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Relationship Upgrade

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The moment when two characters become an Official Couple.

There may have been Unresolved Sexual Tension earlier, romantic feelings on either side or even an unmistakable Held Gaze or two, but that was all on paper. This is it, the actual relationship. It's happening, starting now. In a work, it's that point where until further notice there's no more sense in asking Will They or Won't They?. In Real Life, it's that point beyond which you'd feel justified calling the other person "my boyfriend/girlfriend".

This is the kind of plot development that gets an audience's attention, so it is often seen in parts of the plot where it is imperative for the story to do just that (e.g. in delivering a Plot Twist or a Cliffhanger, or as a cherry on top of the series Grand Finale). If the relationship was a major source of tension in the work, and the writers don't plan for introducing a new source of this nature instead of the one they just blew apart with this big bang of a payoff, they might find out the audience is not as interested in the story any more.


Most commonly broadcasted with a First Kiss, but every once in a while you find a more… drastic variant (Glad-to-Be-Alive Sex comes to mind). Compare Relationship Reveal—a moment where an implied but existing couple becomes canon. A move from casual to serious can involve I Got You a Drawer. Also compare They Do—the point past which the Romance Arc is concluded and the relationship becomes a constant that feeds other plot threads. Contrast Derailing Love Interests— where a relationship downgrade happens to a Romantic False Lead so an Official Couple can be hooked up. Though they often coincide (e.g. in a Last Minute Hookup) the two are far from synonymous; a Relationship Upgrade can be the beginning of hardships, trials and tribulations that the relationship may not survive at all.

Not to be confused with characters upgrading their abilities by socialization.


Beware: this page might contain spoilers.


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    Anime & Manga 
  • For Digimon Adventure 02, the Christmas Episode was an opportunity to upgrade some relationships—i.e. Ken and Iori could from that moment on converse with each other in a friendly, civil way rather than with constant unease. Also, Ken laughed for what was pretty much the first time—much to everyone's amazement. In the more traditional use of the term, this was also implied to be when Sora and Yamato/Matt started dating.
  • In the last episode of Candy Boy, Yukino and Kanade's relationship appears to get an upgrade from a Romantic Two-Girl Friendship to something more—not hindered by the fact that they are fraternal twin sisters.
  • Mazinger Z: The moment Kouji and Sayaka becoming an item varies between adaptations, but in the Gosaku Ota alternate manga, it happened when they kissed right before Kouji sortied to fight a hopeless battle against the Mykene Empire army.
  • Karin, when Usui finally acknowledges the millions of hints given to him that Karin and him were meant to be and does what Karin herself was too scared (for good reason) to do and confesses to her. This drives Karin to tears.
  • Science Ninja Team Gatchaman: It happened at the end of the third series (Gatchaman Fight) when Jun finally chose Ken over Joe and they got together.
  • Sweet Blue Flowers has Akira asking Fumi out, after learning Fumi has feelings for her.
  • Nadia: The Secret of Blue Water: The kiss between Jean and Nadia may be treated as the moment where this upgrade takes place. Unfortunately, it was very inconveniently placed in the middle of an arc, with about 20% canon material. (And even then, it's treated as a cruel tease, as the writers quickly take them back to square one instantly afterwards.) Regardless, they end up as an official couple in the epilogue (although 31, and 35-39 also show the upgrade).
  • Toradora! is a good example of this trope. With a confusing Love Dodecahedron and twice your daily serving of Will They or Won't They? , Taiga and Ryuuji finally get upgraded from… whatever they were, to a couple in episode 24, where Ryuuji proposes to Taiga.
  • At the end of ...Virgin Love Kaoru and Daigo upgrade from Friends with Benefits to lovers after Kaoru overcomes his commitment issues.
  • In Fullmetal Alchemist, Ed and Winry play out this trope well. Before leaving for the west, Ed somewhat "confesses" his feelings to Winry at the train station, using the words: "It's equivalent exchange! I'll give you half of my life, so give me half of yours!" Though he corresponds alchemy with love, Winry acknowledges what he really means, resulting in her agreeing to give him all of her life. Then, she quickly corrects herself, being flustered when those words dawned on her. Depending on how you want to interpret it (some say this was a proposal, while others say it was merely a confession), Ed and Winry end up with two children anyway, not to mention a wedding ring on Edward's finger. After spending their entire life denying any romantic feelings, they pass their comfort zone and hit home run!
  • In Mobile Suit Gundam SEED, Mu la Flaga and Murrue Ramius manage to upgrade from Unresolved Sexual Tension into an actual relationship only after they've defected from the Earth Alliance and are thus no longer officially constrained by the military's rules against fraternization.
  • At the end of Happy Lesson, Chitose's mothers decide that he's a grown man and doesn't need mother figures anymore… he needs wives. They all change into bridal gowns and marry the poor guy on the spot.
  • Done very methodically in Psyren between Ageha and Amamiya, after quite a length of implied Two Guys and a Girl and light harem.
  • Occurs at the end of episode 18 of D.N.Angel between Daisuke and Riku.
  • In Fairy Tail, Alzack and Bisca are revealed to have gotten married after the time skip. Sherry is also engaged to Ren after the Oracion Seis arc hints at them getting together.
  • In The Familiar of Zero, Louise and Saito start getting serious with their relationship at the beginning of the fourth season, they also marry at the end of the series.
  • Guts and Casca from Berserk started as teeth-clenched comrades, but eventually worked up to Fire-Forged Friends in Volume 8. Eventually, with Casca realizing the nature of her feelings towards Guts and Guts being encouraged by his other comrades, they were led into becoming an Official Couple when they shared their first kiss in Volume 9, progressing to much lovemaking soon after. Things looking up for them, right? Unfortunately, it all started to come tumbling down in Volumes 12-14; in the Eclipse, their relationship is brutally ripped in half when Griffith sacrifices the Band of the Hawk to become Femto and as his first act as a Godhand, rapes Casca to insanity in front of Guts (who is Forced to Watch the ordeal). Casca has since then been reduced to a Cute Mute who completely distrusts Guts, demoting them from Battle Couple to Star-Crossed Lovers. Given the recent return of Casca's sanity, time will tell if they can still be together.
  • Daisuke and Hinako in Bitter Virgin finally become a couple in the end. Sadly, not even they think it will last because they assume one day they would find someone better to support them.
  • In Detective Conan, Wataru Takagi and Miwako Sato get their relationship upgrade in the second part of the "The Scar that Evokes the Past" arc. After Takagi is beaten near death and then shot when he's in a Hostage Situation with the killer of the week, Sato visits him at the hospital and she is relieved the he's okay. At the end, when he mentions how many almost kisses have taken place between them, she leans over him and actually gives him The Big Damn Kiss, establishing their relationship.
    • Similarly, the "Timeless Sakura Love" case is the one where Sumiko Kobayashi and Ninzaburo Shiratori also become a couple. Kobayashi is the star witness to a case that Shiratori is working on, she learns about his former courting of Sato and almost cuts him off because she fears he's using her to forget Sato, he tells her that she was his First Girl After All but she still is unconvinced and depressed... but once the culprit fails to do her in and Shiratori gives him a Shut Up, Hannibal! that sounds almost exactly like the one from their Forgotten First Meeting, she remembers him from their shared past, and accepts his definitive Love Confession.
  • ReLIFE: Kariu liked Ohga from the start, but it took him almost 100 chapters to realize his own feelings. After some prodding from friends, they start dating.
  • Happy Happy Clover: While Shallot and Mallow are both great friends. Shallot has mentioned to Clover earlier in the series that he has a crush on Mallow but he's to shy to tells her that. However in the final volume of the manga, one story titled "Mallow's Heart Sours" contains an accidental love confession between Shallot and Mallow in private. Basically, Mallow asks Shallot to find an ingredient she needs since she wants to be a nurse which Shallot did. This resulted in him not showing up at Professor Hoot's school the next day and Clover, Kale, and Mallow are the only students present. Mallow decides to visit Shallot's house where he is seen laying in bed covered in bruises and injuring his hands. Mallow starts taking care of him but Shallot starts asking her why she is at him place and not at school. She replies by hearing that he was absent that that day and starts asking him how he get hurt. He starts becoming very tongue twisted and has a hard time responding until he yells at Mallow saying that he really liked her. This causes Mallow to blush and becomes speechless for a moment and quickly hugs Shallot in bed. Mallow then mentions that her hearts has been beating alot lately and felt weird. They later end up getting married and have children of there own.
  • In Ore Monogatari!!, Takeo and Yamato get together very early on (in the third episode of the anime), subverting the usual trend of pandering the ship. Instead, the series focuses on how their romantic relationship blooms.
  • Haru and Tsurezure from Ojojojo get together pretty quickly (Chapter 14), but their nature as a Chastity Couple means that it takes a while for them to do things that normal couples do (like kiss, hold hands, or even refer to each other by their first names).
  • Hori and Miyamura from Horimiya start dating when Hori's father asks if they're already going out (Hori initially stutters, but gives a very annoyed "yes, you got a problem with that?").
  • After a few episodes of Ship Tease, Professor Kukui pops the question and gets married to Professor Burnet at the end of Pokémon Sun and Moon's Nebby arc.
  • Kaguya-sama: Love Is War: Kaguya and Shirogane officially start dating over winter break, after having spent a year engaging in a Duel of Seduction and an additional week in the "not quite friends, not quite lovers" stage after their First Kiss.

    Comic Books 
  • Buffy the Vampire Slayer:
    • Billy and Devon in Season 9.
    • In season 10 Buffy and Spike hook up. Fans rejoiced.
  • Pictured above is Scott Pilgrim and Ramona Flowers finally declaring their love for one another in Vol. 4.
  • In Garfield, Liz has somehow fallen for Jon after years of begrudgingly dating him and the two are now the Official Couple. This can be considered a good thing given Jon's status in life.
  • Superman: Clark and Lois were casually dating already, but the Relationship Upgrade happens in "Krisis of the Krimson Kryptonite", when he proposes. Word of God is that originally she was supposed to turn him down because of her torch for Superman and status quo would be God, but then they realized that simply wasn't the Lois they were writing anymore.
  • Marvel characters Rictor and Shatterstar spent a few years seeming like Heterosexual Life-Partners, with the author planning to reveal that they weren't so hetero after all. He got moved off the book before this could happen, and it wasn't until much later that another writer had them finally start dating.
  • The New 52: Superman and Wonder Woman become a couple since Justice League # 12. Then they broke up and the Superman married to Lois (see above) came back.
  • While Star Lord and Kitty Pryde had been seeing each other for some time, both refused to admit that they were boyfriend and girlfriend to their respective teammates. It took the events of The Black Vortex for them to come right out and say it, eventually concluding with Peter proposing to Kitty, and Kitty accepting his proposal.
  • At some point during the eight-month Time Skip between Serenity and Leaves on the Wind, Mal and Inara became a couple, resolving their Belligerent Sexual Tension from Firefly.
  • Subverted when Hellion attempts to push one in issue 19 of X-23. Throughout the arc Laura has been standoffish and avoiding talking to Julian, who spends the entire arc trying to talk to her. Finally, he tries to invoke this trope by planting a Forceful Kiss on her, and tells her how much the kiss is going to change things. Laura, however, permanently breaks off their relationship instead by telling him she no longer has feelings for him. Julian's angry outburst in response finishes off their friendship, as well (though Laura admits to Gambit she still cares for him at the end of the issue).
  • Robin Series: Tim and Steph have a sort of flirting relationship in their masked identities which Tim sort of tries to discourage since he already had a girlfriend at the time and knew he'd never get Batman's permission to tell Steph his secret identity. After she saves his life and he kisses her in thanks he quickly goes to end his already failed relationship with Ari (though she breaks up with him before he can get the words out) and informs Steph that any relationship they were to have would have to stick to their costumed ids. When Steph makes it clear this isn't and issue for her they quickly upgrade to official status, and start going on dates in costume.
  • Karolina and Nico from Runaways seemed doomed to forever be stuck in Will They or Won't They? status until they finally got together in the 2017 relaunch of the series. Their Big Damn Kiss was the culmination of over a decade (in real time; two years in canon) of romantic tension. The TV adaptation decided to fast-track things and have them become a couple at the end of the first season.

    Fan Works 
  • American Housewife fanfic To Have and Have Yacht: Taylor Otto and Cooper Bradford get together on his parents' yacht in the midst of having their First Kiss after he's brought her along to help her get over ex-boyfriend Trip Windsor.
  • Chapter 5 of As Fate Would Have It is when Nate and Yancy start dating for real, although prior to that it was Unresolved Sexual Tension between the two until Nate confessed to her on a whim following a fancy dinner.
  • In Gankona, Unnachgiebig, Unità, this happened when Italy chose both Germany and Japan.
  • In the My Little Pony: Friendship Is Magic fanfic Rainbow in the Dark, Brownie and Rainbow Dash start as simple friends, but at the end of the story they officially become a couple.
  • A Crown of Stars: In chapter 24 after considerable soul-searching and getting plenty psychological counsel, Shinji and Asuka have a very serious talk. Shinji confesses his feelings and they agree to try and to have a real relationship even if Asuka has not come to terms with her own feelings yet.
  • Advice and Trust:
    • Shinji and Asuka became a couple in chapter 1 which happens two months before the prologue. During their First Kiss Shinji accidentally places his hands on Asuka's hips, which leads her to think he is reciprocating and intensify the kiss. In turn Shinji realizes she is kissing him because she wants to and kisses her back. After breaking their kiss they talk about their feelings, realize each other's feelings and get together.
    • Ritsuko and Maya get together in chapter 9 after Rei saves Ritsuko from her suicide attempt.
    • Rei and Kaworu finally get together at the stroke of midnight on New Year's.
  • The first eight chapters of the My Little Pony: Friendship Is Magic fanfic A Delicate Balance are more or less entirely about Twilight's attempt to upgrade her relationship with Applejack without messing up their current relationship.
  • The Child of Love: In chapter 5 after Asuka’s attempted suicide Shinji and Asuka go to a festival. After watching fireworks they have a long, civil talk during which they decide to get together.
  • The Dragon That Will Pierce the Heavens more-or-less starts with Luffy recruiting Hikari and Zoro onto his pirate crew, and it takes traveling through East Blue (fighting the likes of Captain Morgan, Buggy, Kuro, Mihawk, Don Krieg, and Arlong) and crossing into the Grand Line, where they get mixed up in Baroque Works' plot and helping Vivi save her kingdom, for them to officially upgrade to significant others in the Drum Island Arc.
  • Evangelion 303: Shinji and Asuka became lovers in chapter 5 (when she seduced him), and in chapter 13 they got engaged.
  • Ghosts of Evangelion: In 2019, Shinji confesses to Asuka. After two arguments -because these kids just don't know how to do anything the easy way- Asuka accepts his confession and Shinji agrees to not take it back, and they are officially together from that time on.
  • In Supergirl fanfic Hellsister Trilogy, Kara Zor-El hooks up with Dev-Em in the ninth chapter of the first arc after slipping she likes him.
  • HERZ: Shinji and Asuka’s happened in 2020 after Shinji’s attempted suicide. Rei encouraged Asuka to open up to him. They reached out to each other, and got married two years later.
  • In Peggy Sue fanfic The Second Try, the upgrade happens in chapter 4, "Love". After a heated argument related to Kaworu, Asuka finally musters the courage to confess her feelings to Shinji. Naturally he tells her that reciprocates. Given the mind-numbing complexities of time-travel, we see Shinji and Asuka like a couple BEFORE we see the upgrade.
  • Chapter 28 of Weightless (Mass Effect) finally let Shepard and Garrus do this, after a series of extremely long and painful UST.
  • A Growing Affection gives Hinata and Naruto four; in chapter one they become training partners to get to know each other better. In chapter 38 they become an official couple. In chapter 90, they get engaged; and the final chapter deals with their wedding.
  • Children of Time has one episode in which Boy Meets Girl and Boy and Girl Become Official Couple at the end... much to the dismay of Sherlock Holmes, who is rather less than enthusiastic to see his best friend falling in love again.
    • And then Holmes himself voluntarily initiates a First Kiss with Beth Lestrade in the final episode of the season, after half a season of semi-Belligerent Sexual Tension and a heck of a lot of pain for both parties. The two end up getting married, as do Watson and Sally Sparrow (example above).
  • The end of [[fanFic/The Vinyl And Octavia Series Vinyl and Octavia Have Multiple Dates]] ends with this.
  • That moment in Chapter 14 of Origin Story where Alex reveals that she's had an epiphany about her awkward relationship with Louise:
    Alex Harris: "So anyway, uh, after I sort of figured out I loved you, I started asking myself if this was for real. I mean, uh, are our feelings for each other real? Are we really falling in love, or are we just desperate? I feel love for you. I love you. I know I love you. I can feel it. But… but… you were in a really crap place, and I was in a really crap place, and maybe we just, uh, I don’t know, latched on each other, you know? I was just sort of wondering. Just wondering if we, you and me, if we hooked onto the only people we know who gave a shit. You know? I’ve been thinking about it, I mean. The whole desperation thing. About whether our feelings are real. And it’s why I’ve come to a decision about leaving you behind and hiding to keep you safe and whether or not we’re just being desperate. I’ve come to a decision about all of it. And what I’ve decided is, I don’t care. I love you, Louise. I know we’re not to the in love stage, but I want to be there. And I’m not running away from you. I’m not going anywhere unless you’re going with me."
  • Hotspring Souls!:
    • The story ends with the Chosen Undead and Rhea of Thorolund finally getting together, and they remain a strong couple in the sequel. ALL of their friends knew they would eventually hook up anyway, and Solaire even falls to his knees and cries tears of joy when this happens.
    • Solaire ends up with Lady Maria in the sequel.
    • In the sequel, Garl Vinland and Maiden Astraea upgrade from being live-in boyfriend and girlfriend to being engaged.
  • In chapter 16 of Children of an Elder God, Asuka and Shinji have their first date. They dance together for a little while, and finally Asuka kisses him. From that point on, they are officially a couple.
  • In chapter 8 of Thousand Shinji, after several weeks of arguing and bickering, Shinji and Asuka got together when she sat on his lap and kissed him.
  • In chapter 8 of Neon Genesis Evangelion: Genocide, Asuka tells Shinji about her mother's death and her feelings of loneliness and isolation. He says he needs her and she wants him to promise never hurting her. This event, more or less, solidifies their relationship into something overtly romantic.
  • Last Child of Krypton: In the original fic, Shinji and Asuka became a couple officially when Shinji revealed his secret identity to Asuka, and in reaction she got angry and kissed him. In the redux, they got together when Shinji comforted Asuka after Kaji turned her down.
  • Once More with Feeling: Although it hasn't reached that point yet, Word of God is Shinji and Asuka will get together.
  • The Little Pony Legend: The "season" The Nightmare's return serves as a "season" long version of this to upgrade Bolin and Asami.
  • Doing It Right This Time has had two, both of which were only revealed after the fact. Toji and Hikari's apparently took place some time after the 13th Angel and his serious injuries, whereas Ritsuko and Maya's was heavily hinted at but finally revealed in Chapter 3.
  • Long Road to Friendship upgrades Sunset Shimmer and Human Twilight's relationship on the night of the Winter Ball after Sunset breaks the curse set upon her by the Elements of Harmony.
  • The PreDespair Kids has had more than a few.
  • Varric references the trope by name in Across the Waking Sea when writing letters to Bethany Hawke; he talks a good bit about the Inquisitors and their respective romance arcs.
  • Much Ado About Shakespeare: Love's Labours Won: Fellow naval officers Horatio and Archie go from friends to lovers in this fic. They get together through a silly bet and quoting Shakespeare.
  • Child of the Storm: After nearly a hundred chapters of growing UST and the ever-growing number of people who can tell that they're more than Just Friends as they claim they are, Chapter 46 of Ghosts of the Past finally sees Harry and Carol officially hook up, when he asks her to the Yule Ball and she accepts with The Big Damn Kiss.
  • The Dark Lords of Nerima: In "The Dark Lords Ascendant", Hotaru confesses to Ryouga after they kill the Wyrmspawn and he reciprocates (both were in love all along with the other but thought they didn't feel the same).
  • The One to Make It Stay: Silence Can Be Beautiful has Marinette review her feelings and ask Luka out during its climax, with the pair officially dating by the start of White Hot Morning. Alya also gets herself benched for the summer by editing some footage to make it look like Ladybug accepted one of Chat Noir's Love Confessions around the same time.
  • The heroine and the narrator of the Dragon Age: Inquisition fic Beyond Heroes: Of Sunshine and Red Lyrium finally do this after 37 chapters of increasing UST.
  • Elsa and Anna in The Secret Life of Punzie have apparently had lingering feelings for each other for a while. When Elsa expresses how pent up she feels, she convinces her to visit the strip club she and Rapunzel work at as a way of confessing their feelings for her, causing them to go from friends to girlfriends.
  • Worm: More Than Meets the Eye:
    • Danny and Hannah go from being friends to lovers in Int 14.4.
    • Amy and Taylor after many chapters of both of them being oblivious to each other's feelings they become girlfriends in 15.2.
  • A Diplomatic Visit:
    • In the sequel Diplomat at Large, after just a few chapters of Ship Tease, Luna and Pharynx have become an official couple by chapter 4, set some weeks after the story started.
    • Chapter 6 mentions that Lyra and Bon-Bon proposed to one another and got married after Bon-Bon announced she was joining the army.
    • While exact details of how are not given, it's noted in chapter 12 that Queen Scolopidia has made her close friendship with Vinyl and Octavia official, and moved her hive to Equestria.
    • In chapter 1 of the fourth story, The Diplomat's Life, it's noted that Starlight and Sunburst have become a couple offscreen, and are moving to Ponyville together soon.
    • In chapter 6, Moondancer and Trixie talk with Twilight, and by the end of it, they're a romantic trio.
    • The epilogue confirms that several of Twilight's friends are in official relationships. Starlight and Sunburst are married, as are Tempest and Flash Magnus, Maud Pie and Mudbriar, Daring Do and Teomitl, and the Alpha and Principal Celestia; Rarity is dating both her new friend and business partner Gem Polisher and her employee Coco Pommel (though they haven't admitted to being in love yet), Princess Celestia is in a relationship with a pegasus stallion, Sunset is dating Sci-Twi, and the human Flash Sentry and Derpy Hooves are dating, with plans to marry after college. Pinkie's canon marriage to Cheese Sandwich has also happened, as has Big McIntosh's marriage to Sugar Belle.
  • The Progenitor Chronicles (Resident Evil): the MC and Rebecca become a couple at the end of Volume II, 12 years after they first meet (Justified in that when they first meet, the MC is 10).
  • In The Gotham Knights of Middle-Earth, Tim Drake (the third Robin) and Cassandra Cain (the third Batgirl) were awkward allies at best in Gotham, but after they're sent to Middle-Earth, after spending time together in Rivendell and on the quest to Mordor, they become closer until they finally kiss in Moria and start a relationship in Lothlorien after talking about the kiss. Despite a brief period of separation after the battle at the Falls where Tim is assumed dead by the rest of the Fellowship, once Tim rejoins the others after the Battle of Helm's Deep, he and Cassandra finally affirm that they love each other, and become each other's firsts in Minas Tirith before the final confrontation at the Black Gate.
  • The Chronicles of Karai Getting Her Shit Together:
    • Donatello and April never really moved past the Will They or Won't They? stage in canon. Here, it isn't until Donatello just bluntly confesses his feelings to her after enduring Bigfoot's advances does she finally reciprocate his feelings and they become a couple.
    • In-canon, Leonardo and Karai never really went past the Dating Catwoman phase and stayed friends. Here, not only do the both of them clearly like-like each other, but Everyone Can See It and are encouraging them to just spit it out.
  • Son of the Sannin has multiple couples get together over the course of the series, but special mention goes to chapter 31, which has three different couples (including Naruto and Hinata) start dating and a fourth pre-existing relationship announcing both their engagement and that a child is on the way.
  • The Bolt Chronicles: Bolt and Mittens go from friends to lovers in “The Ship.”

    Films — Animation 
  • In Kung Fu Panda 2, Tigress has changed from a bitter resenter of Po, for becoming the Dragon Warrior, to his best friend (with some Ship Tease of becoming still more to him).

    Films — Live-Action 
  • The Babysitter: At the start of the film, Melanie is Cole's 12-year old neighbor and his only friend at school. Things change after Cole ends up having to protect himself and Melanie from his psychopathic babysitter, Bee and her friends. The ordeal brings Cole and Melanie closer together - advancing their relationship from just friends, to puppy love.
  • Simon and Kaylee finally get it on at the very end of Serenity. They should've checked the ceiling before they chose their base of operations.
  • Modesty Blaise and her sidekick in the 1967 movie version (and they sing about it). This is one of the reasons The Movie is considered Canon Discontinuity.
  • After years of Unresolved Sexual Tension and Tony's sleeping around, he and Pepper finally get together at the end of Iron Man 2.
  • An unusual example in Attack on Titan: in the original manga/anime, Eren and Mikasa are adoptive siblings in an Ambiguous Situation. The film version removes the sibling angle and ambiguity, and makes them a full-blown Official Couple.
  • All three film versions of Annie (1982, 1999 and 2014) have Warbucks (or, in the 2014 version Stacks) and Grace become an Official Couple in the end. While in the stage version there's some Ship Tease between them, their actual upgrade is put off until the sequel Annie Warbucks, but in the screen versions the romance is definite. The 1999 version even has them become engaged.
  • In Spider-Man: Far From Home, Peter and Michelle have an awkward romance throughout the movie, but don't know how to tell each other. Peter tries many times to tell Michelle he likes her, but is interrupted. By the end of the movie, Peter finally tells MJ he loves her and they become an Official Couple after sharing their first kiss.
  • Clara: Around midway into the film, Isaac gets together with Clara after they fall for each other and have sex. Previously, she had just been his assistant, though they both grew steadily closer.

  • Harry Potter
  • Book two of Song of the Lioness has Alanna and Jonathan go from friends to lovers, though it ends in the third book. Afterwards, Alanna starts a relationship with longtime friend George Cooper, and though they take a brief, amicable break, during which she has One Last Fling with Liam Ironarm, they eventually marry.
  • Book four of The Immortals has Daine and Numair realizing that they were meant for each other. The previous books give a few clues to this end, but not all that many—the fact that Daine was in her early teens and Numair in his late twenties, and her teacher, made him uncomfortable about the thing. Luckily for the author's observing Moral Guardians, Daine was already at an age where she would be considered an adult in her time period before this happened, and by that time Daine and Numair were no longer teacher and student, but friends and co-workers.
  • Luke Skywalker and Mara Jade. Han and Leia went through it. So did Jacen and Tenel Ka. Even Ben looks like he's going to get his own version of his parents' relationship in the person of Vestara Khai.
  • In the Nightrunner series, Alec and Seregil get upgraded to Official Couple after almost two books of Ho Yay.
  • In the third book of Dora Wilk Series, Dora and Miron go from Just Friends with UST to Official Couple.
  • In Percy Jackson and the Olympians, Annabeth kisses Percy after the final battle at camp, when she gives him his birthday cupcake.
  • Heavily played with in the Dresden Files series. Even Word of God Jim Butcher has no idea who Harry will end up with.
    • Skin Game might finally have sealed Harry and Karin as a couple. They spend the end of the book making out in the hospital, at least. Though Murphy herself says "I am on so many drugs" in the middle of it and Molly seems to have finally accepted that their mentor/student relationship is truly over, so don't expect things to be that cut and dry.
  • Song at Dawn: Estella and Dragonetz have The Big Damn Kiss while practicing a love duet. The deal is sealed that night.
  • In Smoke and Ashes, Tony and Lee finally hook up after three books of Everyone Can See It. In the short story See Me, set couple of years later, they are now living together.
  • In the Mary Russell series, Mary Russell and Sherlock Holmes finally hook up in the last page of second book after around twenty chapters worth of tension, we finally get them kissing. In which you better enjoy it. It's the only major kiss you'll read in a series of twelve novels!
  • By the start of the third book of The Powder Mage Trilogy Taniel and Ka-Poel finally become a couple after the former finally realises how he feels about his companion.
  • City of Bones by Martha Wells: After becoming Fire-Forged Friends, Elen hesitantly asks to court Khat at the end of the book. Subverted when he turns her down, deciding that their social differences are too great to reconcile. They do kiss, though.
  • It's only on the very last pages of the final installment of The Chronicles of Prydain that Taran and Eilonwy become the Official Couple. And a Ruling Couple at that!

    Live-Action TV 
  • Game of Thrones: Daario with Daenerys in Season 4. She breaks up with him in the Season 6 finale, however.
  • Scrubs dabbled with this repeatedly in the relationship between JD and Elliot. At one stage they even became no-strings-attached "sex buddies", which JD says is the best thing a man can hear from a female friend. They receive their true Relationship Upgrade into Official Couple during the final (well technically there's another season, but in truth it's really more of a spin off setting/content-wise) season, one that is clean and without any drama mucking it up (aside from one bit of drama that arbitrarily arises during the two-part episode).
  • In the middle of the final season of I Dream of Jeannie, Major Nelson finally drops the Idiot Ball and confesses his feelings for and to Jeannie.
  • In the final episode of the first series of Torchwood, Captain Jack Harkness and Ianto finally (and very dramatically) kiss in front of the team—not quite a Last Minute Hookup but almost.
    • Played With throughout season 2 with Toshiko and Owen: all of their relationship development takes place after Owen becomes undead, and Owen absolutely does not care what happens anymore. They share a mid-battle kiss, have that date that Tosh wanted all along, dance quite romantically at a wedding, and eventually say a tearful goodbye. They both realise how thoroughly dysfunctional it is and that they're both just going through the motions and waiting for the end.
  • Jim and Pam on The Office (US) got a Relationship Upgrade between seasons three and four, and then another one later on.
  • Harry and Christine in Night Court. A bit of a subversion in that they don't date for very long before deciding they work Better as Friends.
  • In Battlestar Galactica, after 3 and 1/2 seasons of subtle growth and development, Laura Roslin told Bill Adama that she loved him, to which he responded "About time."
  • In Hannah Montana Oliver and Lilly had been friends since kindergarten and now, in high school, are an official couple. However, this is a milder example than others, since the actual moment of upgrade happened off-screen with very little build-up. Needless to say, the shippers of this couple felt rather cheated.
  • The Big Bang Theory:
    • As of season 3, Leonard and Penny. (Boy, considering how central UST is to the show, even posting this is practically a spoiler!)
    • Sheldon and Amy, though this is less a resolution of UST and more Sheldon finally getting over himself and recognizing that he and Amy are a couple.
      Sheldon: I would not be opposed to us no longer characterizing you as "not my girlfriend".
      Amy: Interesting. Now try it without the quadruple-negative.
  • Dollhouse:
    • Topher and Bennett, just before Saunders shoots Bennett in the head.
    • And Echo and Paul, just before Alpha makes him brain-dead.
  • Star Trek: Deep Space Nine: Odo and Kira finally got this late in season six of the show after nearly a decade of UST. Miraculously the show avoids Shipping Bed Death and they're still madly in love in the series finale.
  • Sonny with a Chance: Sonny and Chad go on their first date in "Falling For The Falls".
  • The X-Files: Mulder & Scully are a weird example; they spent five seasons as Platonic Life-Partners, then had an Almost Kiss in the first movie, and the UST became more and more overt in season 6. For the last few seasons of the show it's hinted increasingly strongly that they're already together, and in the second movie it's finally made explicit. It's not clear when the Relationship Upgrade took place, though. (The leading candidate is season 7's "all things," which features Scully evaluating her past choices about life and relationships, leading up to a scene where she's getting dressed in Mulder's bathroom while he's asleep in bed, apparently naked. This episode also occurred at about the right time before Scully's pregnancy was discovered/revealed in the season-ending episode "Requiem".)
  • Olivia and Peter from Fringe. Which was instantly railroaded by AltOlivia switching places with the real Olivia, and an oblivious Peter continuing his relationship with (and impregnating) the wrong one. When the real Olivia found out… she didn't take it too well. It's up in the air right now whether the upgrade will hold. It held, or was reinstalled. Then was promptly erased from all time three episodes later. Until Peter somehow wills himself back into existence, they eventually get back together, Olivia announces she's pregnant, and they time skip three years to show Peter and Olivia very much together and raising their daughter Etta. That is, up until the Observers invade and they're separated from Etta and get encased in amber for 20-odd years. Shenanigans ensue involving the plan to defeat the Observers, and Etta dies. Eventually the Timey-Wimey Ball comes into play and the final episode ends with Peter and Olivia still together with Etta (who's back to being three years old and obviously no longer dead.) Phew!
  • This was originally presented as Zach & Flo's story line in Season 3 of The Amazing Race. They came on as Just Friends looking for more; only they ended up averting it when Flo left the race dating a racer from another team.
  • On leg 8 of Season 17, Chad proposed to Stephanie in Oman while they were waiting for their departure time to continue their leg. Their title was subsequently upgraded from "Newly Dating" to "Engaged".
  • It's not really clear whether the scene at the end of the second season of Terminator: The Sarah Connor Chronicles with John and Cameron in bed together is supposed to be this or the opposite, with John realizing how much of a machine she really is and understanding the sexual tension between them isn't real.
    • Since he commits a Heroic Sacrifice and dives into the future to get her chip back, it seems pretty confirmed he doesn't think of her as a machine.
  • Lost Girl has several.
    • Bo and Dyson go from strangers to friends with benefits to lovers in season 1.
    • Bo and Lauren go from friends to lovers in season 3.
    • Kenzi and Hale begin a relationship in season four after three years of friendship mixed with a healthy dose of attraction.
  • In Community episode Interpretive Dance Jeff and Slater have to fill out official paperwork with the college so that they can have a relationship.
    • After quite a bit of Ship Tease, Britta and Troy get together between seasons 3 and 4.
  • On Boy Meets World, Cory and Topanga officially get together in the first episode of season three.
  • What Brody wants from Abby in Against the Wall. She wants them to stay as Friends with Benefits.
  • Booth and Brennan in Bones, despite several false starts, finally achieved their relationship upgrade at the end of Season 6.
  • Glee: Occurs in "Original Song" between Blaine and Kurt.
  • In Season 3's "Chuck Versus the Other Guy", Chuck and Sarah dropped the Will They or Won't They? pretenses and got their relationship upgrade by episode's end.
  • Grissom and Sara on CSI in the season 6 finale-the last scene showed them in bed together.
  • Babylon 5: John Sheridan and Delenn get theirs in "Ceremonies of Light and Dark" when he tells her, "...I can no longer imagine my world without you in it." Although they don't get The Big Damn Kiss until eight episodes later, from that episode on, they are for all intents and purposes together romantically.
  • The writers and actors of Castle didn't even try to hide the fact that Kate Beckett and Richard Castle were eventually going to become a couple; the tension (which was arguably the primary driving force behind the show) was in seeing how. As of season four's finale, "Always", it finally happened where Castle proclaims his feelings for Beckett and she returns them at the end of the episode. Season five has them secretly dating (even though Everybody Knew Already, which does eventually end up out in the open) and the season ends with Castle's proposal. Season six has them working together as an engaged couple planning their wedding, which is set to happen at the end of season six... but things go awry when Castle vanishes on the way to the wedding. However, he turns up in the season seven premiere, and they eventually wed early in the season ("The Time of Our Lives") to become a crime fighting husband and wife team.
  • Friends: Ross and Rachel in Season 2.
    • Monica and Chandler get together in the series 4 finale. It's initially a Friends with Benefits relationship that upgrades further to a full-blown romance that eventually ends up with them Happily Married.
  • Given that How I Met Your Mother is the Romantic Comedy of Sitcoms, this isn't exactly uncommon. Special mention goes to the season one finale where Ted and Robin finally get together after he makes it rain for her. Also notable is "Definitions", which is all about this and how the relationship-averse couple wants to stick to their Friends with Benefits deal, but Lily won't let them. Although, as Ted points out, they had their Relationship Upgrade months ago (in the previous season finale). They just never defined it.
  • Happens for Josh and Donna midway through the seventh season of The West Wing. They share a in-the-heat-of-the-moment kiss after getting unexpectedly good polling numbers and consummate their relationship on Election Day shortly thereafter.
  • On Spartacus: Blood and Sand, the path to Relationship Upgrade is often fraught with Official Couple Ordeal Syndrome.
    • Crixus and Naevia probably have it the worst. He's a slave gladiator, she's a house slave being kept as a virgin to preserve her market value. They're Star-Crossed Lovers. Or as much as they can be given that he is kept locked in a cage at night. Then they are forcibly separated and a good chunk of Vengeance revolves around finding Naevia, and then reconnecting her with Crixus.
    • Agron and Nasir have a rather less melodramatic version. There was an early kill-him-or-kiss-him dynamic however. Although a near-death experience is involved, they hook up fairly quickly and easily in comparison.
    • Spartacus and Mira never make it.
  • Crichton and Aeryn had one hell of a rocky road to travel on Farscape. They hook up fairly early in the series on a one-night stand in the first season ("A Human Reaction"), but not only do they never talk about it in the episode (Crichton starts to, but Aeryn shuts him down), they don't even acknowledge they actually slept together until the season 2 premiere. Although season 1 had some other Ship Tease moments (such as when stranded in "The Flax," and their farewell in the season finale before Crichton's Suicide Mission, one take of which involved an unscripted kiss) the UST doesn't start building particularly heavily until season 2, particularly the "Look at the Princess" trilogy. They confess their feelings for one another in the season 2 finale, unfortunately, it turns out Crichton is being mind-controlled by Scorpius's neural clone at the time. Due to various complications, it takes until mid-season 3 for Crichton and Aeryn to finally become an Official Couple. Unfortunately, it's after Crichton has been "twinned," and the Crichton Aeryn hooks up with dies in a Heroic Sacrifice by the end of the season. Season 4 reverses their relationship, with Aeryn doing the pursuing and Crichton avoiding her, with Noranti's help, and it's not until the last half a dozen episodes that they finally get together for real, and Crichton proposes to her at the end series finale (right before the cliffhanger ending in which they get blasted by an alien spaceship, setting up the miniseries). Whew!
  • The Defenders (2017):
    • Daredevil (2015):
      • Matt Murdock and Karen Page have an instant attraction to each other. By season 2, it's been six months since Fisk has been locked up, giving them more time to explore their feelings for each other, with Matt willing to let Karen guide him to sink the 8-ball during an after-work round of pool at Josie's. By "Penny and Dime", the two are flirting whenever they're alone or Foggy has just stepped away from them to handle something else. Their way of celebrating Frank Castle's capture, after a round of drinks at Josie's, is to share a passionate kiss in the rain. They are temporarily driven apart in the second half of season 2 by Matt's nighttime activities and Karen finding Elektra in Matt's bed, but in the season 2 finale, Matt privately meets with Karen to disclose his secret, with a hint that they'll reconcile. They're slowly on the rebound in The Defenders (2017), though things take a step back after Matt is seemingly killed defeating the Hand underneath Midland Circle.
      • Wilson Fisk and Vanessa Marianna get one after James Wesley takes the initiative and reaches out to Vanessa to calm Fisk down after he's intimidated by Madame Gao. Vanessa's calming influence give Fisk a new dose of confidence and inspires him to go public, delivering a speech on live TV in which he paints himself as a savior and paints the Devil of Hell's Kitchen as a terrorist. It also alienates Fisk from his own associates, who think that Vanessa is turning him into a softie, to the point that Madame Gao and Leland Owlsley try to have her killed.
    • Iron Fist (2017): Danny Rand and Colleen Wing have a lot of clear tension from the moment they first meet. They eventually realize their feelings and become lovers halfway through the first season.
  • Jane and Lisbon in The Mentalist after several seasons of unresolved sexual tension and a lot of fan shipping. Of course, Jane's past come to play as at least one of the reasons of why he was reluctant to explore those feelings.
  • Robbie Lewis and Dr. Laura Hobson in Lewis as of Season 7 "Ramblin' Boy"
  • Sesame Street: Maria and Luis were Just Friends and co-workers for years, but when Sonia Manzano (Maria's actress] became pregnant and it was decided to write her pregnancy into the show, the two fell in love, were wed in a landmark episode, and have been Happily Married ever since.
  • Schitt's Creek:
    • After a series of starts and stops, Alexis thinks she must move on from Ted, but he surprises her at a Singles Week event and kisses her in front of a cheering crowd.
    • Although they are dating and run a business together, David is shown as unclear what to introduce Patrick as when they encounter Jake. This dramatically changes after Patrick and Stevie spend a day pushing David's aesthetic Berserk Button in an effort to get him to compromise. David finally admits to being unable to do so, but he also calls Patrick his boyfriend.
      David: These mountaineering shoes that my boyfriend is wearing looking like Oprah on a Thanksgiving Day hike, incorrect.
      Patrick: I'm sorry what did you just say?
      David: I said the breath mints need to move.
      Patrick: I think it was something about your boyfriend's shoes.
      * The Wilds: Toni and Shelby in episode 10 seem to become a couple.

  • Deconstructed in the Barenaked Ladies song "Conventioneers." The first three verses describe a man having a romantic passionate evening with a woman he's had a crush on for a long time, musing about how he wants to marry and grow old with her the whole time. Immediately after they have sex, he decides that it wasn't worth it and leaves while she's sleeping, secretly hoping that they never see each other again (which is really awkward, as it's revealed that they're co-workers).

    Video Games 
  • This is essentially the point of all Dating Sims and most Visual Novels.
  • Played with in Tales of Legendia. Senel and Shirley had a 'bread winner and homemaker' set up pre-main story but at the time they were pretending to be siblings. At the end of the Main Narrative they accidentally enact the ferines engagement ritual and the local deity approved but at the start of Side Story they still feel like siblings.
  • In the Mass Effect series, Tali and Garrus have forged a strong bond with Commander Shepard due to the events in the first game to the point where they both trust him/her unconditionally. Depending on both Shepard's gender and choices, the relationship he/she has with these two characters can turn into a romantic one.
    • In the third game, it's possible to start an entirely new romance with any of the first game's love interests. This includes a male Shepard and Kaidan (though not Femshep and Ashley).
    "It does. It does feel right. After all this time. You and me."
    • The third game also had a moment: if neither Tali nor Garrus was romanced and both survived the suicide mission in ME2, you can walk in on them hugging. Their embarrassed attempts at making up an excuse (she asked him to check her helmet for a rupture) to Shepard are both hilarious and heartwarming.
      Garrus: Guess it helps to have something to come back to.
      Tali: What do you mean, 'something to come back to'? (in a flirty tone) This is just a fling, Vakarian; I'm using you for your body...!
      Garrus: You're so mean... and I'm okay with that.
  • In Final Fantasy VII, Cloud and Tifa's night under the Highwind, according to Word of God.
  • In the Harvest Moon series, this is an important, but usually optional part of the game. However, in Rune Factory 2, missing a Relationship Upgrade means you miss 2/3 of the game.
  • In the later Persona games, reaching a certain rank in your social link with a girl (or boy, if you're playing Persona 3 Portable) will give you the option to pursue a closer relationship. This can happen with every girl you Social Link with, and if you're already dating one, there's no reason why you can't date more note . Notoriously, completing a romanceable girl's Social Link (and thus unlocking more Personas) in the original versions of Persona 3 actually required you to accept a Relationship Upgrade; later games made it possible to complete all S-Links while still remaining genuinely faithful to one girl/boy.
    • This maybe happens at the end of the original Persona; "Ideal" Maki kisses the protagonist right before they leave each other, and when the cast reunites in the final scene, the protagonist and "real" Maki show up together.
  • In the 2018 Spider-Man video game, Peter and Mary Jane reconcile their relationship at the end of the game, which continues into the DLC's after the main story.

    Visual Novels 
  • Amnesia: Memories plays with this trope by having the heroine already having performed a relationship upgrade with the respective boyfriend on the routes, especially when it comes to Shin and Toma, as they were childhood friends with the heroine. Amnesia: Later involves performing the next relationship upgrade to becoming engaged, and Amnesia: Crowd performs the next step to marriage.
  • The Mystic Messenger Christmas DLC features one for the main character and Jaehee... sort of. In the original game, Jaehee's route is extremely ambiguous: she repeatedly talks about their great friendship, at one point saying at the end that while romance between a man and a woman is powerful that the friendship between two women is also powerful, but also does many things that indicate romantic feelings, such as when she says near the end that she's so thankful to have met the main character and that she's slowly beginning to understand how she feels about her. In the Christmas DLC, however, romantic feelings are stated outright: in an option reading '(Go to her and tell her your feelings),' the blushing MC kisses Jaehee's cheek while she's asleep and has the option to say 'One day... I'm going to tell you how I truly feel...' After this, Jaehee says in a chat 'Perhaps... I've developed feelings over you without knowing.' But though their feelings are each confirmed to the audience, neither hears on-screen of the others' feelings. But, as Jaehee confessed in a public chat, it can be assumed that the main character would read it later and, presumably, they would get together. So while the actual coupling doesn't happen on-screen, the text finally confirms that they do feel that way and that it will happen.

    Web Comics 
  • Sidekick Girl- Isaurio and Sidekick girl kind of just happen
  • Bittersweet Candy Bowl has Mike and Sandy early on.
  • In this page of Dresden Codak, Kimiko and Yvonne literally upgrade their relationship (the gadget she uses even reads FRIENDSHIP UPGRADED: CHUMS), in order to allow use of nicknames.
  • Elan and Haley in the 400th Order of the Stick strip.
  • Torg and Zoe from Sluggy Freelance, after years of Torg having unspoken, unrequited feelings her, have slowly gotten to the point where they frequently go on what may or may not be dates.
  • Yori and Ina in No Need for Bushido have finally gotten to this point.
  • Aubrey and Jason in Something*Positive. For a long time part of the group of friends the comic centres on, they're now married and have adopted a daughter.
  • At the end of Scary Go Round, Amy and Ryan are friends likely to get together. After a three-year Time Skip, the follow-up strip Bad Machinery sees them recently married.
  • Kevin & Kell comes with LOTS Of these. A not-entirely-inclusive list:
    • The progression of Lindesfarne Dewclaw and Fenton Fuscus through their relationship to marriage.
    • The marriage of Martha Fennec and Ralph Dewclaw.
    • The marriage of George Fennec and Danielle Kindle.
    • The de facto engagement of Bruno Lupulin and Corrie Dale.
  • Penny and Aggie:
    • Sara and Daphne go from friends, to not on speaking terms (when Daphne, bitter over her Unrequited Love, decided to believe the "rape" slander against Sara), then back to friends again, and finally to lovers. Towards the end, they break up and go back to "not on speaking terms" before the epilogue eventually reveals that they decided that they were Better as Friends and are in relationships with other people.
    • Brandi and Stan go from Friends with Benefits to an exclusive relationship.
    • The title characters go from enemies to friends to lovers. They eventually break up off screen, but have a Maybe Ever After in the epilogue.
  • In Slightly Damned, Buwaro and Kieri finally kiss after Buwaro gets seriously injured trying to defend Kieri.
  • Gunnerkrigg Court: After a lot of Ship Tease, Parley's experience with the ghost of Jeanne leads her to finally admitting her feelings for Andrew.
  • After two years trapped in the meteor with her, Rose from Homestuck - coy about it as she is with her brother - arranges what she clearly intends as her first date with Kanaya.
    • Tons of these throughout the comic, actually, some of them occur onscreen and others we only see the aftermath of (in some cases, the upgrade and a subsequent downgrade both occur during a time skip, so it's over before readers know that there was more to it than flirting or pretending to in order to yank Karkat's chain).
  • It certainly appears that Ash & Emily from Misfile have finally gotten theirs with this page
  • Nolan and Gretha from Bits And Bytes Their relationship is shown very naturally with getting to know each other, becoming friends, having feelings for one another, going on a first date, having arguments and make-ups and eventually Nolan asking Gretha to move in with him.
  • In Girl Genius Pix and Abner start out as coworkers with Belligerent Sexual Tension and upgrade to dating shortly after Agatha joins the circus.
  • In Tripping Over You, Milo and Liam get theirs early on, in chapter 2. Their now established relationship arguably sets the course for the further comic.
  • Late in Ménage à 3's run, new minor characters Jane and Vince go from something like Platonic Life-Partners to official couple — while having sex. It's all very Ménage à 3.

    Web Original 
  • In Worm, this occurs after Brian realizes his feelings for Taylor, though they aren't sure what they are after that.
    • A number of other characters get together over the course of the story. Dragon and Defiant get one that occurs mostly offscreen.
    • Parian and Flechette also get together, when the latter defects to the Undersiders.
  • Welcome to Night Vale: Cecil's very vocal crush on Carlos is a running gag throughout the series, but in Ep. 25, Carlos indicates for the first time that the feelings are mutual. As of Ep. 27, the two are dating and despite a few rough patches they're still together as of Ep. 72.
  • In Classic Alice, Alice and Andrew start dating after a few years of friendship.
  • Critical Role's Vax'ildan and Keyleth finally make their pairing canon in Episode 65.
  • In RWBY:
    • Jaune and Pyrrha at the finale of Volume 3...few moments before Pyrrha be killed by Cinder in battle.
    • After several volumes of Will They or Won't They? shenanigans, Nora finally works up the nerve and gives Ren a Big Damn Kiss in "A Night Out".
  • Anon: Chelsea can't stand Tucker for the first half of Season 1. By Season 2, they're an official couple, and by Season 5 they're married.
    • Dani and Hunter have a twenty year long on/off romance and two children together before finally at the beginning of Season 7 they get married.
    • Candace and Ryan are initially introduced as a platonic friendship, however they eventually realise their feelings for each other and seal their relationship with a kiss at the end of Season 6.

    Western Animation 
  • Happens to Sprig Plantar and Ivy Sundew in the second-to-last episode of Amphibia's first season.
  • In Avatar: The Last Airbender, the main couple, Aang and Katara, had this no sooner than in the very final scene of the very final episode. With regards to the Beta Couples, Zuko and Mai was a case of New Old Flame, so they just needed a reunion after Zuko was finally un-exiled from court, while Sokka and Suki got their upgrade in Book 2, during 'Serpent's Pass'; Suki just gets Put on a Bus shortly thereafter, not reappearing until the last half of Book 3.
  • Big City Greens: Cricket Green and Gabriella Espinosa begin dating since the events of "Gabriella's Fella".
  • Kim Possible:
  • This happens twice to Korra in the The Legend of Korra:
    • At the end of Season One, she becomes an Official Couple with Mako, but they eventually break up due to their conflicting personalities and priorities as well as the fact he took advantage of her memory loss when she forgot they broke up in the first place which resulted in their final break-up.
    • At the end of Season Four, Korra becomes an Official Couple with her best friend Asami Sato, which was later confirmed by the creators.
  • Rayla and Callum meet for the first time in The Dragon Prince when she tries to kill him. Over the next two and a half seasons they continually improve their relationship from "grudging and distrustful allies" to "allies" to "friends" to "really good friends", at which point their lengthy makeout session in the desert seems like a foregone conclusion.
  • The (no longer) final episode of Futurama implies this for Leela and Fry; however, the first of several movies made it more complicated. In turn, the fourth movie made it look like they will finally be receiving the Relationship Upgrade. And in the first episodes of the sixth reboot season they now are a proper couple, although it's uncertain just how stable their relationship will be during the rest of the season.
    • In the sixth season, they finally have sex. Zoidberg and the Professor's bodies.
      • The Series Finale has them become engaged and marry, though time is stuck and only they move. Eventually, the professor reappears, convinces them to reboot time but they will forget what happened since time stopped. The now decades (in real time) married couple hold hands and say they want to "go around again."
  • Robin and Starfire finally have their relationship upgrade in Teen Titans: Trouble in Tokyo.
  • Predictably, Danny and Sam in Danny Phantom get together by the Grand Finale.
  • Casey Jones and April O'Neil have had a series of relationship upgrades in the 2003 Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles series, beginning as acquaintances, and later friends, until the third season, when they become a couple. In the last season, Casey has proposed to April, and the two are now married. Other incarnations of the couple have gone through the process as well.
  • While Candace and Jeremy from Phineas and Ferb were an Official Couple from the get-go, they don't refer to each other as boyfriend and girlfriend (and share their First Kiss) until the episode "Summer Belongs to You." (The actual timing of their Relationship Upgrade is made more complicated by the fact that the episodes don't air in the same order they take place. In some episodes, Candace is still only crushing on Jeremy; in some episodes, they are de facto dating; and in some episodes they are "officially" boyfriend and girlfriend.) Season 3 starts with them being unquestionably canon though, as Candace tries to find out what Jeremy likes about her.
    • Subverted in the movie. Isabella kisses Phineas at the end, but then they're both exposed to an amnesia ray that wipes both their memories of the event. Something similar happens again in "Night of the Living Pharmacists", where Isabella finally confesses her feelings to Phineas right before they're both (temporarily) turned into zombies, thus both forgetting the confession ever happened. They do end up getting together for real by the end of high school, as seen in "Act Your Age".
  • Total Drama:
    • The long-time Fan-Preferred Couple of Duncan and Gwen got this in World Tour. Unfortunately, they got together by cheating on Duncan's then-current girlfriend Courtney (who Gwen was also starting to become friends with).
    • After many episodes of Belligerent Sexual Tension, Heather and Alejandro receive one in the All-Stars finale, with the two explaining that they've discovered that they are actually very happy together when the competition for a million dollars isn't getting between them.
  • In The Amazing World of Gumball, Gumball and Penny enter a relationship in the Season 3 episode "The Shell".
  • In Dragons: Race to the Edge, Hiccup and Astrid's relationship is launched in the episode "Blindsided". The TV series was bridging the gap between the films How to Train Your Dragon and How to Train Your Dragon 2, and thus the episode "Blindsided" shows how Hiccup and Astrid got into the relationship they are shown to be in during the second film.
  • Samurai Jack: Jack and Ashi in the eighth episode of season five, after she tried to kill him earlier in the season (due to being brainwashed and lied to by her evil mother) and then becoming his companion once she found out the truth, the episode ends with The Big Damn Kiss after a monster fight.
  • Star vs. the Forces of Evil: Star and Marco's transition from best friends to being romantically involved started in season one's "Blood Moon Ball". It would take until near the end of the fourth season (with the episode "Here to Help"), as well as each of them entering relationships with various other characters in the intervening time, for them to finally share a kiss and declare each other girlfriend and boyfriend. Well, a kiss that didn't have one of them still in a relationship with someone else, anyway.
  • In My Little Pony: Friendship Is Magic, the episode "The Big Mac Question" near the end of the series has this happen to two couples — Big Mac with Sugar Belle, and Lyra with Bon Bon, the latter pair being nearly the One True Pairing of the fandom that's been supported for almost a decade.

    Real Life 
  • Singer Melissa Manchester explained why she got married. One day, her live-in boyfriend gave her an ultimatum: he wanted more out of the relationship or he was going to end it. So they got married.
  • MTV's Friendzone is a show where various men or women seek to get into relationships with their best friends with... varying results.


Video Example(s):


Cricket and Gabriella

Cricket reaches Gabriella on the bus and reveals his feelings for her; she reveals her feelings for him as well, and they officially become a couple.

How well does it match the trope?

5 (5 votes)

Example of:

Main / RelationshipUpgrade

Media sources:

Main / RelationshipUpgrade