Official Couple. There may have been Unresolved Sexual Tension earlier, romantic feelings on either side or even an unmistakable Held Gaze or two, but that was all on paper. This is it, the actual relationship. It's happening, starting now. In a work, it's that point where until further notice there's no more sense in asking Will They or Won't They?. In Real Life, it's that point beyond which you'd feel justified calling the other person "my boyfriend/girlfriend". This is the kind of plot development that gets an audience's attention, so it is often seen in parts of the plot where it is imperative for the story to do just that (e.g. in delivering a Plot Twist or a Cliff Hanger, or as a cherry on top of the series Grand Finale). If the relationship was a major source of tension in the work, and the writers don't plan for introducing a new source of this nature instead of the one they just blew apart with this big bang of a payoff, they might find out the audience is not as interested in the story any more. Most commonly broadcasted with a First Kiss, but every once in a while you find a more... drastic variant (Glad-to-Be-Alive Sex comes to mind). Compare Relationship Reveal — a moment where an implied but existing couple becomes canon. A move from casual to serious can involve I Got You a Drawer. Also compare They Do- the point past which the Romance Arc is concluded and the relationship becomes a constant that feeds other plot threads. Though they often coincide (e.g. in a Last Minute Hookup) the two are far from synonymous; a Relationship Upgrade can be the beginning of hardships, trials and tribulations that the relationship may not survive at all. Not to be confused with characters upgrading their abilities by socialization. Beware: this page might contain spoilers.
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Anime & Manga
- For Digimon Adventure 02, the Christmas Episode was an opportunity to upgrade some relationships— i.e. Ken and Iori could from that moment on converse with each other in a friendly, civil way rather than with constant unease. Also, Ken laughed for what was pretty much the first time — much to everyone's amazement. In the more traditional use of the term, this was also implied to be when Sora and Yamato/Matt started dating.
- In the last episode of Candy Boy, Yukino and Kanade's relationship appears to get an upgrade from a Romantic Two-Girl Friendship to something more—not hindered by the fact that they are fraternal twin sisters.
- Mahou Sensei Negima!:
- Chapter 252. "With ultimate love and ultimate power, the ultimate duo is finally born!!" And lo, did the Konoka/Setsuna fans Squee.
- Chapter 262 sees Kotaro and Natsumi forming a Pactio and admitting how much they care about one another. Whether this shoves them into Official Couple is up for interpretation, but they made some kind of progress.
- And now, as of the finale, Kotaro and Natsumi are married. They have achieved Official Couple Status.
- Mazinger Z: The moment Kouji and Sayaka becoming an item varies between adaptations, but in the Gosaku Ota alternate manga, it happened when they kissed right before Kouji sortied to fight a hopeless battle against the Mykene Empire army.
- Karin, when Usui finally acknowledges the millions of hints given to him that Karin and him were meant to be and does what Karin herself was too scared (for good reason) to do and confesses to her. This drives Karin to tears.
- Science Ninja Team Gatchaman: It happened at the end of the third series (Gatchaman Fight) when Jun finally chose Ken over Joe and they got together.
- Aoi Hana has Akira asking Fumi out, after learning Fumi has feelings for her.
- The kiss between Jean and Nadia may be treated as the moment where this upgrade takes place. Unfortunately, it was very inconveniently placed in the middle of an arc, with about 20% canon material. (And even then, it's treated as a cruel tease, as the writers quickly take them back to square one instantly afterwards.) Regardless, they end up as an official couple in the epilogue (although 31, and 35-39 also show the upgrade).
- Toradora! is a good example of this trope. With a confusing Love Dodecahedron and twice your daily serving of Will They or Won't They? , Taiga and Ryuuji finally get upgraded from ...whatever they were, to a couple in episode 24, where Ryuuji proposes to Taiga.
- At the end of ...Virgin Love Kaoru and Daigo upgrade from Friends with Benefits to lovers after Kaoru overcomes his commitment issues.
- In Fullmetal Alchemist, Ed and Winry play out this trope well. Before leaving for the west, Ed somewhat "confesses" his feelings to Winry at the train station, using the words: "It's equivalent exchange! I'll give you half of my life, so give me half of yours!" Though he corresponds alchemy with love, Winry acknowledges what he really means, resulting in her agreeing to give him all of her life. Then, she quickly corrects herself, being flustered when those words dawned on her. Depending on how you want to interpret it (some say this was a proposal, while others say it was merely a confession), Ed and Winry end up with two children anyway, not to mention a wedding ring on Edward's finger. After spending their entire life denying any romantic feelings, they pass their comfort zone and hit home run!
- In Mobile Suit Gundam SEED, Mu la Flaga and Murrue Ramius manage to upgrade from Unresolved Sexual Tension into an actual relationship only after they've defected from the Earth Alliance and are thus no longer officially constrained by the military's rules against fraternization.
- At the end of Happy Lesson, Chitose's mothers decide that he's a grown man and doesn't need mother figures anymore...he needs wives. They all change into bridal gowns and marry the poor guy on the spot.
- Done very methodically in Psyren between Ageha and Amamiya, after quite a length of implied Two Guys and a Girl and light harem.
- Occurs at the end of episode 18 of D.N.Angel between Daisuke and Riku.
- In Fairy Tail, Alzack and Bisca are revealed to have gotten married after the time skip. Sherry is also engaged to Ren after the Oracion Seis arc hints at them getting together.
- In The Familiar of Zero Louise and Saito start getting serious with their relationship at the beginning of the fourth season, they also marry at the end of the series.
- Guts and Casca from Berserk go from teeth-clenched comrades to Fire-Forged Friends in volume 8 and then finally to Official Couple status when they share their first kiss in volume 9 progressing to much lovemaking soon after. And then it all started to come tumbling down in volumes 12-14 when they were demoted from Battle Couple to Star-Crossed Lovers.
- Daisuke and Hinako in Bitter Virgin finally become a couple in the end. Sadly, not even they think it will last because they assume one day they would find someone better to support them.
- Mallow and Shallot one of Clover's friends and the main characters of the ''Happy Happy Clover'' Manga series by Tatsuyama Sayuri. Are mostly very quiet around each other when Kale and Clover are around. But when Clover and Kale aren't around, Shallot get's extremely shy around Mallow since he has a secret crush on her. His first attempt to let Mallow know about this is when Shallot asked Clover to deliver a letter to Mallow telling her about this. Clover does but Kale's baby brothers learns about this and begins spreading it around the entire forest including Mallow. In the end, they all get confuse but Clover's parents understand whats actually going on with them. In the final volume, Shallot hurts himself and Mallow (Now a nurse) learns that Shallot likes her which results in Mallow giving him tons of hugs ever since. In the epilogue, they are happily married and have kids of their own.
- In Detective Conan, Wataru Takagi and Miwako Sato get their relationship upgrade in the second part of the "The Scar that Evokes the Past" arc. After Takagi is beaten near death and then shot when he's in a Hostage Situation with the killer of the week, Sato visits him at the hospital and she is relieved the he's okay. At the end, when he mentions how many almost kisses have taken place between them, she leans over him and actually gives him a Big Damn Kiss, establishing their relationship.
- Similarly, the "Timeless Sakura Love" case is the one where Sumiko Kobayashi and Ninzaburo Shiratori also become a couple. Kobayashi is the star witness to a case that Shiratori is working on, she learns about his former courting of Sato and almost cuts him off because she fears he's using her to forget Sato, he tells her that she was his First Girl After All but she still is unconvinced and depressed... but once the culprit fails to do her in and Shiratori gives him a Shut Up, Hannibal! that sounds almost exactly like the one from their Forgotten First Meeting, she remembers him from their shared past, and accepts his definitive Love Confession.
- Billy and Devon in Season 9 of Buffy the Vampire Slayer.
- In season 10 Buffy and Spike hook up. Fans rejoiced.
- Pictured above is Scott Pilgrim & Ramona Flowers finally declaring their love for one another in Vol. 4.
- In Garfield, Liz has somehow fallen for Jon after years of begrudgingly dating him and the two are now the Official Couple. This can be considered a good thing given Jon's status in life.
- Clark and Lois were casually dating already, but the Relationship Upgrade happens in "Krisis of the Krimson Kryptonite", when he proposes. Word of God is that originally she was supposed to turn him down because of her torch for Superman and status quo would be God, but then they realised that simply wasn't the Lois they were writing any more.
- Marvel Comic characters Rictor and Shatterstar spent a few years seeming like Heterosexual Life-Partners, with the author planning to reveal that they weren't so hetero after all. He got moved off the book before this could happen, and it wasn't until much later that another writer had them finally start dating.
- The New 52: Superman and Wonder Woman become a couple since Justice League # 12.
- While Star Lord and Kitty Pryde had been seeing each other for some time, both refused to admit that they were boyfriend and girlfriend to their respective teammates. It took the events of The Black Vortex for them to come right out and say it, eventually concluding with Peter proposing to Kitty, and Kitty accepting his proposal.
- At some point during the eight-month Time Skip between Serenity and Leaves on the Wind, Mal and Inara became a couple, resolving their Belligerent Sexual Tension from Firefly.
- In the My Little Pony: Friendship Is Magic fanfic Rainbow in the Dark, Brownie and Rainbow Dash start as simple friends, but at the end of the story they officially become a couple.
- A Crown Of Stars: In chapter 24 after considerable soul-searching and getting plenty psychological counsel, Shinji and Asuka have a very serious talk. Shinji confesses his feelings and they agree to try and to have a real relationship even if Asuka has not come to terms with her own feelings yet.
- Advice And Trust: Shinji and Asuka became a couple in chapter 1 which happens two months before the prologue. During their First Kiss Shinji accidentally places his hands on Asuka's hips, which leads her to think he is reciprocating and intensify the kiss. In turn Shinji realizes she is kissing him because she wants and kisses her back. After breaking their kiss they talk about their feelings, realize each other's feelings and get together.
- The first eight chapters of the My Little Pony: Friendship Is Magic fanfic A Delicate Balance are more or less entirely about Twilight's attempt to upgrade her relationship with Applejack without messing up their current relationship.
- The Child of Love: In chapter 5 after Asukaís attempted suicide Shinji and Asuka go to a festival. After watching fireworks they have a long, civil talk during which they decide to get together.
- Evangelion 303: Shinji and Asuka became lovers in chapter 5 (when she seduced him), and in chapter 13 they got engaged.
- HERZ: Shinji and Asukaís happened in 2020 after Shinjiís attempted suicide. Rei encouraged Asuka to open up to him. They reached out to each other, and got married two years later.
- In Peggy Sue fanfic The Second Try, the upgrade happens in chapter 4, "Love". After a heated argument related to Kaworu, Asuka finally musters the courage to confess her feelings to Shinji. Naturally he tells her that reciprocates. Given the mind-numbing complexities of time-travel, we see Shinji and Asuka like a couple BEFORE we see the upgrade.
- Chapter 28 of Weightless finally let Shepard and Garrus do this, after a series of extremely long and painful UST.
- A Growing Affection gives Hinata and Naruto four; in chapter one they become training partners to get to know each other better. In chapter 38 they become an official couple. In chapter 90, they get engaged; and the final chapter deals with their wedding.
- Children of Time has one episode in which Boy Meets Girl and Boy and Girl Become Official Couple at the end... much to the dismay of Sherlock Holmes, who is rather less than enthusiastic to see his best friend falling in love again.
- The end of Vinyl and Octavia Have Multiple Dates ends with this.
- That moment in Chapter 14 of Origin Story where Alex reveals that she's had an epiphany about her awkward relationship with Louise:
Alex Harris: "So anyway, uh, after I sort of figured out I loved you, I started asking myself if this was for real. I mean, uh, are our feelings for each other real? Are we really falling in love, or are we just desperate? I feel love for you. I love you. I know I love you. I can feel it. ButÖ butÖ you were in a really crap place, and I was in a really crap place, and maybe we just, uh, I donít know, latched on each other, you know? I was just sort of wondering. Just wondering if we, you and me, if we hooked onto the only people we know who gave a shit. You know? Iíve been thinking about it, I mean. The whole desperation thing. About whether our feelings are real. And itís why Iíve come to a decision about leaving you behind and hiding to keep you safe and whether or not weíre just being desperate. Iíve come to a decision about all of it. And what Iíve decided is, I donít care. I love you, Louise. I know weíre not to the in love stage, but I want to be there. And Iím not running away from you. Iím not going anywhere unless youíre going with me."
- Simon and Kaylee finally get it on at the very end of Serenity. They should've checked the ceiling before they chose their base of operations.
- Modesty Blaise and her sidekick in the 1967 movie version (and they sing about it). This is one of the reasons The Movie is considered Canon Discontinuity.
- In Kung Fu Panda 2, Tigress has changed from a bitter resenter of Po becoming the Dragon Warrior, to his best friend with some Ship Tease of becoming still more to him.
- After years of Unresolved Sexual Tension and Tony's sleeping around, he and Pepper finally get together at the end of Iron Man 2.
- Harry Potter
- Harry and Ginny in Harry Potter and the Half-Blood Prince.
- Same with Ron and Hermione in Book 7.
- Book four of The Immortals has Daine and Numair realizing that they were meant for each other. The previous books give a few clues to this end, but not all that many - the fact that Daine was in her early teens and Numair in his late twenties, and her teacher, made him uncomfortable about the thing. Luckily for the author's observing Moral Guardians, Daine was already at an age where she would be considered an adult in her time period before this happened, and by that time Daine and Numair were no longer teacher and student, but friends and co-workers.
- Luke Skywalker and Mara Jade. Han and Leia went through it. So did Jacen and Tenel Ka. Even Ben looks like he's going to get his own version of his parents' relationship in the person of Vestara Khai.
- Averted for Ben and Vestara. Their relationship starts with Belligerent Sexual Tension, and goes on to Dating Catwoman instead of friendship, and as of Vortex, Vestara can never go back to the sith, and decides to stick around and help Luke and Ben.
- In the Nightrunner series, Alec and Seregil get upgraded to Official Couple after almost two books of Ho Yay.
- In the third book of Dora Wilk Series, Dora and Miron go from Just Friends with UST to Official Couple.
- In Percy Jackson and the Olympians, just before Percy releases his power on the telekhines at Mount St. Helens, Annabeth kisses him.
- Except that was a "if you don't get out of this alive" kiss. The real Relationship Upgrade happens after the final battle at camp, when she gives him his birthday cupcake.
- Heavily played with in the Dresden Files series. Even Word of God Jim Butcher has no idea who Harry will end up with.
- Skin Game might finally have sealed Harry and Karin as a couple. They spend the end of the book making out in the hospital, at least. Though Murphy herself says "I am on so many drugs" in the middle of it and Molly seems to have finally accepted that their mentor/student relationship is truly over, so don't expect things to be that cut and dry.
- Song at Dawn: Estella and Dragonetz have a Big Damn Kiss while practicing a love duet. The deal is sealed that night.
- In Smoke and Ashes, Tony and Lee finally hook up after three books of Everyone Can See It. In the short story See Me, set couple of years later, they are now living together.
- In the Mary Russell series, Mary Russell and Sherlock Holmes finally hook up in the last page of second book after around twenty chapters worth of tension, we finally get them kissing. In which you better enjoy it. It's the only major kiss you'll read in a series of twelve novels!
- By the start of the third book of The Powder Mage Trilogy Taniel and Ka-Poel finally become a couple after the former finally realises how he feels about his companion.
Live Action TV
- Scrubs dabbled with this repeatedly in the relationship between JD and Elliot. At one stage they even became no-strings-attached "sex buddies", which JD says is the best thing a man can hear from a female friend. They receive their true Relationship Upgrade into Official Couple during the final (well technically there's another season, but in truth it's really more of a spin off setting/content-wise) season, one that is clean and without any drama mucking it up (aside from one bit of drama that arbitrarily arises during the two-part episode, but that is mostly to make way for a strong Crowning Moment of Heartwarming at the end).
- In the middle of the final season of I Dream of Jeannie, Major Nelson finally drops the Idiot Ball and confesses his feelings for and to Jeannie.
- In the final episode of the first series of Torchwood, Captain Jack Harkness and Ianto finally (and very dramatically) kiss in front of the team — not quite a Last Minute Hookup but almost.
- Played With throughout season 2 with Toshiko and Owen: all of their relationship development takes place after Owen becomes undead, and Owen absolutely does not care what happens anymore. They share a mid-battle kiss, have that date that Tosh wanted all along, dance quite romantically at a wedding, and eventually say a tearful goodbye. They both realise how thoroughly dysfunctional it is and that they're both just going through the motions and waiting for the end.
- Jim and Pam on The Office (US) got a Relationship Upgrade between seasons three and four, and then another one later on.
- Harry and Christine in Night Court. A bit of a subversion in that they don't date for very long before deciding they work Better as Friends.
- In Battlestar Galactica, after 3 and 1/2 seasons of subtle growth and development, Laura Roslin told Bill Adama that she loved him, to which he responded "About time."
- In Hannah Montana Oliver and Lilly had been friends since kindergarten and now are an official couple.
- A milder example than others, since the actual moment of upgrade happened off-screen with very little build-up. Needless to say, the shippers of this couple felt rather cheated.
- As of season 3, The Big Bang Theory. (Boy, considering how central UST is to the show, even posting this is practically a spoiler!)
- Topher and Bennett, just before Saunders shoots Bennett in the head.
- And Echo and Paul, just before Alpha makes him brain-dead.
- Odo and Kira finally got this late in season six of the show after nearly a decade of UST. Miraculously the show avoids Shipping Bed Death and they're still madly in love in the series finale.
- Sonny with a Chance: Sonny and Chad go on their first date in "Falling For The Falls".
- The X-Files: Mulder & Scully are a weird example; they spent five seasons as Platonic Life Partners, then had an Almost Kiss in the first movie, and the UST became more and more overt in season 6. For the last few seasons of the show it's hinted increasingly strongly that they're already together, and in the second movie it's finally made explicit. It's not clear when the Relationship Upgrade took place, though. (The leading candidate is season 7's "all things," which features Scully evaluating her past choices about life and relationships, leading up to a scene where she's getting dressed in Mulder's bathroom while he's asleep in bed, apparently naked. This episode also occurred at about the right time before Scully's pregnancy was discovered/revealed in the season-ending episode "Requiem".)
- Olivia and Peter from Fringe.
- Which was instantly railroaded by AltOlivia switching places with the real Olivia, and an oblivious Peter continuing his relationship with (and impregnating) the wrong one. When the real Olivia found out...she didn't take it too well. It's up in the air right now whether the upgrade will hold.
- It held, or was reinstalled. Then was promptly erased from all time three episodes later.
- Until Peter somehow wills himself back into existence, they eventually get back together, Olivia announces she's pregnant, and they time skip three years to show Peter and Olivia very much together and raising their daughter Etta. That is, up until the Observers invade and they're separated from Etta and get encased in amber for 20-odd years. Shenanigans ensue involving the plan to defeat the Observers, and Etta dies. Eventually the Timey-Wimey Ball comes into play and the final episode ends with Peter and Olivia still together with Etta (who's back to being three years old and obviously no longer dead.) Phew!
- Which was instantly railroaded by AltOlivia switching places with the real Olivia, and an oblivious Peter continuing his relationship with (and impregnating) the wrong one. When the real Olivia found out...she didn't take it too well. It's up in the air right now whether the upgrade will hold.
- This was originally presented as Zach & Flo's story line in Season 3 of The Amazing Race. They came on as Just Friends looking for more; only they ended up averting it when Flo left the race dating a racer from another team.
- On leg 8 of Season 17, Chad proposed to Stephanie in Oman while they were waiting for their departure time to continue their leg. Their title was subsequently upgraded from "Newly Dating" to "Engaged".
- It's not really clear whether the scene at the end of the second season of The Sarah Connor Chronicles with John and Cameron in bed together is supposed to be this or the opposite, with John realizing how much of a machine she really is and understanding the sexual tension between them isn't real.
- Since he commits a Heroic Sacrifice and dives into the future to get her chip back, it seems pretty confirmed he doesn't think of her as a machine.
- Lost Girl has several.
- Bo and Dyson go from strangers to friends with benefits to lovers in season 1.
- Bo and Lauren go from friends to lovers in season 3.
- Kenzi and Hale begin a relationship in season four after three years of friendship mixed with a healthy dose of attraction.
- In Community episode Interpretive Dance Jeff and Slater have to fill out official paperwork with the college so that they can have a relationship.
- After quite a bit of Ship Tease Britta and Troy get together between seasons 3 and 4.
- On Boy Meets World, Cory and Topanga officially get together in the first episode of season three.
- What Brody wants from Abby in Against The Wall. She wants them to stay as Friends with Benefits.
- Booth and Brennan in Bones, despite several false starts, finally achieved their relationship upgrade at the end of Season 6.
- Glee: Occurs in "Original Song" between Blaine and Kurt.
- In Season 3's "Chuck Versus the Other Guy", Chuck and Sarah dropped the Will They or Won't They? pretenses and got their relationship upgrade by episode's end.
- Grissom and Sara on CSI in the season 6 finale-the last scene showed them in bed together.
- Babylon 5: John Sheridan and Delenn get theirs in "Ceremonies of Light and Dark" when he tells her, "...I can no longer imagine my world without you in it." Although they don't get their Big Damn Kiss until eight episodes later, from that episode on, they are for all intents and purposes together romantically.
- The writers and actors of Castle didn't even try to hide the fact that Kate Beckett and Richard Castle were eventually going to become a couple; the tension (which was arguably the primary driving force behind the show) was in seeing how. As of season four's finale, "Always", it finally happened where Castle proclaims his feelings for Beckett and she returns them at the end of the episode. Season five has them secretly dating (even though Everybody Knew Already, which does eventually end up out in the open) and the season ends with Castle's proposal. Season six has them working together as fiancees and planning their wedding, which is set to happen at the end of season six but things go awry when Castle vanishes on the way to the wedding. However he turns up in the season seven premiere and they eventually do get wed early into the season ("The Time of Our Lives") and are currently a crime fighting husband and wife team.
- Friends: Ross and Rachel in Season 2.
- Given that How I Met Your Mother is the Romantic Comedy of Sitcoms, this isn't exactly uncommon. Special mention goes to the season one finale where Ted and Robin finally get together after he makes it rain for her. Also notable is "Definitions", which is all about this and how the relationship-averse couple wants to stick to their Friends with Benefits deal, but Lily won't let them. Although, as Ted points out, they had their Relationship Upgrade months ago (in the previous season finale). They just never defined it.
- Happens for Josh and Donna midway through the seventh season of The West Wing. They share a in-the-heat-of-the-moment kiss after getting unexpectedly good polling numbers and consummate their relationship on Election Day shortly thereafter.
- On Spartacus: Blood and Sand, the path to Relationship Upgrade is often fraught with Official Couple Ordeal Syndrome.
- Crixus and Naevia probably have it the worst. He's a slave gladiator, she's a house slave being kept as a virgin to preserve her market value. They're Star-Crossed Lovers. Or as much as they can be given that he is kept locked in a cage at night. Then they are forcibly separated and a good chunk of Vengeance revolves around finding Naevia, and then reconnecting her with Crixus.
- Agron and Nasir have a rather less melodramatic version. There was an early kill-him-or-kiss-him dynamic however. Although a near-death experience is involved, they hook up fairly quickly and easily in comparison.
- Spartacus and Mira never make it.
- Crichton and Aeryn had one hell of a rocky road to travel on Farscape. They hook up fairly early in the series on a One Night Stand in the first season ("A Human Reaction"), but not only do they never talk about it in the episode (Crichton starts to, but Aeryn shuts him down), they don't even acknowledge they actually slept together until the season 2 premier. Although season 1 had some other Ship Tease moments (such as when stranded in "The Flax," and their farewell in the season finale before Crichton's Suicide Mission, one take of which involved an unscripted kiss) the UST doesn't start building particularly heavily until season 2, particularly the "Look at the Princess" trilogy. They confess their feelings for one another in the season 2 finale, unfortunately, it turns out Crichton is being mind-controlled by Scorpius's neural clone at the time. Due to various complications, it takes until mid-season 3 for Crichton and Aeryn to finally become an Official Couple. Unfortunately, it's after Crichton has been "twinned," and the Crichton Aeryn hooks up with dies in a Heroic Sacrifice by the end of the season. Season 4 reverses their relationship, with Aeryn doing the pursuing and Crichton avoiding her, with Noranti's help, and it's not until the last half a dozen episodes that they finally get together for real, and Crichton proposes to her at the end series finale (right before the cliffhanger ending in which they get blasted by an alien spaceship, setting up the miniseries). Whew!
- This is essentially the point of all Dating Sims and most Visual Novels.
- Played with in Tales of Legendia. Senel and Shirley had a 'bread winner and homemaker' set up pre-main story but at the time they were pretending to be siblings. At the end of the Main Narrative they actidentally enact the ferines engagement ritual and the local deity approved but at the start of Side Story they still feel like siblings.
- In the Mass Effect series, Tali and Garrus have forged a strong bond with Commander Shepard due to the events in the first game to the point where they both trust him/her unconditionally. Depending on both Shepard's gender and choices, the relationship he/she has with these two characters can turn into a romantic one.
"It does. It does feel right. After all this time. You and me."
- In the third game, it's possible to start an entirely new romance with any of the first game's love interests. This includes a male Shepard and Kaidan (though not Femshep and Ashley).
- The third game also had a moment that had many fans aaaaw'ing: if neither Tali nor Garrus was romanced and both survived the suicide mission in ME2, you can walk in on them hugging. Their embarrassed attempts at making up an excuse (she asked him to check her helmet for a rupture) to Shepard are both hilarious and heartwarming.
Garrus: Guess it helps to have something to come back to.Tali: What do you mean, 'something to come back to'? (in a flirty tone) This is just a fling, Vakarian; I'm using you for your body...!Garrus: You're so mean... and I'm okay with that.
- In the Harvest Moon series, this is an important, but usually optional part of the game. However, in Rune Factory 2, missing a Relationship Upgrade means you miss 2/3 of the game.
- In Final Fantasy VII, Cloud and Tifa's night under the Highwind, according to Word of God.
- In the Persona series, it's reaching a certain rank in your social link with a girl (or boy, if you're playing P3P). You're given the option to pursue a closer relationship. This can happen with every girl you Social Link with, and if you're already dating one, there's no reason why you can't date more. Christmas Eve is also sort of like this - one of your girlfriends (or the girl you have the highest s-link with) will call you and invite themselves over, and...
- Right at the end of Persona, Maki kisses Naoya, and they show up together when the cast reunites in the final scene.
- Sidekick Girl- Isaurio and Sidekick girl kind of just happen
- Bittersweet Candy Bowl has Mike and Sandy early on.
- In this page of Dresden Codak, Kimiko and Yvonne literally upgrade their relationship (the gadget she uses even reads FRIENDSHIP UPGRADED: CHUMS), in order to allow use of nicknames.
- Elan and Haley in the 400th Order of the Stick strip.
- Torg and Zoe from Sluggy Freelance, after years of Torg having unspoken, unrequited feelings her, have slowly gotten to the point where they frequently go on what may or may not be dates.
- Yori and Ina in No Need for Bushido have finally gotten to this point.
- Aubrey and Jason in Something*Positive. For a long time part of the group of friends the comic centres on, they're now married and have adopted a daughter.
- At the end of Scary Go Round, Amy and Ryan are friends likely to get together. After a three-year Time Skip, the follow-up strip Bad Machinery sees them recently married.
- Penny and Aggie:
- Sara and Daphne go from friends, to not on speaking terms (when Daphne, bitter over her Unrequited Love, decided to believe the "rape" slander against Sara), then back to friends again, and finally to lovers.
- Brandi and Stan go from Friends with Benefits to an exclusive relationship.
- The title characters go from enemies to friends to lovers.
- In Slightly Damned, Buwaro and Kieri finally kiss after Buwaro gets seriously injured trying to defend Kieri.
- Gunnerkrigg Court: After a lot of Ship Tease, Parley's experience with the ghost of Jeanne leads her to finally admitting her feelings for Andrew.
- After two years trapped in the meteor with her, Rose from Homestuck - coy about it as she is with her brother - arranges what she clearly intends as her first date with Kanaya.
- Tons of these throughout the comic, actually, some of them occur onscreen and others we only see the aftermath of (in some cases, the upgrade and a subsequent downgrade both occur during a time skip, so it's over before readers know that there was more to it than flirting or pretending to in order to yank Karkat's chain).
- It certainly appears that Ash & Emily from Misfile have finally gotten theirs with this page
- Nolan and Gretha from Bits And Bytes Their relationship is shown very naturally with getting to know each other, becoming friends, having feelings for one another, going on a first date, having arguments and make-ups and eventually Nolan asking Gretha to move in with him.
- In Worm, this occurs after Brian realizes his feelings for Taylor, though they aren't sure what they are after that.
- A number of other characters get together over the course of the story. Dragon and Defiant get one that occurs mostly offscreen.
- Parian and Flechette also get together, when the latter defects to the Undersiders.
- Welcome to Night Vale: Cecil's very vocal crush on Carlos is a running gag throughout the series, but in Ep. 25, Carlos indicates for the first time that the feelings are mutual. As of Ep. 27, the two are dating and despite a few rough patches they're still together as of Ep. 72.
- Kim Possible:
- In Avatar: The Last Airbender, The two Beta Couples pretty much just happened, without any proper upgrades. Meanwhile, the main couple had this no sooner than in the very final scene of the very final episode. The one beta couple was a case of New Old Flame, so they didn't need an upgrade, just a reunion after Zuko was finally un-exiled from court. As for the other, their upgrade was in the prior season, during 'Serpent's Pass'. She just got Put on a Bus for the rest of the season shortly thereafter.
- This happens twice to Korra in the The Legend of Korra:
- At the end of Season One, she becomes an Official Couple with Mako, but they eventually break up due to their conflicting personalities and priorities as well as the fact he took advantage of her memory loss when she forgot they broke up in the first place which resulted in their final break-up.
- At the end of Season Four, Korra becomes an Official Couple with her best friend Asami Sato, which was later confirmed by the creators.
- The (no longer) final episode of Futurama implied this for Leela and Fry, however the first of several movies made it more complicated. In turn the fourth movie made it look like they will finally be receiving the Relationship Upgrade. And in the first episodes of the 6th reboot season they now are a proper couple, although it's uncertain just how stable their relationship will be during the rest of the season.
- In the sixth season, they finally had sex. In Zoidberg and the Professor's bodies
- Presumably, Robin and Starfire after Teen Titans: Trouble in Tokyo.
- Cyborg: Well it's about time!
- Predictably, Danny and Sam in Danny Phantom got together by the Grand Finale.
- Casey Jones and April O'Neil (Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles) have had a series of relationship upgrades in the 2003 animated series, beginning as acquaintances, and later friends, until the third season, when they become a couple. In the latest, seventh season, Casey has proposed to April, and the two are now married. Other incarnations of the couple have gone through the process as well.
- While Candace and Jeremy from Phineas and Ferb were an Official Couple from the get-go, they don't refer to each other as boyfriend and girlfriend (and share their First Kiss) until the episode, "Summer Belongs to You." (Although the timing of their Relationship Upgrade is made more complicated by the fact that the episodes don't air in the same order they take place. In some episodes, Candace is still only crushing on Jeremy; in some episodes, they are de facto dating; and in some episodes they are "officially" boyfriend and girlfriend.) Season 3 starts with them being unquestionably canon though, as Candace tries to find out what Jeremy likes about her.
- Subverted in the movie. Isabella kisses Phineas at the end but then they're both exposed to an amnesia ray that wipes both their memories of the event. Something similar happens again in "Night of the Living Pharmacists", where Isabella finally confesses her feelings to Phineas right before they're both (temporarily) turned into zombies, thus both forgetting the confession ever happened. Though, they do end up getting together for real by the end of high school, as seen in "Act Your Age".
- Duncan and Gwen from Total Drama World Tour, who unfortunately got together by cheating on Duncan's current girlfriend Courtney.
- In The Amazing World of Gumball, Gumball and Penny enter a relationship in the Season 3 episode "The Shell".
- Singer Melissa Manchester told why she got married. One day her live in boyfriend gave her an ultimatum: he wanted more out of the relationship or he was going to end it. So they got married.
- MTV's "Friendzone" is a show where various men or women seek to get into relationships with their best friends with... varying results.