They Do

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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

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    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 
  • Advice And Trust:
    • This trope actually sets off the entire plot. In the very first non-prologue chapter, the canon Awkward Kiss between Shinji and Asuka turns into a Big Damn Kiss, the two of them admit their feelings to each other, and the rest of the fic is spent exploring just how drastically the course of the story is changed by Asuka and Shinji being a loving and mutually supportive couple.
    • One of those changes is Shinji and Asuka playing matchmakers and gettinHikari and Touji together.
    • In chapter 8, Misato is fed up with lying to herself and pretend she and Kaji have a "friends with benefits" relationship despite of her never getting over him. After pillow talk, they agree to get together again.
  • Clover the Clever and Commander Hurricane in A Brief History of Equestria. No one's surprised, after years of Belligerent Sexual Tension and verbal jousting.
  • The Child of Love: Asuka and Shinji got married two years and one half after Teri’s birth and five years before the epilogue.
  • Children of an Elder God: Shinji liked Asuka but he did not dare to spit it out. Asuka had a crush on Kaji but she was beginning to like Shinji. After spending a good while dancing around each other, both teenagers got together.
  • In the Children of Time series:
    • Dr. Watson and Sally Sparrow marry an episode after first meeting each other (although "Watson and Sparrow" largely focuses on their relationship, with the original events of "Blink" framing the story).
    • Sherlock Holmes and Beth Lestrade have a far more complicated time of it — with an entire three-part finale to work through their relationship. They do end up saying their vows, though with the knowledge that Beth will be leaving for her own time soon.
  • The Contractually Obligated Chaos series does this for the two leads - twice. Thanks to a Magically Binding Contract, they end the first story in a state where they are effectively married, in a Claimed by the Supernatural kind of way. The sequel ends with a more traditional Wedding Day, covering all the bases.
  • A Crown Of Stars: Shinji and Asuka think they are too damaged and it's too late to begin a healthy relationship. Then their future selves show up and tell them, "We are married and expecting. Now stop making excuses and moping."
  • Doing It Right This Time: In the altered timeline, Shinji, Asuka and Rei decide to solve their Love Triangle in a very simple way: the three of them share each other.
  • Happens repeatedly in the Elemental Chess Trilogy for the main pairings. Most are married before the end of the first story.
  • Empath and Smurfette marry at the end of the Empath: The Luckiest Smurf novel.
  • Evangelion 303:
    • At the end of chapter 13 Shinji and Asuka got engaged.
    • Hikari and Touji get married at the end of chapter 17 during the trip to Las Vegas.
  • Chapter 12 of the Superjail! fanfic Extended Stay has the Warden and the Mistress getting married at last while she is 8 months pregnant. Of course, it's just before the ceremony ends when her water suddenly breaks.
  • HERZ:
    • Asuka and Shinji get married between the events of the series and the first chapter.
    • Touji and Hikari have been dating for over a decade and get married between the Final Battle and the epilogue.
  • Higher Learning: Shinji and Asuka get together in chapter 5, in which the consumption of a whole bottle of sake leads to a mutual Love Confession. Between the final scene and the epilogue they get married.
  • Last Child of Krypton:
    • After several weeks of doubts, fears and self-denial (on Asuka's part), Shinji and Asuka kiss. Then Shinji reveals that he is Superman and he likes her. They get together right afterwards.
    • In the rewrite, they get together after Asuka gets over Kaji and acknowledges she likes Shinji. Feeling lonely, she tries to seduce him. Shinji stops her, arguing that he did not want to take advantage of her when she was feeling vulnerable... but he likes her back. They become a couple from that time on.
  • Once More with Feeling: Although the story is dormant, Word of God says Shinji and Asuka will eventually get together.
  • The One I Love Is: Shinji spends the whole story trying to choose between Asuka and Rei. Finally, in the epilogue, he and Asuka get married.
  • Shadow And Rose ends with the royal wedding.
  • Superwomen of Eva 2: Lone Heir of Krypton: In chapter 19, Asuka opens up to Shinji and comes clean about her Secret Identity. At the same time, Shinji confesses his feelings for her. In response, Asuka kisses him.
  • In Heartbeat Of The War God, Ashura and Yasha are wed by Brahma marriage.
  • In Thousand Shinji, Shinji and Asuka spent a good while fighting and arguing, but they eventually opened up to each other and got together. However, Rei -who had a huge crush on Shinji- managed at the end of the story that Asuka agreed to have a three-ways relationship.
  • The Second Try: In chapter 4 "Love", Shinji and Asuka make up with each other, get together and get married.

    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 MacRorie 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.
  • Dora and Miron, main characters of Dora Wilk Series have been having UST going on for first three books and finally get into stable relationship at the end of Winner Takes It All. Of course, troubles start one thirds through book four.
  • 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 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 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.
  • Hope and Everell in the end of Hope Leslie.

    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.
  • Kenny and Max of Picket Fences get a rather complicated They Do. They finally get together in the third season, break up at the beginning of the fourth season (over Max dying her hair of all things), spend the remainder of the season fighting, moping around and sharing meaningful gazes, and then finally stop being idiots and kiss and make up. Approximately five episodes later they spontaneously decide to get married and make it down the aisle before the series ends.
  • 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.
  • 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, in the Season 7 finale, "Something Borrowed, Someone Blue".
  • 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 comes 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.
  • Glee: Finn and Rachel, Kurt and Blaine, and after 5 whole seasons Quinn and Puck.
  • Grey's Anatomy: Meredith and Derek. After four seasons of on and off and on and off, the season 4 finale is arguably the consolidation point of their relationship: afterwards they still have their ups and downs, but neither try to run away at the first sight of trouble anymore.
  • 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.
  • 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 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.
  • 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.
  • In Hannibal where in the series finale Will Graham and Hannibal Lecter gruesomely murder Francis Dolarhyde together, Will finally admits it's beautiful whilst in a tight embrace by Hannibal and the two fall off the side of a cliff together. Leading up to this, the previous episode states that Hannibal is in love with Will. There's also the matter of the bloody heart left to Will by Hannibal in Primavera which is stated in canon to be Hannibal having left him his broken heart. Almost every write up of the final episode was treating their relationship as romantic and the scene plays out as a twisted wedding bathed in blood. There's also a song written specifically for the moment that spells it out for those who didn't catch what was going on.
  • Night and Day: It took them eighteen months (in real-world time) to get there - but after an unfortunate Demonic Possession, a foray into vampirism and a 'crap, we're siblings' moment which later proved a false alarm, Josh Alexander and Della Wells finally got their happy ending – and even some adopted kids for good measure. Fans were kept hanging until the very last episode, though.
  • Kensi and Deeks from NCIS: Los Angeles got together early in season six and as of season seven, still seem to be very happy.
  • Murdoch Mysteries: Detective William Murdoch and Dr. Julia Ogden finally marry in the 100th episode of the series (in season 8), after years of Unresolved Sexual Tension, his difficulties in declaring his feelings, some distance over Julia's past abortion, career opportunities in other places, her decision to marry another man, the implosion of that marriage, the murder of her husband (for which she was convicted and eventually exonerated)...this couple really did earn it.

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

    Role-Playing Games 

    Video Games 
  • Possible for Hawke in Dragon Age II. If Hawke remains in any romance until the end of the game, the ending implies that they and their Love Interest are still together wherever they are. If she's female and romances Sebastian, then a successful relationship ends the game with them either married (if it was a friendly romance) or engaged (if he was rivalmanced, since he "will offer you no less than a Prince" and needs to get his throne back first). However, his romance gets derailed if she spares Anders, since he and Sebastian are Mutually Exclusive Party Members.
  • The Trespasser DLC for Dragon Age: Inquisition gives this to the Inquisitor and most of the potential Love Interests he or she may have pursued during the game. If the Inquisitor romanced either Cullen or Sera, they actually have a wedding during the course of the DLC. The Inquisitor can also discuss marriage with Cassandra or the Iron Bull, with Bull agreeing to it and Cassandra (if she's not Divine) conceding that they might consider it in the future. Dorian returns to Tevinter but remains in his committed relationship with the Inquisitor (or, if he was not romanced, Iron Bull); similarly, Josephine returns to Antiva, but her romanced Inquisitor visits often and is loved by her family.
    • Inquisition also gives this to the male Warden who romanced Morrigan, since they have a child together, and she and their son leave the Inquisition after defeating Corypheus to join him on his mission. Likewise, if the Warden romanced Leliana and she's made Divine, the epilogue slide mentions their reunion. Zevran, meanwhile, is absent from the game because he's traveling with a Warden he romanced, meaning that They Do already.
    • If Hawke is not sacrificed in the Fade, then Varric mentions that their love interest will meet up with them, implying this trope for them too.

    Webcomics 

    Web Originals 

    Western Animation 


http://tvtropes.org/pmwiki/pmwiki.php/Main/TheyDo