Wendy: So? I'm married.
Chandler: I'm happily married.
Wendy: Oh. What's that like?
This is a couple, Alpha or Beta, who are in love and not wangsting it up dysfunctionally all the time. They avoid Poor Communication Kills, won't jump to conclusions, and treat each other with love and respect. In short, whatever troubles they have are minor and don't lead to the misanthropy of No Accounting for Taste or The Masochism Tango.
Both inside and outside of Romance Parental Abandonment, Shipping Bed Death and the Cartwright Curse tend to kill them off like flies. Aiding this is that most drama considers the above "boring!" (remember, Rule of Drama) and will usually try to make things "interesting!" with "plot twists" that threaten to split them up, and otherwise fill their path with rocks to make them Star-Crossed Lovers. (Their safest bet is as the Foil to a more turbulent couple.)
The net effect of having a Happily Married couple in a series is one of stability. (As a general rule, Happily Married couples with kids will be depicted as more loving and more stable than those without.) Just having them around gives viewers and characters in the show an emotional anchor and safety net, as well as someones to root for while the Official Couple is deciding Will They or Won't They? (Occasionally, They Do!) Needless to say, most viewers will thusly become very protective of said couple and complain when authors needlessly torment them.
These couples benefit from The Power of Love. In addition, any time a sequel is set a generation later than the original, the main couple from the original will probably have this type of relationship to show that they did get a Happy Ending — and Babies Ever After to prove it.
Despite some fiction likening this to a Discredited Trope (partly because common knowledge dictates that happy marriages are ill suited for drama. Whether common knowledge is right or not is another matter entirely), a lot of people out there would call this Truth in Television, which is why we won't list all those examples. (Congrats to you!) Apparently the secret is to understand that you will end up arguing at some point and that does not mean you are no longer in love but keep working at your marriage, talk to each other, do little things all the time, and never confuse falling in love and being in love; they feel different. This advice is often summed up with "Don't go to bed still angry at each other." There's absolutely no shame in simply getting along well, if it works for the two of you.
Not to be confused with Sickeningly Sweethearts, which is basically puppy love. They can overlap, but it's rare. This trope usually gives viewers warm fuzzy feelings—usually, as the cynicism of the viewers still has to be taken into account. If and when they have kids, they will often become Good Parents.
When this overlaps with Arranged Marriage, it's a Perfectly Arranged Marriage. When this overlaps with the characters being unrepentant villains, it's Unholy Matrimony. When it turns out that they're not really as happy as they let on, it's Happy Marriage Charade.
Obviously, this is the desired outcome for most who want to marry, so No Real Life Examples, Please!
- Anime & Manga
- Comic Books
- Fan Works
- Films Animation
- Films Live-Action
- Live-Action TV
- Myths & Religion
- Video Games
- Western Animation
- In Pleasant Goat and Big Big Wolf, the main villain Wolffy has a wife named Wolnie. Despite the constant abuse Wolnie puts Wolffy through for constantly failing to capture the goats they want to eat, she does genuinely love her husband and the two otherwise seem to have a pretty happy marriage.
- This is the premise of Our Honeymoon. Each of the four tracks are of you sharing a cute morning with your husband and each of the four are a different voice actor and character type scenario.
- Calvin's parents from Calvin and Hobbes are quite loving, despite the stress of having a kid like Calvin. Or possibly because they have a kid like Calvin, moments of peace and restaurant dates are so much more enjoyable (even if Calvin's dad keeps turning his head because he thought he heard sirens).
- Many newspaper-strip comics are more about the travails married people find than about their personal relationship. Dagwood and Blondie, Hi and Lois, Hagar and Helga, the parents in Baby Blues, the parents in For Better or for Worse.
- In Zits the loving, stable marriage between Connie and Walt Duncan infuriates their son, Jeremy, by adding to their general dorkiness: their happy stability makes him too well-adjusted to have a tragic backstory. One strip shows the parents talking and laughing over doing the dishes, prompting Jeremy to sigh, "The award for 'person whose life least resembles MTV' goes to..." (or something like that.)
- Roger and Andrea from FoxTrot (much to Jason's disgust when he sees them kissing). Despite every crisis they've been through (Roger quitting his job, Andy desperately acting young again, the many horrible, Horrible Camping Trips), their love shows no signs of faltering.
- Bob Weber's Moose and Molly are heavy-set, low-rung blue-collar types, totally blissed out on each other.
- One Big Happy has two generations of married couples and a couple of children living in the same house.
- The newspaper comic version of Peter Parker and Mary Jane are blissfully unaffected by One More Day.
- Sally and Ted Forth. Each would probably drive another spouse crazy, but they're perfect together.
- The couple who became/inspired Gomez and Morticia Addams. Unlike all the other couples whom Charles Addams depicted, they are perfectly and eternally un/happy together.
- The Mr. Potato Head comic strip clearly shows Mr. and Mrs. Potato Head to be happy together, with a fair number of strips having them make out or say sentimental things to one another.
- In The Handkerchief, the king and queen have one of the most trusting and loving relationships in folklore. The queen loves the king for his kindness and wisdom, and the king loves the queen for her own cleverness.
- Kids Praise: Psalty finds a wife named Psaltina by the third album, and they are quite happy together and had triplets.
- Ob-La-De, Ob-La-Da by The Beatles is the story of the long-term happy marriage of Desmond and Molly Jones, who first met in a marketplace and have Babies Ever After.
- "Whatta Man" by En Vogue and Salt 'N' Pepa is about being married to the perfect man, who is romantic, a Papa Wolf to his children, respects women, and knows how to please them.
- In episode three of Mystery Show, Starlee meets a witness who describes his wife as his "soulmate," and credits the episode's subject, Hans Jordi, with their meeting.
- Frank and Sadie Doyle in the "Beyond Belief" segments of The Thrilling Adventure Hour are very much in love. The only thing they love nearly as much as they love each other is a good martini.
- Rod and Karen, co-hosts of The Black Guy Who Tips, are high-school sweethearts who have been married since 2002. Their on-air interactions can veer into Sickeningly Sweet Hearts (sometimes on purpose).
- Welcome to Night Vale: About four and a half years after they met, Cecil and Carlos get married in episode 100. Although their relationship has had its ups and downs, it's ultimately very stable and loving.
- Deadly Space Action! features Saige and Orton, who always seem to be happy around each other and do almost everything together as equal partners.
- Twitch streamer The 8-Bit Drummer is this with his wife and fellow Twitch streamer, Chatia.
- Persephone and Hades in Thalia's Musings. Persephone faked her own abduction to elope with Hades against Demeter's orders.
- Several parents of Team Kimba in the Whateley Universe. Chaka's parents are still happy together even with five kids, the oldest of which is about college age. Tennyo's parents have been together ever since they met while both working as mutant agents for the C.I.A. Phase's parents are in their fifties with about six kids and still together, even though Phase's father runs Goodkind International and is the richest man on the planet.
- The Journal Entries contain a surprising number of these, considering most of the characters are immortal bisexuals who either don't have a real concept of monogamy or abandoned it long ago note The implication in universe is that so many characters have stable long-term relationships because the culture does not expect anything specific beyond not being evil; not being able to handle it when your lover beds someone else is seen as a failing on your part.
- Dan and Marc in you could make a life are a married couple in all but name long before they officially tie the knot. They do face their share of obstacles, but their love for each other always remains the greatest constant in their lives.
- This is painfully subverted and possibly even deconstructed with Dragon Ball Z Abridged. Goku is a complete and total idiot who disappears at the drop of a hat and only thinks of food and fighting. Unlike his anime counterpart, this causes incredible strain towards his family, especially since he tends to treat Gohan as a non-entity and puts Chi-Chi through incredible strain by his child-like actions. It finally reaches a head with Broly the Legendary Super Saiyan, where an exasperated Chi-Chi, having paid Gohan's College tuition through the nose and upset at the fact that Goku both left her and doesn't seem to care at all, tells him that she wants a divorce.
- In a world where the Critic was never born, The Nostalgia Chick would have been a sweet, well-adjusted, hugely successful director with a baby and a husband.
- Stephen Georg and his wife, Mallory, fit this trope to a T. Often times, it's hard to remember that Stephen and Mal are married because their personalities are so distinctly defined, as well as how their dynamic with each other feels natural and not something to play up.