunger Games: They don't actually attend high school but Katniss Everdeen and Peeta begin their romance at age sixteen.
- Andy and Polly, two teens in Everytown, America in the Andy Hardy film series. No matter what momentary complications ensue, Andy and Polly are getting back together by the end—until series finale Andy Hardy Comes Home, a revival produced 12 years after the main series ended. Actress Ann Rutherford, regarding the High School Sweethearts trope to be unrealistic, refused to return, so a new character was introduced as Andy's wife.
- Celeste And Jesse Forever: Celeste and Jesse married each other fresh out of high school, which is one of the reasons why their break-up is so rocky.
- Almost all the main couples in Jodi Picoult's books. They may not still be together, but they did (or will) get married.
- Several from the Harry Potter books: most notably Ron/Hermione and Harry/Ginny, but also James/Lily and Arthur/Molly. Neville/Hannah might be another example, but it's not clear whether they dated at Hogwarts or got together later.
- Justified, given that Hogwarts is the only school for magic-users in the UK, and British magical society has rather strong Hidden Elf Village tendencies, it's kind of inevitable that this trope would be the norm.
- One aversion of this is Bill Weasley and Fleur Delacour, as the latter went to Beauxbatons instead of Hogwarts, but that was because she was born and lived in France during her teenage years.
- Edward Cullen and Bella Swan from Twilight got married a few weeks after they both graduated from High School and had their baby a month after it... and it wasn't out of wedlock... Yeah, Twilight is weird like that.
- Averted in Betsy-Tacy. Despite the large Crowd and multiple love affairs, very few characters end up marrying their high school sweetheart, and instead marry someone they met after graduation.
- A variation occurs in The Hunger Games. Katniss and Peeta don't actually attend school after their games, but they become a couple at seventeen and spend the rest of their lives together.
Live Action TV
- Buffy the Vampire Slayer: Buffy's parents, Joyce and Hank, though they were actually college sweethearts. Joyce met Buffy's father at a school dance, while going stag.
- Pictured above: Zach and Kelly on Saved by the Bell; it even got lampshaded in one episode.◊
- Boy Meets World, which started in Elementary School. Though to be fair, Cory considered Topanga a freak back then, and he didn't really like her until about Middle School.
- Later retconned into being "he always loved her, but Eric teased him so much he assumed a 'girls are icky' persona to fit in." How much this explanation works is open to debate.
- Bob and Amy Duncan in the Disney Channel original series Good Luck Charlie. Bob played basketball; Amy was the mascot.
- Al and Peggy from Married... with Children used to date in high school. However, their marriage is far from being happy. And it's fucking hilarious.
- Strongly implied to be the fate of Naomi and Emily in Skins (and eventually confirmed by Word of God). Averted with the earlier Tony and Michelle though, who realise that they had great times together but now they're going to different universities.
- Jenna's parents on Awkward. who married at a young age following the Teen Pregnancy that resulted in Jenna.
- Marshall and Lily on How I Met Your Mother barely escape this trope (they've been together since the first day of college). However, Lily's actual high school sweetheart, Scooter, is convinced he and Lily are this trope, and fifteen years later, he's still in love with her and chasing after her, trying to cajole her into leaving Marshall. One wonders why she hasn't slapped him with a restraining order yet...
- In the backstory of The Vampire Diaries Matt and Elena seemed to be destined to become this but the deaths of her parents caused her to break off the relationship. Then the Salvatore brothers showed up and Matt realized that they would never get back together. Considering the high death toll in Mystic Falls, it is likely that few of the high school couples will even survive to have a graduation.
- This is lampshaded and deconstructed on Shameless (US). Lip is extremely intelligent and has a great shot at a college scholarship if he can get over his Brilliant, but Lazy tendencies. His girlfriend Mandy knows that if he goes away to college, their relationship will not survive. She does not want to trap Lip in a life of poverty so she goes out of her way to motivate him to apply to colleges and even sends out applications without his knowledge.
- Gossip Girl has Chuck and Blair, and Dan and Serena.
- Subverted in the early seasons of Power Rangers. Tommy ends up marrying his Second Love, Katherine with whom he did not start dating until just prior to graduation, and spent some time away from post-Turbo.
- Summer and Seth of the The O.C. got married at the series finale.
- Donna and David from Beverly Hills, 90210 got married by the end of the series. This was eventually subverted in the spin-off, where we find out they have seperated.
- This did not work out well for Will Schuester in Glee. In fact, one might even call it a Deconstruction.
- Other than that, there are plenty of those to go around by series finale: Santana and Britney, Kurt and Blaine, Rachel and Jesse all got married (the first two couples actually had a double wedding together). Artie and Tina and Quinn and Puck are hinted to possibly become cases of this as well.
- Glee is chock full of them. As of the 5 year time jump in the final episode there are 3 canon Happily Married couples (Klaine, Brittana, and St. Berry), Tina and Artie are in a relationship, Sam and Mercedes are still circling each other, and several other couples are in some way arguably implied (Kitty and Roderick, Ryder and Unique, Quinn and Puck...)
- Played With during most of the series between Kevin and Winnie in The Wonder Years...and eventually subverted in the Grand Finale.
- Pretty Little Liars: All the relationships of the main characters are this.
- John Cougar Mellencamp's 1982 hit 'Jack and Diane' is all about this trope, and the aftermath when reality hits.
- A theme so common in youth-oriented music from the 1950's and early 1960's it could almost be a trope in itself.
- Completely deconstructed and discussed in Slick Rick's "Teenage Love" from The Great Adventures of Slick Rick. It initially starts by playing the trope straight, but after enough time passes, the relationship deteriorates badly, with the implication of the relationship becoming very one-sided. Inevitably, the couple breaks up and Rick tells the listeners "If it's not true love, you shouldn't deal with it."
- For Better or for Worse had Elizabeth and Anthony, who dated for a time in high school, decided they were Better as Friends, then were eventually Strangled by the Red String so that the strip could end with a wedding. Michael took this a few steps further with Deanna: she was his first crush back in elementary, moved away, then were reunited after he witnessed her car accident.
- Averted with the youngest Patterson, April: the Strip of Destiny revealed she'd moved away and had hooked up with an unnamed "country boy". Prior to this, however, the strip had teased the idea of her ending up with her childhood friend Gerald.
- The Tokimeki Memorial series lives and breathes this trope, thanks to the Legend of the respective High Schools of each game, where it's said that a confession at a specific place of the school (a World Tree in the first and fourth games, a Bell Tower in the second, a slope in the third, a church in the Gender Flip game) during Graduation Day will grant the young sweethearts eternal happiness in their couple. It's thus very Serious Business for (most of) the characters in those games to find love during their 3 years of High School and get this confession at the place of legend ; some of them even joined those specific schools for having the chance of being blessed by this legend, such as Yuu Satsuki of Tokimeki Memorial 4. One of the girls from the first game, Yukari Koshiki, is the fruit and living proof of the legend - her very Happily Married parents were Kirameki high students, and 20-something years ago they confessed their love under the tree.
- Aaron and Amy, two of the main characters from the Dating Sim Always Remember Me, have been together for a few years, with Amy starting her first year of college. The townspeople even acknowledge them as an Official Couple.
- Kyo Kusanagi and Yuki from The King of Fighters: It's not mentioned when they exactly started dating, but Kyo started the story as a highschool student and Yuki was one of his classmates. And years after Kyo dropped out of highschool (Comic-Book Time notwithstanding), XIII implies that they're still together, even if theirs is a Long-Distance Relationship due to obvious reasons.
- In True Love Junai Monogatari, the Faceless Protagonist's parents make him live on his own (though the flat is owned by the family) in hopes to have him get a girlfriend before he graduates from high school. Out of the eight prospect girlfriends, five (Remi, Mayumi, Mikae, Ryoko and Miyuki) attend his same school (and Mikae's case doubles as Childhood Friend Romance), and another (Katsuya's sister Arisa) goes to a local all-girls highschool, therefore they can fill in this trope if they're pursued.
- Zoophobia: Alanzo and Jackie were this, and are now Happily Married.
- Kevin & Kell: Lindesfarne and Fenton met in high school, and are now Happily Married. They avoided the whole 'splitting up due to college' part by going to the same school. Then again, considering Lindesfarne still loved Fenton despite believing him dead for almost a year, it probably wouldn't have stopped them.
- By technicality Fiona and Rudy qualify as well. They knew each other as babies, but were apparently too young to remember it, and they fought all the time anyway according to their old daycare minder, so their meeting in high school they considered their 'first' meeting.
- Penny and Aggie: The Class Reunion Distant Finale reveals that of all the teenage couples at Belleville High, only Jack and Katy-Ann stayed together and got married. Although the chapter reveals that the title couple had an Offscreen Breakup sometime during their senior year, now that six years have passed and they've both matured, they decide to give it another shot. They may end up as another example of this, but the strip ends on that note.
- Janet Claymont and Chadd Crossen from V4 of Survival of the Fittest. Turns out it was somewhat one sided though, as Chadd spent his dying moments forgiving Janet for cheating on him, whilst Janet spent hers regretting that she couldn't think of something more worthwhile than him.
- Kim Possible and Ron Stoppable in Kim Possible. They've known each other since their first day of preschool (when they were around four years old), and become an Official Couple the night of their high school prom in their junior year. The second Series Finale of the show tackled the "fall in love in high school, but what about college?"-issue. Ron, who applies everywhere on the off chance of getting in somewhere, stresses over the fact of how it's unlikely that he'll wind up at the same college as Kim, who, because of her extraordinary abilities (both physically and academically), could easily get in just about place of higher education in the world and not just the United States. Though it isn't shown what happens, Word of God says that they'll be together forever (like they'll eventually and have children together)—Word of God also says that Kim and Ron were meant to eventually get together from the very beginning instead of having them stay Just Friends for the entire franchise.
- Also, in an alternative ending to the second series finale, it was shown that Kim and Ron do end up going to the same college.
- On King of the Hill, Hank and Peggy, Bill and Lenore (before she crushed him in the divorce), and Dale and Nancy are this. And while Nancy does have an affair with John Redcorn for several years, its hard to understand how someone as odd as Dale got with her in the first place.
- Homer and Marge from The Simpsons.
- Batman Beyond, Terry and his long-time girlfriend, Dana, become this in the JLU, fully absorbed finale episode, "Epilogue", when Terry decides he's going to propose to her at the end of the episode.
- Doughy Latchkey's parents on Moral Orel are this. They still look and act like they're in high school and have find that Doughy gets in the way of this.
- As with the comics, Cyclops and Jean Grey throughout the various X-Men cartoons, highlighted most obviously in X-Men: Evolution and Wolverine and the X-Men.
- Jeff Daniels and his wife Kathleen Treado, both met in high school, in Chelsea, Michigan, and married in 1979.
- Bono and Alison "Ali" Hewson (née Stewart) both met at Mount Temple Comprehensive School in 1973, in Clontarf, Dublin, Ireland. They got married in 1982
- Snoop Dogg and his wife Shante both met in high school, in Chelsea, Michigan, and married in 1997. Snoop filed for divorce in 2004, but they reconciled their differences and stayed together.
- Mario Lucero and Isabel Lucero (née Ruiz) both met at Sandia View Academy, and stated dating in 2004, in Corrales, New Mexico. They got married on their 10th anniversary in 2014.
- Marshall "Eminem" Mathers has been twice married to Kimberly Scott, whom he met in high school. They've since separated and agreed to joint custody of their three children.note
- Vince McMahon and his wife Linda met when they were 16 and 13 respectively, and Vince proposed to Linda as soon as she graduated high school. They've been together ever since, despite all the adulterous and abusive nonsense Vince gets up to as part of the show.