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Hooked Up Afterwards

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The Romantic Comedy is ending, and the Alpha Couple has finally hooked up. But what's this? It seems there's a Beta Couple in the wings! During the closing musical number/reception dance two characters who may or may not have interacted prior to this point are getting down and dirty, or even just looking at each suggestively as to imply they'll start dating.

This is essentially adding a cherry to the top of this Happy Ending, saying that after all the struggling and misunderstandings, the alpha couple's success has helped create love even between different people, implying they at least start dating and might even marry. It also serves as an abbreviated form of Cleaning Up Romantic Loose Ends, so that the viewer can walk away happy knowing that the Romantic Runner-Up fiancé isn't left out in the cold but rather hooked up with the maid of honor who thought she'd never walk the aisle.

A thorny use of this trope comes when Gay friends of the main couple are implied to hook up this way. It might be to avoid the "dilemma" of showing on-screen gay couples which could alienate audiences, but implies they'll both hook up just because they're gay.

See also Sexual Karma, Last-Minute Hookup, and Maybe Ever After, where the implied hookup may involve main characters or characters who do have a Romance Arc of sorts, and Pair the Spares, where the romantic rivals of the main plot hook up with each other. May be followed up on in a Distant Finale.


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    Anime and Manga 
  • Oujirou and Tamayo in the Angelic Layer is revealed to have started dating in the last chapter of the manga. This is averted in the Anime, where Oujiro ends up with Misaki instead, and Tamayo with Kotaro, and both pairings are given more time to develop before the Relationship Upgrade.
  • The epilogue of Animal Land shows that, after defeating Giller and bringing peace between the carnivores and herbivores, the four remaining humans have married one another and even have children. But while Torazou and Capri have at least some decent screen time with each other (even if they are hardly romantic in nature}, the other pair is never shown interacting even once before.
  • At the end of Chrono Crusade, Azmaria and Joshua are all but stated to become a couple despite their lack of romantic development beforehand.
  • DARLING in the FRANXX: It's implied that Naomi's incapacity of connecting with Hiro came, at least partially, from the fact she was attracted to women to begin with. The ending implies she got together with Ikuno in the Distant Finale.
  • In the epilogue of Digimon Adventure 02, Ken and Miyako are married with kids, as are Yamato and Sora. Both couples barely had romantic interactions throughout the series.
  • Invoked and parodied in Gintama, where the trope is referred to as a "Final Fantasy" (as in a romantic fantasy that happens near the end of a work, not the actual franchise). The characters dread such a fate happening to them, as from their perspective, they're deciding to spend the rest of their life with somebody they barely know. Fortunately, the only two characters implied to be together after the Time Skip were actually a Bait-and-Switch joke and there's no romantic couples in the ending.
  • The Lucifer and Biscuit Hammer: The series ends with a Distant Finale epilogue that takes place 10 years after the rest of the story, and it's revealed that, in the interim, this occurred with three different Beta Couples:
    • Hoshikawa Subaru was hinted to have a crush on Shinonome Mikazuki for most of the main story (though he was unaware and had a crush on Sami at the time). In the epilogue, Mikazuki and Subaru are strongly implied to be dating.
    • There was also some subtle ship tease between Akane Taiyo and Tsukishiro Yukimachi, and they're confirmed to also be dating at the end. A bonus chapter shows how they got to together, with Taiyo realizing he loves Yuki and admitting it out loud, which she overhears.
    • Shimaki Hyou and Hakudou Yayoi dated, fell in love, and got married during the Time Skip. Unlike the previous two examples, this was definitely a case of Pair the Spares, as Hyou wasn't shown to have romantic interest in anyone during the main story, and Yayoi was in love with the protagonist, Yuuhi.
  • In My-HiME, Natsuki and Shizuru's relationship is left as ambiguous as humanly possible at the end of the series, fueled by the question of whether Natsuki's "love" was meant in a friendly or romantic way, giving fuel to thousands of shippers to resolve it in Fan Fic. The supplemental material released later makes things a lot clearer, with the artbook implying a hook-up after Shizuru's graduation.
  • In Naruto, the part of the epilogue focusing on Chouji reveals he married and had a child with Karui, whom he'd never even been shown to interact with on-panel.
  • Negima! Magister Negi Magi's "Where Are They Now?" Epilogue states that Kotarou and Natsumi got married and heavily implies (in a roundabout way) that Konoka and Setsuna did, too. Both couples had become partners by that stage, but although that effectively marked them as Official Couples they didn't see themselves as together until then. Except probably Konoka, who ostensibly acted as if they were on a date whenever they went out somewhere − her Pactio kiss was also way longer and deeper than necessary.
  • The Shaman King manga has Ren and Iron Maiden Jeanne who've never exchanged more than three lines in the entire series yet have a son in the epilogue.

  • Address Unknown (Remedy): Applejack and Sterling, Celestia's doctor, have started dating by the time of the epilogue.
  • Collated Accounts of the Infinity Train: A summary: Lake and Jesse, with the former being identified as "Mrs. Lake Cosay" in her interview.
  • The epilogue of Son of the Sannin reveals that Lee ended up marrying Yakumo. The author notes mention that they were supposed to have a proper romance arc during the story proper, but the latter was introduced so late into the story that there was nowhere to fit it outside of a brief summary during the wrap-up.
  • An odd variant in Xenophilia: the bulk of the story is based on developing the OT3 between Lero, Rainbow Dash and Twilight Sparkle, but Lyra Heartstrings is confirmed in The Xenophilie's Guide to Equestria to have joined their "herd", after a lot of foreshadowing in the original story. This may be shown in a future side story

    Films — Animated 
  • Barbie as the Princess and the Pauper ends with the princess marrying her particular teacher, the pauper marrying the Prince who was supposed to marry the princess instead. But that's not just it, since the little cutesy Princess's pet cat end up with the pauper's stray cat who believes he's a dog. Actually, pretty much everyone in the movie fits this trope. except for the villains. Hell, even the horse ends paired up!!!
  • At the end of A Goofy Movie, Max's Pauly Shore-voiced friend Bobby has such a hook-up with Roxanne's valley-girl best friend Stacey, when they both reach for Bobby's can of cheez whiz that he dropped. Bobby lifts his dark sunglasses and smiles at her, and Stacey gives him a brace-filled smile back. It's a cute/quirky moment, but there is absolutely no lead-up to it whatsoever. Not that anything came of either relationship in the sequel.
  • Toy Story 3 ends with Rex and Trixie, another dinosaur toy, playing video games together. Subverted in the later TV special Toy Story That Time Forgot where Trixie hooks up with a different Tyrannosaurus rex toy named Reptillus Maximus. Rex never shows any sign of being bothered by this.

    Films — Live-Action 
  • Many of Adam Sandler's films end this way — he gets the girl of his dreams, while everyone else is left with the spares.
    • Exaggerated and Played for Laughs in Billy Madison — almost all of the film's minor characters hook up with someone, including the penguin that Billy hallucinated while he was drunk.
    • In 50 First Dates Alexa is hitting on Doug at the wedding, though he looks noticeably uncomfortable.
  • At the end of Big Trouble in Little China, Eddie and Margo (the Intrepid Reporter wannabe) are implied to get together when their only previous interaction in the movie was an insult.
  • Bring It On has this when the gay cheerleader of the team talks to another male cheerleader of another team.
  • Done in a sequel: Hooper and Banky from Chasing Amy are shown to have hooked up afterwards at the end of Jay and Silent Bob Strike Back.
  • Heavily implied for Scud and Janet at the end of D.E.B.S.; up until that point, they've been a Beta Couple of sorts, but they actually shared just a scene.
  • At the end of Down with Love the Beta Couple is on the phone getting together with a hilarious synchronized chorus.
  • Four Weddings and a Funeral. Almost all the main cast are shown to be hooked up with someone at the end.
  • High School Musical: After the credits, we see Sharpay run toward Zeke (who has been crushing on her the whole movie) and jump on him because he makes the most awesome cookies ever. Of course the implied post movie hookup was kind of killed by HSM2 (but then HSM3 had them dance together at the prom... mixed signals, Disney!).
  • Subverted in I Love You, Man; the gay groomsman played by Thomas Lennon unsuccesfully hits on the protagonist's gay brother while at the wedding. "Sorry. You're not my type. I only date straight guys."
  • The Last Legion: Mira and Aurelius married after the film's events, as the final scene reveals.
  • The Lord of the Rings movies did this with Faramir and Éowyn (who were a canon couple in the book as well). However, since they had to cut the scenes showing them growing closer in the theatrical version, it ended up looking like a random hook up to resolve the Love Triangle between Éowyn, Arwen and Aragorn.
  • During the Spring Fling scene at the end of Mean Girls Principal Duvall and Ms. Norbury share a meaningful look while dancing. Janis and Kevin also dance at the Spring Fling and are seen kissing during the very last scene where Cady explains everyone's fate.
  • Occurs at the end of the 1998 version of The Parent Trap; in the final act, Martin (the mother's butler) and Chessy (the father's nanny/maid) disappear for a picnic together. Then, during the parents' wedding, Martin proposes to Chessy, as shown via snapshots during the end credits.
  • In the Richie Rich film, the butler Cadbury and Gloria's mother are seen kissing at the end.
  • Sky High (2005): At the end, Troubled, but Cute Warren Peace is shown holding hands at the Homecoming with Freeze Girl — even though the two never actually interacted during the movie. Word of God holds, had there been sequels he and Layla would have gotten together.
  • Simon and Kaylee at the end of Serenity after Simon makes what he expects to be a Dying Declaration of Love and Kaylee says she’s going to live because of it. They’re shown kissing at the movie’s end, though the Boom comics keep toying with things.
  • At the end of the movie Stardust, Captain Shakespeare (a closet Flamboyant Gay) and Humphrey (himself getting married to Victoria, and not having been implied to be gay) share a look, with Victoria looking rather confused. Meanwhile, Tristan's parents (who only met once, on the night of his conception) are reunited.
  • In the last scene of Starstruck, which focuses on his cousin's romances while attempting to break into show business, Angus meets and starts playing kissy-face with a woman who had never appeared earlier in the film.
  • At the end of Sweet Home Alabama, the protagonist's gay friend from NY and gay friend in Alabama share a look.
  • The thorny Gay Friends version happens at the end of Three to Tango when Peter, the gay partner of straight-but-people-thought-he-was-gay Oscar, ends up trading innuendo with Kevin, the newbie-gay football player whose nickname is The Ponderosa, now that Oscar has finally gotten the girl.
  • In Amanda Bynes' Twelfth Night High School AU She's the Man, both of Duke's friends are shown paired up with someone. Toby got together with nerdy Eunice and Paul is seen fixing Andrew's tie, much to Andrew's confusion.
    • Sebastian finally got together with the girl he fell in love with the moment he saw her, Olivia.
    • And also, Viola's parents, having been divorced, are sitting together at the end and most likely mending their relationship.
    • Monique and Justin are interestingly together, Monique being Sebastian's ex and Justin being Viola's ex.
  • Eunice and Mr. Larrabee are implied to get together at the end of What's Up, Doc?.
  • Inverted and then Subverted in When Harry Met Sally.... First, the titular leads actually try to set each other up with their respective best friends on a blind double date, but instead their two friends immediately click and become the official Beta Couple of the story, except they get their happy ending first with a wedding only a few months later. Harry and Sally are the Best Man and Maid of Honor but then subvert the trope by getting into a huge fight instead of getting together at that point.
  • The World's End: Andrew mentions Steven and Sam shacked up together after the events of the film, commenting "It's a pretty nice shack, too."

  • In the The Lord of the Rings parody Bored of the Rings, after Sorhed was defeated:
    Of the Ballhog and Schlob, little was heard either, but local gossips reported that wedding bells were only centuries away.
  • In A Brother's Price, due to the Jane-Austen-Style plot elements, there is one match in the making at the end of the novel, Jerin's cousin Dail would like to marry the Moorland sisters, and Cullen Whistler, née Moorland approves of the idea Also, depending on how you define it, Jerin doesn't "hook up" with all of his wives in the wedding night, as some of them are not yet of age.
  • Luke Garroway and Jocelyn Fray at the end of City of Glass. They planned to get married in City of Fallen Angels but the marriage was postponed indefinitely, with Jace's possession by Lilith and subsequent disappearance.
  • At the end of Double Indemnity, at least the novel, Nino and Lola get married, but the fugitives Walter and Phyllis are implied to commit mutual suicide.
  • This happens to virtually every character in Harry Potter. For those not specifically referenced in the epilogue, J. K. Rowling tells who married who in interviews: George winds up with Angelina (who once dated Fred), Neville marries Hannah Abbott, etc. Draco, Luna and Percy wind up marrying people who never even appeared in the story, and in Percy's case we know nothing about his wife except her first name.
  • C. S. Lewis's The Horse and His Boy ends by mentioning that Aravis moves in with Shasta/Prince Cor and that the two continue to argue and make up constantly until they just decide that marrying will make the pattern easier. It sinks any romance between Bree and Hwin, though, noting that they marry other people.
  • In Dorothy L. Sayers' Lord Peter Wimsey mystery The Unpleasantness at the Bellona Club ends with Robert Fentiman taking Ann Dorland out to a show, to help distract her from the unpleasantness.
    • In Have His Carcasse, when the police officer is reluctant to try to prosecute the case, Harriet tells him that the dead man's fiancee danced with a different professional dancer, and her son did not look pleased. Since the motive for the murder was to prevent the mother's remarriage, they prosecute.
  • Star Wars Legends: Gaerial and Captain Thanas met, fell in love, married and had a daughter some time after The Truce at Bakura (where they were both major characters but never interacted) and The Corellian Trilogy.
  • In Poul Anderson's Time Lag, Ivalo says, after her rescue, that he hopes she will let him visit; the time lagged prisoners will need support to recover from their Fish out of Temporal Water status.

  • Anna Russell's "How to Write Your Own Gilbert and Sullivan Opera" spoofs (along with every other G&S trope) the tendency of "the liitle man who sings the patter song" to end up with "the big fat contralto". Dandelion (the aforementioned "big fat contralto") even sings about it in the final number, although it appears it will come as a surprise to Claude Billy Bunion ("the little man who sings the patter song").

  • Drood has the audience vote in two characters to get together and sing a romantic duet at the end, which often leads to some pretty interesting Crack Pairings.
  • In the Grand Finale of the Gilbert and Sullivan operetta Ruddigore, Rose Maybud's disappointed suitor Richard Dauntless hooks up with the chief bridesmaid instead.
  • The musical version of Two Gentlemen of Verona pulled this with Thurio and Lucetta, who had no prior interaction in either the musical or the original play.

    Video Games 
  • Mega Man Battle Network 6. If you played the game (or any in the series for that matter) then it should be blatantly obvious. Lan and Mayl marry and have a kid who has a Navi who is a hybrid of Mega Man's and Roll's data.
  • Pyre: Some characters can get together, given that they ended up in the same side by the end of the game. The Moon Touched Girl and Almer, as well as Jodariel and Ignarius are two of them. Independent of side, Hedwyn will meet and get together with Fikani again. Although it's left a bit more ambiguous, it's still implied that the Reader themselves will get together with Sandra if they promise to keep her crystal ball.
  • At the end of Super Mario RPG, Booster and Valentina get married. Though you'll never see it unless you're told about it, you can actually see Booster propose to Valentina if, after defeating her, you go all the way back up to the top of Booster's Tower and look at the balcony. As it doesn't get you anything and is easily missed, it's probably there because of Developer's Foresight.

    Visual Novels 
  • Word of God says that in Higurashi: When They Cry, Keichii Maebara eventually ends up with Mion. In an interview, Ryukishi07 said something about wanting to develop the relationship, but kept putting it off to prevent a Romantic Plot Tumor, causing the relationship to not show up onscreen at all, which he regretted. This might be why their bond gets emphasized in the alternate final chapter Miotsuki-hen.


    Western Animation 
  • Codename: Kids Next Door:
    • The biggest Will They or Won't They? were Numbuhs Four and Three. In Operation I.N.T.E.R.V.I.E.W.S., the Distant Finale where the heroes are portrayed as adults, the two are shown to be married (the revelation not made until close to the end of the episode).
    • Numbuhs Two and Five are together as well, as revealed at almost the exact same moment as Four and Three.
  • Hey Arnold! creator Craig Bartlett said that not only would Arnold and Helga hook up if The Patakis had been made, but Gerald and Phoebe would as well (and become the main couple, sort of). The Grand Finale movie seemingly makes up for that.
  • Treated a bit oddly on Kick Buttowski where the Beta Couple Gunther/Jackie hooked up in an episode, however it has never been mentioned again, but fans seem to take this as a "They will one day", more so to get Jackie off of Kick's back to fuel the Fan-Preferred Couple of Kick/Kendall (depending on the episode).
  • Subverted on Phineas and Ferb with Stacy and Coltrane; they play Beta Couple to Candace and Jeremy in the episode "The Baljeatles" and end the episode holding hands, but in a later episode Stacy goes out with somebody else with no mention of whether she and Coltrane ever dated.