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Married in the Future

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You've all seen it. It's the Alternate Universe episode, there's a flashforward, or we're rejoining the characters after a sizable amount of time has passed. Two characters who were previously only dating, were Just Friends, hadn't met yet or even hated each other's guts are now happily settled. For one reason or another it's not enough to demonstrate that they're involved in a stable relationship; the fact needs to be established that they are married. This is almost always achieved through an awkward aside, which generally goes along the lines of "That's why I / you married you / me", "You shouldn't have married me", etc. Very occasionally used without dialogue by including an otherwise gratuitous shot of a wedding photo.

Compare Victorious Childhood Friend and High-School Sweethearts.

This is a spoiler-heavy trope. Expect unmarked spoilers ahead.


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    Anime & Manga 
  • Doraemon: One early chapter has Nobita and Doraemon use the latter's time machine to go to the future, to see who Nobita will marry; they see that he'll eventually marry Shizuka, the Girl Next Door, and Nobita is very happy for it. At the beginning of the story, however, Nobita's grandson came from an alternate future where Nobita married Giant's sister Jaiko instead and led his family to poverty, so he warned Nobita to become a better person, with him sending Doraemon to help.
  • The plot of My Wife Is Wagatsuma-san is set off when the main character gains Mental Time Travel powers and discovers that he'll be married to his crush in 10 years.
  • Orange makes this into a plot point. The protagonist, Naho Takamiya, is married to her high school friend Suwa ten years in the future. This Naho sends back letters to her past self and friends in the hopes of warning them about an upcoming tragedy (that of their soon-to-be friend Kakeru's upcoming suicide) and to reassure them that this will hopefully change their own timeline and not the one where she got married. It is implied in the live action adaptation that she was hoping Future Naho would save Kakeru and marry him in the changed timeline.
  • A bonus chapter from Oshi no Ko features a Crossover Punchline example where Ruby is talking about a photographer worked with at a recent photo shoot. When checking for their name in a magazine, she sees that they're listed as Kaguya Shirogane confirming that the main couple from the then concurrently running Kaguya-sama: Love Is War got married (at the time of the chapter's publication, the two had only been dating for a few months in their series, though marriage was clearly already on the horizon).
  • Otakare Fujokano has this as its Framing Device, where the entire manga is a flashback the main couple is having on their wedding day.
  • The Quintessential Quintuplets occasionally flashes forward to Fuutarou's wedding day, where he is marrying one of the quintuplets. Which quintuplet, however, remains a mystery throughout most of the story. It turns out to be Yotsuba.
  • The plot of Re:Marina is kicked off when protagonist Rinosuke meets a naked woman who introduces herself as Sakamoto Marina, the future wife of the future Rinosuke, who apparently used a time machine to come back to the past, and start a new life with the younger Rinosuke.
  • Usagi and Mamoru in Sailor Moon spend their futures not only married, but king and queen of the planet. Their present-day selves learn about it during The Reveal that starts with the parentage of their Kid from the Future.
  • In Tengen Toppa Gurren Lagann, the Anti-Spiral traps Team Dai-Gurren in a Lotus-Eater Machine called the "Alternate Space Labyrinth," in which they live out their hearts' inner desires (for example, Simon's fantasy is getting to tag along with with the already-dead Kamina much like they did in the beginning of the series, whereas Viral gets to realize his dream of having a family, which is impossible due to him being effectively immortal and Beastmen can't reproduce). One of these what-if scenarios (shown on a TV screen in this case) depicts Yoko and Kittan on their wedding day. What makes this so poignant is that, by that time in the series, Kittan had just died one episode ago after giving a Last Kiss to Yoko. The implication is that, had Kittan not knowingly sacrificed himself to help the group escape from the Sea of Despair and things turned out differently in the battle against the Anti-Spiral, they might have become a couple for real.
  • Part of the point of the story Until Death Do Us Part is that the heroine, who is precognizant, saw a future where she was married to our main Anti-Hero, and she really wants it to come true.

    Comic Books 
  • In Avengers Academy, a version of Reptyl travels back from a future where he and Finesse are married and have a daughter.
  • In the final issue of the Extant saga in Justice Society of America, the narration is provided by a future Stargirl who implies she has married with Atom Smasher.
  • The Legion of Super-Heroes had an infamous "Adult Legion" story in 1967 showing that some characters were married in the future. The first pair married for real in 1974 and the second in 1978.
  • Sonic the Hedgehog (Archie Comics). In the "25 Years Later" arc, Tails is married to Mina Mongoose, Sonic is married to Sally Acorn, and Knuckles is unofficially married to Julie-Su. Other characters like Espio and Vector are shown with children, but the mothers are never mentioned.
  • X-Factor: At one point, Layla Miller and Jamie Madrox have a conversation in which Layla (who is, more or less, a Seer) offhandedly says that they would be married in the future. Keep in mind that, at this point, Layla is eleven years old. Jamie laughs it off as a joke, but later, Layla is pulled into a Bad Future and grows into an adult. Her prediction is later confirmed, when a grown-up Layla returns from the future, begins a romance with Jamie, and sure enough, they elope in Vegas.
  • X-Men:
    • In Days of Future Past, Wolverine and Storm are a married couple.
    • In "The End", Beast and Cecilia Reyes are a married couple. So are Sam Guthrie and Lila Cheney.

    Fan Works 
  • In After the Fall of Giants, Natsume learns that she and Pantyhose Taro will be married to each other in Chi's time. Also, Kodachi learns that she and Ryu Kamon are married in the same timeline, having met when he saved her from killing herself after being rejected by Ranma.
  • A lot of the one-shots in After the Jungle Series take place during Arnold and Helga's adulthood and eventual marriage.
  • In After The Big Picture Show, each of the Eds eventually gets married to their respective Kanker sisters.
  • In And You May Ask Yourself, the second story in the Weird Sisters series, Arnold is knocked out during a baseball game and wakes up to find himself twenty-five years in the future Happily Married to Helga.
  • Can You Forgive?: While Gavin had canceled his engagement to Jenny in The Brittas Empire, this Flash Forward Fic reveals that they eventually got married after all.
  • I Am What I Am: Xander finds it awkward interacting with Buffy after winding up in the past, since he had relationships with both her and Faith.
  • Although Empath and Smurfette in the Empath: The Luckiest Smurf novel get married in the epilogue that takes place ten years later, Empath has a vision during Days Of Future Smurfed that shows them as parents. However, most of what he witnesses are tragedies, including his wife's eventual demise.
  • The Ranma ½ fanfic Happily Married revolves around Ranma hitting his head on the pond and waking up to find that not only is he six years older and stuck in female form, he is married to Ryoga for some reason.
  • Reboot (Miraculous Ladybug): In the Bad Future, Marinette had learned Chat Noir's secret identity and eventually married him.
  • Played With in Reverti Ad Praeteritum: While Ed was married to Winry and had two children, when he's unwillingly sent back in time by a crazed alchemist, he decides to pursue a relationship with Roy instead.
  • To Hell and Back (Arrowverse): Barry and Iris, according to Eobard Thawne. It still isn't enough to break Barry's I Want My Beloved to Be Happy mindset.
  • Played With in Weight Off Your Shoulder when Bunnyx peers into what's heavily implied to be the future of the canon timeline. Marinette and Adrien have gotten married... but since none of their issues have been addressed, it's a Bad Future where Adrien has never stopped taking Marinette's support completely for granted, expecting her to do all the heavy lifting and fix all their problems for them. Bunnyx watches the two get divorced and complains about how none of her efforts to "fix" the timeline and ensure they get together have paid off — even when they get married, something always happens to separate them, which she attributes to being Star-Crossed Lovers rather than anything else.

    Films — Animation 
  • In Meet the Robinsons, Lewis meets his future wife, a woman named Franny, when he travels to the future. He meets the younger Franny shortly after returning to the present, and gives her an awkward smile.

    Films — Live-Action 
  • Back to the Future Part II has Doc taking Marty and Jennifer into the future where she sees their future home and kids, but everything else sucks. In Part III, however, Marty manages to avert the event that led to that timeline.
  • The Kid (2000): Shown to happen with Russ and Amy in the future.

  • In Agatha Christie's novel, Cards on the Table, two of the side characters fall in love and forms a relationship. When they re-appear in The Pale Horse, they are already married.
  • This is the Twist Ending of Gowie Corby Plays Chicken by Gene Kemp. Gowie's previously unnamed wife in the Framing Story turns out to be Heather, the girl he was bullying throughout the main story.
  • The epilogue of Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows has Harry and Ginny married, as well as Ron and Hermione, with their respective children heading for another school year at Hogwarts.
  • The Hunger Games: Notably averted in Mockingjay where the epilogue shows Katniss and Peeta together in a lifelong, loving relationship, raising their children together, but there is never a mention of whether or not they got married.
  • In The Night Room, Tess and Ira are a married couple with children in Argus's predicted future, and Barbara and Graham have also married.

    Live-Action TV 
  • Babylon 5. Sheridan's temporal flash-forward in the season 3 two-part episode "War Without End" shows that, 17 years later, Sheridan had been married to Delenn, and they had a son named David. At the end of season 4 (about a year later), the two do get married.
  • Between seasons two and three of Battlestar Galactica (2003), the narrative skips a year, and we return to find that the complex Love Dodecahedron of seasons past has resolved itself into four marriages: Tyrol and Cally, Lee and Dualla, Kara and Sam, and Helo and Sharon. Only one makes it through two more seasons to the series finale.
  • Bones has Brennen and Booth as married nightclub owners in the Alternate Universe of the Season 4 finale. The episode has ALL of the characters from the show in vastly different roles from the norm.
  • Charmed: in a Season 2 episode, the sisters travel ten years into the future where they discover that Piper and Leo had been married, had a daughter together, and then divorced during the ten intervening years. After returning to their own time, Piper and Leo do get married in Season 3, but the divorce never happens, and the daughter doesn't happen quite the same way. Instead, they have two sons during the series run, the daughter some time after the end of the series (which would have made her much younger than she appeared in the time travel episode), and are shown to still be happily married 30-40 years later in the Distant Finale.
  • Doctor Who:
    • "The End of Time": In a rather inexplicable example, the Doctor uses the final moments before his regeneration to visit various past companions, and finds Martha and Mickey years after their travels with the Doctor, fighting a Sontaran together — and married. This came across to some viewers as an uncomfortable instance of Pair the Spares, since Martha and Mickey were the only two dark-skinned companions in the revived series, and had never shown any noticeable interest in one another before. It is especially strange considering the fact that Martha had been established as having a fiancé in one of her earlier appearances, and his disappearance from the narrative is never explained.note 
    • River Song makes a comment like this about herself and the Doctor. Unlike most examples, we later actually see the wedding.
    • "Amy's Choice": In the Leadworth dream, set five years in the future, Amy and Rory are married. Their wedding doesn't happen until the season finale.
    • In "Hide", the Doctor meets a scientist and a psychic who are investigating a haunting, and discovers the "ghost" to actually be a time traveller stuck in a pocket universe. They rescue the woman, and at the end of the episode, the Doctor reveals the time traveller to be one of the scientist and psychic's descendants, even though they aren't married yet.
  • Eureka
    • One episode has the cast thrown into an alternate universe, where Henry finds himself married to a woman he only knew for 3 minutes in the original universe. Inverted, sort of, with Jo Lupo, who was engaged to Zane in the original universe, but now completely uninvolved with him.
    • There was another instance where a future Eureka was threatened by Henry's actions in the past (yay Time-Travel Tense Trouble) and Jack had to go back and fix it. In the future, he was married to Allison. Thanks to the fix, it now never happened.
  • On The Flash (2014), Barry Allen (the Flash) and Iris West have a Will They or Won't They? situation throughout the first season. When Barry finds Harrison Wells' secret lair and his A.I. from the future, Gideon, it mentions a future news article about The Flash going missing, written by Iris West-Allen. Barry and Iris eventually start dating in the third season, and are married in the middle of the fourth season.
  • Fringe:
    • Peter Bishop spends a week in the future, where he is married to his long-time Love Interest Olivia Dunham. It does not end well for Olivia, unfortunately. Come to think of it, it doesn't end well for anyone.
    • In the penultimate hour, when Olivia makes one last trip to the red-verse after being ambered for over 20 years and not aging, she reunites with Bolivia and Lincoln, who have aged normally and are now middle-aged, married, and have a son, going by their wedding rings and the family picture glimpsed on Bolivia's desk.
  • Heroes:
    • In one of the futures that Peter Petrelli visits he finds Sylar & Elle have hooked up & started a family. And Sylar's a good guy.
    • Matt Parkman learns that in the future he and Daphne have gotten married, so he starts to pursue a relationship with her when he returns to the present for no other reason than he saw them together in the future.
  • How I Met Your Mother:
    • The Framing Device of the entire series revolves around Future Ted revealing to his kids how he got to this point, though they don't reveal until the end that he is now a widower.
    • In "Single Stamina", Barney's brother James announces he's going to marry his boyfriend Tom. There's a flash forward to the future where the wedding takes place. In this flash forward, Marshall refers to Lily as to his wife, revealing to the viewers that they got married. (Not a big surprise, though.)
  • Seth and Summer in the four or five-year flash forward in The O.C.. We get to see their wedding, with Ryan as the best man.
  • Our Miss Brooks: In "The Dream", not only does Mr. Boynton marry Miss Brooks, but teenagers Walter Denton and Harriet Conklin also get married. Mr. and Mrs. Conklin also have a son. Time flash-forwards many years, where it turns out that Mr. Boynton's and Miss Brooks' daughter is going steady with Mr. Conklin's son Osgood Junior.
  • On Phil of the Future, Phil uses a future gadget to look up Keely's future as a journalist, after they fail a huge test in school and take a re-test. In the first future, Keely is a Crazy Cat Lady who is convinced one of her cats was abducted by a UFO. In the second future, she's a reporter...and (as the young Keely notices) she's wearing a wedding ring. It's never revealed who her husband is in the future and Keely stated that she'd rather wait for the surprise than use the gadget to look it up. But given the massive amount of Ship Tease in the series as a whole, it's heavily implied that it's Phil.
  • A Christmas-themed episode in Power Rangers Zeo, "A Season to Remember", involved a flash forward showing Tommy and Kat being married. Some shippers were not accepting of this development and tend to ignore it, although Word of God states that the event does happen. In fact, Catherine Sutherland (Kat's actor) has verified that she was in talks to appear in both Wild Force's "Forever Red" and Dino Thunder as Mrs. Oliver (the former was scrapped during rewrites while the latter fell through due to Sutherland's pregnancy at the time). It took until the Ninja Steel episode "Dimensions in Danger" for the two to be depicted as married, and they have a son named J.J.
  • Scrubs: The Series Fauxnale, "My Finale, Part 2", ends with J.D. having a vision of the future, including his son Sam announcing his engagement to Turk and Carla's daughter Izzy. It's just an Imagine Spot, but as he says, whose to say that's not what happens?
  • In Sisyphus: The Myth, the two lead characters Han Tae-Sul and Gang Seo-Hae are well aware that in at least one iteration of the future, they get married - as is evident from a wedding photograph from the future. Due to changes to the timeline, the wedding never ends up happening, though they do end up falling in love.
  • Stargate:
    • Stargate SG-1. In "There But For the Grace of God" and "Point of View", Alt!Jack and Alt!Sam are engaged and married respectively. In "The Road Not Taken", Alt!Sam married Rodney McKay at one point but they got divorced. In another episode, which was supposed to take place ten years in the future, Sam is married to Ambassador Joseph Faxon, who she hadn't even met in the current series.
    • Stargate Universe features an alternate universe video log where multiple characters find out who they marry and have kids with.
  • Star Trek: The Next Generation:
    • In the future portion of "All Good Things" it's revealed that at some point in the subsequent fifteen years, Jean-Luc Picard and Beverly Crusher resolved their Unresolved Sexual Tension by getting married... only to ultimately end up Amicably Divorced. Star Trek: Picard never really addresses whether or not this ended up happening, but the Expanded Universe novels ran with it.
    • When Worf visited an alternate universe he discovered that he had formed a relationship with Deanna there. When he returned to his universe he decided to pursue it. Possibly because the Alternate Deanna was so distressed at the thought of a reality where Worf "—never loved me." Apparently it didn't work out.
  • Star Trek: Deep Space Nine features an episode in which the crew of the Defiant meet their distant descendants on a planet with a civilization that was formed by an accident in which the Defiant is thrown into the past and marooned on the planet. Much curiosity ensues among the crew about who ultimately hooked up with whom, with the descendants more than happy to dish several centuries worthy of gossip. However, the entire civilization is ultimately Ret-Gone by an inversion of the Grandfather Paradox. An almost identical episode plays out in a series of episodes of Star Trek: Enterprise.
  • An episode of Star Trek: Voyager had Kes witness a future where she and Tom Paris were married and had children following "The Year of Hell" but ultimately it didn't happen this way partly because Kes retained her knowledge of the future and was able to warn the crew. By the time the "Year of Hell" actually happened Kes had left the ship and Tom later ended up marring B'Elanna who had been killed in the original timeline.
  • Super Sentai:
  • Supernatural:
    • In an alternate timeline in one episode, Bobby is married to the long-dead Ellen. They're cute together.
    • "The French Mistake" uses the "wedding photo" method to demonstrate that Jared Padalecki is married to Genevieve Padalecki, the actress who played Ruby 2.0.


    Video Games 
  • While slipping in and out of consciousness, Crono has a dream of being married to Marle in Chrono Trigger. While this does indeed happen in one of the endings, there is no guarantee that this ever happens, since Crono dies in a cutscene and bringing him back is entirely optional.
  • Frequently in the epilogues of Fire Emblem games if you manage to get the highest support level between two characters.
  • In Rival Schools, if you play through the ending where Roy becomes President of the USA, Tiffany is his future First Lady.
  • In one of the timelines of Super Robot Wars V, Kaname Chidori ends up marrying Sosuke Sagara, making her Kaname Sagara. She also ends up being partly responsible for most of the alternate timeline mess.

  • Girl Genius has this:
    Der Kestle: She was your ancestress, you know. So obviously it all worked out rather well.
  • Hobbes And Bacon (page image) is a continuation fancomic of Calvin and Hobbes where Calvin and Susie are married and has a daughter named Bacon.
  • One MoringMark comic has Luz accidentally see her own wedding with Amity several years in the future while looking through time pools during the events of "Elsewhere and Elsewhen".
    Lilith: What did you see?
    Luz: (blushing) Spoilers.
  • In the final arc of the original Umlaut House Volair and Saundra's happily married future selves went back in time and resolved the UST between the present-day pair. Earlier their son had showed up but back then Saundra hadn't known that the timeline was fixed.

    Western Animation 
  • In an episode of The Adventures of Jimmy Neutron, Boy Genius, Jimmy, Carl, and Sheen travel to a Bad Future where Libby becomes a tyrannical despot and rules over all of the world due to Carl accidentally giving her a megalomania-inducing perfume developed by Jimmy as a present for her birthday party. In this era, they meet an older Jimmy who is a Future Loser and married to Cindy, who doesn't seem all too thrilled by this and pretty much treats her hubby as harshly as she did in the past. Although Jimmy has his fair share of (depending on the episode) Ship Tease, Slap-Slap-Kiss, Belligerent Sexual Tension, and Unresolved Sexual Tension with Cindy, he does not take this development well. Eventually, the two hook up for real in the present, during the series finale.
  • In an episode of Alvin and the Chipmunks, Simon uses a video time machine to see what the outcome would be if Alvin accepts either a cash prize, or a mystery prize; in both sequences, each of The Chipmunks and their respective Chipette counterpart are married. In fact, Alvin and Brittany are also shown having two sons, both of whom are named, Alvin, Jr.
  • The Arthur PBS series sometimes shows glimpses into the future where it's hinted certain characters may be married. Arthur is shown being married to Francine a few times. Another example has a grown up Brain and Sue Ellen next to each other with a child that could be Brain's son. Then again, as the future hasn't happened yet, this could be speculation.
  • While we never actually see them married, in one episode of Captain Planet and the Planeteers that involved Time Travel, Wheeler notes that some of the future planeteers look an awful lot like him and Linka. Linka is quick to pick up on the implication and dismisses it as impossible.
  • In the Series Finale for Codename: Kids Next Door, it's revealed that Numbuhs 2 and 5 get married while Numbuhs 3 and 4 get married—and this is after viewers are initially led to believe that Numbuhs 2 and 3 got married while Numbuhs 4 and 5 either stayed single or married other people.
  • Once in DuckTales (1987) when Magicka deSpell sent Scrooge into the future he encountered a shapely Webigale and a slimmed down Doofus who tell him they've gotten married. When he gets back to his own time, he tells Doofus to take care of Webby, which causes her to have a disgusted reaction.
  • Futurama:
    • In "The Farnsworth Parabox," the crew finds another universe where, among other changes, Fry and Leela's counterparts are married.
    • In "Time Keeps on Slippin'" due to an accident with Chronitons causing random time skips in the universe, Fry and Leela got married during one skip, but didn't retain any of the memories of the event. Leela quickly divorced him, believing that he'd tricked her into it.
    • In "The Late Phillip J. Fry", Leela and Cubert got married and divorced several years after Fry went missing in time, due to the Professor's time machine only being able to go forwards. This happened again in the next universe, but was changed when Fry and company returned to the third iteration of the universe.
  • In the Hey Arnold! episode "Married," both Arnold and Helga have dreams where they grow up and marry each other—while Helga's dream has them Happily Married throughout the whole thing, Arnold's dream depicts a more dysfunctional marriage. Word of God has confirmed that Arnold and Helga do end up getting married (and having children) as adults.
  • In the Justice League, Hawkgirl and John Stewart briefly date and break up in the season 2 finale. Later, however, John travels into the future to discover that he and Hawkgirl apparently will have had a son, Rex "Warhawk" Stewart (previously seen in Batman Beyond).
  • Played with when the kids from Phineas and Ferb travel to the future, where Candace's daughter refers to Isabella as "Aunt Isabella." Isabella takes this to mean she marries Phineas (her long-time crush) in the future... until it's mentioned that she also could have married Ferb.
    • In the Distant Epilogue episode, Phineas and Isabella start dating when they start college together.
  • The Simpsons:
  • In the "Post-Covid Special" episode of South Park, taking place 30 years after the main storyline, Craig Tucker and Tweek Tweak are heavily implied to be married, or at the very least in a stable relationship; unlike Stan Marsh and Wendy Testaburger, who despite having a relationship in elementary school, appear to have broken up.
  • In the Teen Titans Go! episode "Staring at the Future," Beast Boy and Cyborg travel forward in time and learn that Robin (or rather, Nightwing) is now married to Batgirl.