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They Do
Good for them. Too bad it took them thirty freaking years.

Benedick: I protest I love thee.
Beatrice: Why, then, God forgive me!
Benedick: What offence, sweet Beatrice?
Beatrice: You have stayed me in a happy hour. I was about to protest I loved you.
Benedick: And do it with all thy heart.
Beatrice: I love you with so much of my heart that none is left to protest.

Will They or Won't They? Well, They Do.

The conclusion of a Romance Arc with a Happy Ending. The point where we are finally done with breakups, misunderstandings and second thoughts. If the story is done with them, they live Happily Ever After. If it isn't, when the rest of it happens to them they'll have each other. Give them enough time, and they'll likely be Happily Married by then.

Unless the story decides to start up a whole new string of complications from scratch somewhere in the far future, they finally get to catch a break. And chances are they had to go through a lot to earn it.

If there has been an engaging "will it work?" plot up to this point, a They Do can induce a variation of Shipping Bed Death (or, of course, it can induce the standard brand if it doubles as a Relationship Upgrade)- in which case, cue a last second split up, one party getting run over by a bus or some other malarkey. Writers may try to avert this by segueing into a new kind of story- shifting the focus to a newer couple to keep the old romance plots open, or using the stable relationship to open up fresh new avenues for comedy, drama and adventure.

Contrast with Maybe Ever After, which is when a romance arc ends without clearly confirming whether or not They Do.

Spoilers ahoy.


Examples

    open/close all folders 

    Anime & Manga 

    Ballads 
  • In The Lord of Lorn and the False Steward, the young lord and the duke's daughter.
    But then bespake the old Lord of Learne,
    To the Duke of France thus he did say,
    Seeing our children doe soe well agree,
    They shalbe marryed ere wee goe away.

    Lady of Learne shee was sent for
    Throughout Scottland soe speedilie,
    To see these two children sett vpp
    In their seats of gold full royallye.

    Comicbooks 

    Fairy Tales 
  • In The White Dove, when the prince has claimed the white dove/princess, the witch must let them marry. (She intends to kill them in the morning.)

    Fan Works 

    Films 
  • Shrek and Fiona at the end of the first film. The second and third ones are actually built around their relationship.
  • Kaylee and Simon at the end of Serenity.
  • Most Disney animated films end in a 'they do', the more recent ones with a lot of Will They or Won't They? in between.
  • In Tangled, Flynn assures us in the narration that they do — and Rapunzel makes her only comment at that point
    • "after years and years of asking and asking". the follow-up short shows he's exaggerating.
  • Unlike most Disney couples, Aladdin and Jasmine simply became engaged at the end of their first movie. They then embarked on several adventures before tying the knot.

    Literature 
  • Sabriel and Touchstone of the Old Kingdom trilogy. Just as much fun to read eighteen years into their marriage as when she unfroze him from Popsiclehood.
  • A partial list from the Deryni works: Evaine Mac Rorie and Rhys Thuryn, Alaric Morgan and Richenda Countess of Marley, Rory Haldane and Noelie Ramsay, Brecon Ramsay and Richelle Haldane, Kelson and Araxie Haldane.
  • Han Solo and Leia in the original Star Wars trilogy. Later Luke and Mara Jade in the Expanded Universe.
    • The Star Wars Expanded Universe gave us more than you would think. Corran and Mirax Horn, Wedge and Iella Antilles, Tycho and Winter Celchu, Wes Jansen and his ego... Corran and Mirax are a particularly good example, though, since they got a series chronicling their Fourth Date Marriage, then several books chronicling the results of that marriage.
  • In the Vorkosigan Saga, Diplomatic Immunity has Miles Vorkosigan Happily Married and still at the top of his game. Of course, you could say It Runs in the Family - this is the Vorkosigans we're talking about. Miles's parents Cordelia and Aral get Happily Married at the end of Shards of Honor, continue to be awesome throughout Barrayar, then settle down to a life of (comparatively) Retired Badass-ness.
  • Discworld
    • Commander Vimes started out as a parody of the Film Noir detective, so obviously he couldn't be in a happy relationship. He got married to Lady Sybil in his second appearance though and it stuck throughout the wacky adventures he's been through.
    • Magrat and Verence get married at the end of Lords and Ladies, after spending Wyrd Sisters and most of L&L in a state of mutual misunderstanding.
  • Amelia Peabody's son Ramses and adopted daughter Nefret, after going through several books of misunderstanding one another, finally get married and become another Battle Couple, without repeating the style of Peabody and Emerson (although they do produce yet another generation of alarmingly precocious children).
  • In John C. Wright's The Golden Transcedence, after two and half books insisting that Daphne Tercius, being a version of his wife Daphne Prime, is not his wife, Phaethon reflects on the differences, tells Daphne Tercius that she is not his wife, and asks her to marry him as herself, not as a version of his wife.
  • In Mystic And Rider, Senneth and Tayse are both completely Badass and made of awesome, and they finally manage to get past the Anguished Declaration of Love phase at the very end of the book. In the subsequent books, in which they are together, and then married, they are far, far more awesome because they complete each other. Battle Couple extraordinaire; terrifyingly powerful fire mystic dedicated to simple human kindness marries sword-wielding Badass Normal who loves her more than life itself.
  • Harry Potter and his best friend's sister Ginny's Big Damn Kiss in Harry Potter and the Half-Blood Prince signifies this. The same later happens with Ron and Hermione in Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows. In the Where Are They Now Distant Finale we get to see both couples married and their children.
  • In a strange variation on a theme, in Hal Duncan's The Book of All Hours, Jack Flash/Carter and Puck/Thomas really do finally get to be together (without either one being brutally murdered by the other) ... sorta. Considering how by the end of Ink, Reality has been re-written so many times that not even Reynard/Guy/Fox could put the thing back together, and he was the damn book's keeper, the fact that they're present in any shape or form is impressive, to say the least (particularly after what happened to Seamus). In any case, they get things their way eventually, in whatever variant of reality that still includes them. If you would like directions on the various interpretations of the situation, you'll find Mind Screw on your right, and you can follow that straight down until you hit Go Mad from the Revelation (after which your confusion will no longer be a problem).
  • In The Eyre Affair, there are great complaints that Jane and Mr. Rochester don't get this. Thursday fixes it. Then there's her and Landen.
  • In L. M. Montgomery's Anne of Green Gables series, one of the bigger questions is whether Anne will stop hating Gilbert and realize she's actually madly in love with him. After getting over her stubborn pride, a rejected marriage proposal, two years dating the wrong guy, and Gilbert almost dying of typhoid fever, she finally accepts his proposal and they live Happily Married ever after, with six children.
  • L. Jagi Lamplighter's Prospero Regained ends with a marriage.
  • In Poul Anderson's Time Patrol story "Gibraltar Falls", at the end, Thomas and Feliz — when he suggests a choice for her Meaningful Rename.
  • Peter Whimsey and Harriet Vane get together at the end of Gaudy Night. As kissing is followed by marriage the last book (by Sayers) shows them happily married but with lots of issues to work out (including/triggered by the body in the basement of their honeymoon cottage).
  • The Hunger Games: Katniss and Peeta.
  • The Belgariad:
    • Garion and his princess Ce'nedra spend a lot of time faffing around and bickering even during their engagement before they finally sort out their lives and admit that yes, actually, they are head over heels for each other and really if they'd been given the choice they would have chosen to marry each other anyway.
    • When Durnik becomes a disciple of Aldur, the Will They or Won't They? between him and Polgara is finally settled in the positive.
  • In Memory, Sorrow, and Thorn, Simon and Miriamele finally conclude their relationship dance post-climax, when Miriamele reveals that the real reason she's been so aloof to him is that she is afraid of losing him as a friend were she to have to take the throne of Erkynland and make a loveless political marriage. No longer willing to let that separate them, they make love then and there, and only later does Simon reveal to her what he has just learned: that he's the rightful king anyway, so marrying her won't be a problem. Happily Ever After ensues.
  • Tamora Pierce's Tortall Universe has something like this in the Song of the Lioness series where we see Alanna get with numerous men, including the handsome prince, and the tribal warrior, before finally marrying the charming rogue who had loved her all along. In the later series we see them growing old together, too.
  • Simona Ahrnstedt has ended two of her novels, Överenskommelser and "De skandalösa", in this very fashion.
  • An interesting case in Sergey Lukyanenko's A Lord from Planet Earth trilogy. Sergey first meets Terri in a park and saves her from a bunch of lowlifes. She gives him a ring and tells him she'll call on him later. A few years after that, she teleports him to her homeworld of Tar. He finds out that Terri is a princess who needs him to be her champion. Subverted in that Terri actually needs him to fight a very insistent suitor who has chased off all others, including the guy she actually wanted to marry. Against all odds, Sergey manages to defeat the Big Bad of the first novel. However, at the end of the novel, Terri tells him that he can't stay on Tar and be with her, as the people would never accept a ruler from a "cursed world" (Earth is considered to be cursed by the Seeders). Sergey gets himself a ship and begins to travel the galaxy. After defeating the Big Bads of the second novel, he once again ends up with Terri. This time, not only does she not reject him, but she chooses to go with him to the future. They are happily married in the third novel.

    Live-Action TV 
  • Babylon 5 with Sheridan and Delenn. They walked through fire for their love, and after They Do the series keeps on going.
  • Lois and Clark: The New Adventures of Superman does this with the title characters, and keeps going afterward.
  • Adama and Roslin in Battlestar Galactica. Though she died in the finale, his actions afterwards (eg: the ring) would suggest that this still applies.
    • The Agathons' marriage (Karl "Helo" Agathon and Sharon "Athena" Valeri) seems to be going OK too, despite him killing her! (It was at her request and, being a cylon, she got better).
  • Tim and Dawn at the end of The Office (UK). Their counterparts Jim and Pam on the US version similarly get the conclusion to their ongoing Will They or Won't They? at the first episode of season 4 (though you can already tell that's where they're headed at the end of season 3).
    • Michael and Holly in season 7, which eventually leads to him moving to Colorado with her and thus his departure from the series.
    • Erin and Pete in season 9 after she dumps Andy for good.
    • As of the penultimate episode of the series, Dwight and Angela when they get engaged, after which their wedding takes place a year later during the Grand Finale.
    • Ryan and Kelly apparently in the Grand Finale when they run away together.
  • John and Aeryn in Farscape finally get together for good in the second half of season 4, and get married in The Peacekeeper Wars.
  • The point where Fran and Max get married in The Nanny.
  • Sonny and Chad finally got together partway through season 2 of Sonny With A Chance. They've only been together a couple episodes but the show seems to have pulled it off successfully.
  • The X-Files' Mulder and Scully. They got together very ambiguously on the show from about season 7. In the 2008 movie, while they do have their issues, they appear to be happy together.
  • In Scrubs, there's JD and Elliot in the eighth season when they finally get together with a stable relationship after a majority of the series (aside from a break from the fourth season to end of the sixth season) went through their on-and-off-again relationship.
    • Turk and Carla in the second episode of the series, they eventually become Happily Married and are generally considered the most stable couple of the show.
    • Dr. Cox and Jordon in season 2.
  • Joel and Maggie on Northern Exposure, considered by many to be the show's Jump the Shark moment.
  • Odo and Kira's relationship in Star Trek: Deep Space Nine, which avoided becoming a Shipping Bed Death.
  • Tom and B'Elanna in Star Trek: Voyager.
  • Deliberately averted in Burn Notice. Fiona and Michael sleep together in a season 2 episode after she thought he had been killed in an explosion. In the commentary, one of the writers says that they were afraid that if the two got together, they'd play out this trope, but then realized (apparently from experience) that getting back together with an ex doesn't mean that any issues have been resolved, and often makes things more uncomfortable and complicated.
    • Played straight in later seasons, especially when Jesse comes into picture, and it initially appears that he might be a rival to Michael for Fiona's affections. Michael's mother makes it clear to Jesse that there is never going to be a third side of a Love Triangle with Michael and Fi.
  • Charlie and Amita from NUMB3RS. Hooked up season three or thereabouts and have stayed a stable couple since. Charlie even asks Amita to marry him in the season five finale.
  • Niles and Daphne on Frasier. Except for the stupid "fat farm" arc, but that was the actress more than anything.
  • Hodgins and Angela in Bones, after the writers got over their brainless moment. They got married in a jail, of all places.
    • Booth and Bones
  • Sarah and Chuck finally got together in the middle of the third season.
    • Though their wedding came in the fourth season, with planning for the big day forming part of the season's arc.
  • Carter and Allison of Eureka admit they love each other and spend the night together in the middle of season 4.
  • Doctor Who Amy and Rory in The Big Bang.
  • Glee: Finn and Rachel, Kurt and Blaine.
  • Andy and April in the third season of Parks and Recreation. So much that they get married just a few weeks after dating.
  • Josh and Donna in The West Wing, even though it took them seven seasons.
  • Danny and Lindsay on CSI NY
  • Grissom and Sara, CSI: Crime Scene Investigation
  • King Arthur crowns Guinevere his Queen at the end of series four of Merlin.
  • In the Power Rangers Zeo episode "A Season to Remember", a look into the distant future shows Tommy and Kat happily married, with grandchildren. Fans, however, have argued with each other quite extensivly over whenever or not this episode was canon or, like another Christmas Special "Alpha's Magical Christmas", was a novelty one-shot.
  • In Castle, Kate Beckett and Rick Castle. Finally!
  • In Psych, Juliet and Shawn
  • In Nikita, Michael and Nikita finally get together at the end of season one, after a season of the former clinging to the misguided ideals of Division and trying to bring in the latter. Throughout season two, though their relationship is tested, they remain very much in love and are still together as of the end of the second season.
  • In Downton Abbey, Mary and Matthew, Anna and Bates, Sybil and Branson.
  • Ed and Carol finally get together at the end of the third season after working out their Unrequited Love Switcheroo.
  • Ross and Rachel's Last Minute Hookup in the Grand Finale of Friends.
    • And a lot earlier: Monica and Chandler who eventually become Happily Married.
    • Pheobe and Mike at the end of season 9.
  • Wings: Joe and Helen finally get together for good at the beginning of season 6.
  • Chuck and Blair on Gossip Girl. Also Serena and Dan.
  • Tony and Ziva on NCIS, just in time for Cote de Pablo's failed contract negotiations.
  • After two seasons of UST on Raising Hope, Jimmy and Sabrina finally resolve their tension and are now Happily Married.
  • A complicated case with Peter and Olivia in Fringe. They finally start dating. Then Olivia gets switched with "Fauxlivia" from the Alternate Universe. Peter and Fauxlivia live together for a bit before Peter figures out the truth. After Olivia comes back, there are a few episodes full of tension, especially since Peter struggles with his feelings for Fauxlivia. He gets over her, and once again hooks up with Olivia.

    Music 
  • The song "Dance Little Jean" is about a girl whose parents are finally marrying.

    Role-Playing Games 

    Webcomics 

    Web Originals 

    Western Animation 


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