Valentine’s Day has come around once again, and so has the time for watching romantic stories with a special someone.
But before watching The Notebook for the thousandth time, it wouldn't hurt to show some appreciation to the animated couples with love so strong that live-action couldn’t do them justice.
1. Shizuku and Seiji (Whisper of the Heart)
The love between these two young artists comes to fruition in a way only Ghibli can provide. Over the course of the film, they go from antagonists to mutually supporting each other’s passions in the art. Even without sharing a single kiss throughout the movie, the marriage proposal at the end feels exactly right.
2. Hank and Peggy Hill (King of the Hill)
The Hills may not have a glamorous marriage, but they like it that way. They rely on each other to keep their marriage of 20 years running smoothly. Little moments like their mutual enchantment with Pasta Garden and their ignorance of the real purpose of Boomhauer’s bedroom video camera show that these two belong together.
3. Bob and Linda Belcher (Bob’s Burgers)
Their kids menace them, and their burger place lives perpetually on the edge of collapse, but at least Bob and Linda have each other. These two restaurateurs have enough odd quirks that no one could love them the way they love each other.
4. Gus and Wally (Mission Hill)
The most outstanding gay couple of all animated couples came out in 1999’s Mission Hill. Though they may bicker over budget prophylactics and knives lodged into skulls, they still model undying loyalty for the rest of the cast. Wally threw away his career in Hollywood just to show Gus how much he loved him.
5. Rigby and Eileen (Regular Show)
Most of Regular Show might have occupied itself with Mordecai’s dating woes, but Rigby and Eileen snuck up on us as the series’ model couple. Rigby maintaining his boyfriend status with Eileen served as a marker for his maturation as the series progressed.
6. Marceline and Princess Bubblegum (Adventure Time)
No Cartoon Network ship can compete with the hype that this couple generated when Adventure Time first ran on the channel. They denied their feelings for each other for a long time due to their messy history, but the Adventure Time finale finally made them official.
7. Tomo and Junichiro (Tomo-Chan is a Girl)
Tomo and Junichiro have spent most of their young lives as friends, crushes, and rivals all at the same time. These two constantly inspire each other to reach new heights of strength and athletic prowess. The whole series shows these two finally coming to terms with the fact that they belonged together.
8. Miyazawa and Arima (His and Her Circumstances)
His and Her Circumstances gives us a rare romantic story where the couple gets together relatively early and spends the rest of the series exploring the relationship. Arima and Miyazawa work together to drop the masks they’ve built for each other and begin living as their true selves.
9. Octus and Kimmy (Sym-Bionic Titan)
A good relationship means both members help each other grow. Kimmy introduced the alien robot Octus to emotions he didn’t even know existed. Octus taught Kimmy that she had more value than what society expected of her as a pretty cheerleader.
10. Garnet (Steven Universe)
Garnet represents one of the animated couples so close that both members share the same body. Ruby and Sapphire broke from the strict social conventions of gem society to become something new and beautiful: the fusion gem Garnet.
11. Wally and Artemis (Young Justice)
These two couldn’t stand each other when they first met, but they gradually came together to form the best romance in the DC Universe. The two of them retired from the superhero game as young adults so they could build a life together. But the call of duty dragged them both back into action. Even years after Wally gave his life to save the planet, he still has a hold on Artemis’ heart.
12. Edward and Winry (Fullmetal Alchemist Brotherhood)
With Edward having two automail limbs and Winry acting as his mechanic, these two have had a special bond since childhood. Even as the two bump heads, they never lose sight of how much they care for each other. Edward’s flustered and nerdy marriage proposal at the end cinched them as one of the sweetest couples in anime.
13. Kosei and Kaori (Your Lie in April)
These two tragically never officially got together before Kaori’s passing, but it’s clear how much these two love each other. Kaori helped Kosei heal from the trauma of his abusive mother and regain his love of music. Kosei, in turn, fulfilled Kaori’s wish of being with the person she loved before her short life ended.
14. Carl and Ellie (Up)
Meet the faces of the most tear-jerking sequence in Pixar history. Carl and Ellie loved each other so much that he never fully recovered from her death. The lengths he went to keep her memory alive led to turning his house into a flying fortress with thousands of balloons.
15. Homer and Marge (The Simpsons)
The world has watched this couple’s relationship longer than anyone else on this list. They have their rocky moments, just like any couple, but no matter what, they stay utterly devoted to each other. Their dedication to each other has outlasted Bart’s chaos, a glass dome isolating Springfield, and (counting the Halloween specials) a nuclear apocalypse.
16. Lois and Clark (My Adventures With Superman)
Lois and Clark have been a classic couple for almost a century, but My Adventures With Superman makes them more precious than ever before. This incarnation cranks Lois’ excitability all the way up while emphasizing Clark’s dorky farm boy side. The two of them have an adorable relationship together as they uncover the secrets of Clark’s powers and the forces threatening Metropolis.
17. Fry and Leela (Futurama)
Fry and Leela: A romance 1,000 years in the making. Their relationship may have had its bumpy moments, but nothing can keep these two apart. Not even time paradoxes, intestinal parasites, or multiple TV series cancellations.
18. The Monarch and Dr. Mrs. The Monarch (Venture Bros)
Lots of animated couples say they’re “partners in crime,” but this duo takes that literally. Malcolm and Sheila have an undying commitment to each other that no one, hero or villain, could ever hope to tear apart.
19. Luz and Amity (The Owl House)
While Amity began as Luz’s biggest foil in the Boiling Isles, the two of them gradually become each other’s most significant source of support. Luz helps Amity accept that there’s more to her than the wishes of her parents. Amity stayed by Luz’s side even as interdimensional traveling and apocalyptic aliens stood in her way.
20. Max and Roxanne (A Goofy Movie)
In most stories like A Goofy Movie, the plot centers around the boy’s quest to win over his crush. But this film takes a much-appreciate turn by giving these dogs a mutual crush from the beginning. It makes their embrace at the end of the film all the sweeter.
21. Diane and Guy (Bojack Horseman)
After her failed marriage with Mr. Peanutbutter, Diane finally finds the perfect man for her in the Chicagoan buffalo, Guy. Guy’s the first man to truly support Diane enough for her to finally make it through her forest of trauma and depression.
22. Mickey Mouse and Minnie Mouse (New Mickey Mouse Shorts)
Mickey and Minnie have been living in romantic bliss for a century, but their incarnation in the series of Mickey Mouse shorts that premiered in 2013 made them even sweeter. The series finale, “Carried Away,” in which Minnie sings a love song for Mickey while he desperately saves their ship from disaster, cements this pairing as an all-time great.