Animated OTPs That Set The Standards And Taught Us The Meaning Of Love

By Jishnu B

One may say that the ability of innovation and creativity makes a human. They are not wrong; however, they are not completely right. Love is an emotion that defines humanity. Though we’re not the only species to show this complex emotion, we’re one of the most expressive species to do so.

Civilizations built and destroyed for love. Wars had been waged because of this emotion. Songs and poems had encapsulated the theme of love. Therefore, it’s impossible to deny this aspect of us. We gathered some of the finest pairs in animation media for your enjoyment. You might want to skip this listicle if you are diabetic. These couples are so sweet, you might have a sugar level spike and get a cavity.

Rapunzel & Flynn — Tangled (2010)

Watching Tangled was simultaneously the best and the worst life decision that we had taken. The movie is a retelling of the old folk tale of Rapunzel in the most fun way possible. It’s full of beautiful music numbers and gorgeous visuals.

Image courtesy of Disney

While Tangled rewarded us with an unforgettable experience, it had also crippled us for life. The romantic dynamic between Rapunzel and Flynn was beyond perfect and we refuse to settle for less. However, finding your own dreamy Rapunzel is hard these days. Finding your Eugene who’ll risk their life to save you is even harder.

Anna & Kristoff — Frozen (2013)

Frozen needs no introduction. If you do not know about this cult classic movie, we will assume you have been living under a rock. While Frozen is mostly focused on the sibling bond between Anna and Elsa, you’d be a fool to skip over the sweet relationship between Anna and Kristoff.

Image courtesy of Disney

She is a hopeless romantic who planned to marry a man the day she met him. Meanwhile, Kristoff is a loner who prefers the company of reindeer and trolls. He’s the opposite of everything Anna wanted, yet he’s perfect for her.

Homer & Marge Simpson — The Simpsons (1989-present)

Homer Simpson and Marge Simpson are not perfect. However, sometimes imperfect people can create perfection together and these two people are the prime example. Homer and Marge’s journey has been on television since 1989, and it’s still going strong. We all grew up watching their family dynamics.

Image courtesy of Fox

For Homer, it was love at first sight the moment he laid his eyes on Marge. That’s how it started and it has not stopped ever since. They have three children together. Even though their relationship goes through occasional bumps, they always find their way back to each other.

Jasmine & Aladdin — Aladdin (1992)

Jasmine and Aladdin are basically the ’90s Middle Eastern/South Asian version of Rapunzel and Flynn. Think about it: a thief and an adventure-seeking princess fall in love and find “happily ever after.” However, the dynamic between Jasmine and Aladdin is timeless and there is a good reason why this movie is a cult classic.

Image courtesy of Disney

Aladdin fell in love with Jasmine while not knowing that she was a princess. Meanwhile, she fell in love with Aladdin even though he was a “prince.” This goes on to show that the two of them loved each other in their rawest form and not because of senseless riches or glamor.

Mordecai & Margaret — Regular Show (2010-2017)

Finding love is not unique to humans. Even birds can find their other half and life partner. Mordecai from the Regular Show certainly has. No, it’s not Rigby. He and Mordecai are “best bros for life.” Mordecai’s love interest is Margaret is a case of “the one that got away.”

Image courtesy of Cartoon Network

Since the first season, Mordecai has had a crush on Margaret. Eventually Margeret reciprocated and they got together. However, they also broke up and went their separate ways and found their respective spouses. Still, some fans still actively ship her and Mordecai together.

Blu & Jewel — Rio (2011)

We are back with another instance of blue birds finding love. This one is from a hidden gem from 20th Century Fox Animation. If you want to have a good time with your family, go watch this movie with them. Rio is jam-packed with fun and lovely music.

Image courtesy of Blue Sky Studios and 20th Century Fox Animation

The movie is possibly the best representation of Brazilian culture and nature in the media. Blu is flightless and grew up away from his birthplace in Brazil. He finds out that he’s the last living male of his species. He then goes on an adventure with Jewel and eventually falls in love with her.

Ellie & Carl Fredricksen — Up (2009)

Pixar made millions cry with Up. Ellie and Carl’s marriage was depicted for the first few minutes of the movie, but that brief montage packed a punch to make a grown man sob for several hours. This is the kind of love that people give up their life for.

Image courtesy of Pixar

Ellie and Carl were a childless couple who went through many hurdles together during their long marriage. Eventually, Carl’s soulmate leaves him alone in the world and passes away. The movie consists of Carl’s emotional journey to make his late wife’s childhood dream come true.

Bob & Helen Parr — The Incredibles (2004) 

The Parr family is perhaps the most realistic depiction of marriage—if you look past the movie’s superhero setting. Bob and Helen Parr are not the perfect couple, but they get through their problems at the end of the day together when they work as a team.

Image courtesy of Pixar

The movie gave us a glimpse of their life before Violet, Dash, and Jack-Jack came into their lives. Pixar gave us the privilege of seeing all the ups and downs that came with their relationship, from flirting, to marriage, to parenthood, all while struggling with being outlawed Supers.

Hiccup & Astrid — How To Train Your Dragon (2010)

Hiccup and Astrid’s relationship reflects a lot of us during our teenage years. Some of us had that awkward phase in which we felt that we did not belong anywhere. Nor did we have the guts to approach our crush.

Image courtesy of Dreamworks

Hiccup was the awkward soul who did not fit in. Astrid was the strong girl who was determined to become the best version of herself. These two people are the opposite from each other, yet they fit together very well and found love and support in each other.

Naveen & Tiana — The Princess And The Frog (2009)

The Princess And The Frog was a revolutionary move on Disney’s part. The movie is a retelling of the old folk tale of the frog prince, but this time with a black protagonist who isn’t waiting for her prince. What’s not to love?

Image courtesy of Disney

Naveen was a charming, albeit spoiled, narcissistic prince who resented hard work and wanted to “live his life to the fullest.” Meanwhile, Tiana is a hard-working woman whose dream is to open a restaurant. It’s another instance of the opposite attracting each other, and still it never gets old.

Tramp & Lady — Lady And The Tramp (1955)

Disney gave us the perfect way to show love, romance, and infatuation in one single image: a couple sharing a single strand of spaghetti. It is an iconic piece of art in Disney’s classic portfolio. Lady And The Tramp is the perfect movie to watch with your family for the holidays.

Image courtesy of Disney

This is basically a “boy meets girl” but with dogs. Lady, a beautiful Cocker Spaniel, is the beloved family pet. Romance ensues when she meets the suave, playful street dog aptly named Tramp. They fall in love and have puppies together.

Mulan & Li Shang — Mulan (1998)

“You fight good” Li Shang told Mulan, and more romantic words had not been spoken ever since. When you think about it, LiShang’s attraction towards a disguised Mulan was quite progressive for the late ’90s. Their relationship is also the most unique among all of the Disney pairs.

Image courtesy of Disney

Li Shang has a reputation of being mildly misogynistic—courtesy of the hit, “I’ll Make A Man Out Of You.” However, we implore you to give the man and this movie a chance. The development of his relationship with Mulan is heartwarming. This is why we detest the 2020 remake of the movie in which LiShang wasn’t featured. 

Max & Roxanne — A Goofy Movie (2000)

This may be a movie about dogs, but don’t be fooled. A Goofy Movie will take you on a nostalgic (and somewhat traumatic) trip back to your high school days. Puppy love (no pun intended) is the same universally and this is a prime example.

Image courtesy of Disney

Roxanne is the popular high school girl. Meanwhile, Max is not as popular yet he is enamored with Roxanne. He’s self-conscious about his laugh, but as it turns out, that’s one of his quirks that Roxanne likes most about him.

Popeye & Olive Oyl

Watching Popeye The Sailor on TV every afternoon was the daily routine of millions. It might be some of their earliest memories. The plot was simple and heavily redundant. However, there was something inexplicably fun about Popeye eating a can of spinach and getting a power boost.

Image courtesy of Paramount Pictures

The pair of Popeye and Olive Oyl was the classic “damsel in distress” and her “knight in shining armor.” In today’s standard, this will evoke a heavy Twitter debate. The Popeye producers will most likely be branded as a herd of chauvinists. But when it premiered, the two of them were the dream couple.

Finn & Flame Princess — Adventure Time (2010-2018)

Young love—it will either make you or break you (or maybe both. We are not experts. Our young love ended when Samantha Sturlson harshly rejected us in the cafeteria in October of 2003). Finn and Flame Princess represent the joy of young love and the stupid decisions that can bring an end to it.

Image courtesy of Cartoon Network

It started off well between the two of them. Finn found his first love in the fiery, short-tempered Flame Princess. However, like an idiot, Finn prioritized battle and manipulated her to get in a fight. That broke her trust and they had not been together ever since.

John Smith & Pocahontas — Pocahontas (1995)

We could go on and on about how low it was for Disney to romanticize the relationship and power dynamics between a native woman and a white colonizer. However, we are here to celebrate love and not be critical. Smith and Pocahontas’ on screen romance was heartwarming nonetheless.

Image courtesy of Disney

The story of John Smith and Pocahontas in the movie is another tragic case of star-crossed lovers. It’s basically Romeo and Juliet but set on North American soil. Their tale is heartwarming and heartbreaking. You want them to get together (until you actually learn the real history between John Smith and Pocahontas).

Peter & Lois Griffin — Family Guy (1999-present)

Family Guy can be too much for many people. The show is filled with dark humor and unrestrained adult comedy. The best way to enjoy the show is to watch it with a grain of salt and have a vastly open mind. Just make sure your parents are not in the room when you watch it.

Image courtesy of Fox

The key component of Family Guy is the relationship between Peter and Lois Griffin. Peter is by no means the best person; Lois is not faultless either. However, they made it work despite all the less-than-holy antics that occur constantly in their lives.

Wall-E & Eve — Wall-E (2008)

The love story of Wall-E and Eve can rival the wholesomeness of Ellie and Carl. Seriously, it’s that beautiful. We didn’t know we could shed tears for two fictional robots. Yet here we are, crying our eyes out as Wall-E and Eve share sparks while floating through space.

Image courtesy of Pixar

This makes us want to put Alexa and Siri in the same room and see if they could fall in love. Since AI is advancing so fast these days, we wouldn’t be too surprised if they start developing complex human emotions. If they are anywhere near as wholesome as Wall-E and Eve, we’ll be content.

Aang & Katara — Avatar: The Last Airbender (2005-2008)

We have been shipping these two cuties together from the first time we saw them almost twenty years ago. When they finally got married as grown ups, we legit sobbed our eyes out in joy. It’s magical to see your ship sailing and finally reach the harbor.

Image courtesy of Nickelodeon

We knew these two belonged together the moment Aang opened his eyes and saw Katara for the first time. You know it’s meant to be when you wake up after sleeping for a hundred years and the first thing you say is “Will you go penguin sledding with me?”

Anastasia & Dimitri — Anastasia (1997)

Anastasia will make you feel like buying a one-way ticket to Russia and roaming the streets of Petrograd. The chemistry between Anastasia and Dimitri is inexplicable. We won’t even bother describing it. If nothing else, you should watch it for the music.

Image courtesy of 20th Century Fox

The “opposites attract” trope may be overdone, but we can’t get enough of it. The trope almost always features the beautiful dynamic of love. Anastasia and Dimitri’s banter will possibly add ten years to your lifespan. You might also lose it from crying your eyes when you see the hardships of their life.

Shrek & Fiona — Shrek (2001)

Shrek will always be a timeless classic. It is amazing how they portrayed the most realistic development of true love in the most fairytale-esque setting possible. The movie takes its own spin on the classic “knight in shining armor saves the princess from the dragon” trope.

Image courtesy of Dreamworks

To say they nailed it is an understatement. Shrek does not promote the redundant theme of love at first sight. The movie showed that looks are the least of our concerns in finding love. Love is all about time and accepting each other as they are. Therefore, Shrek and Fiona are perfect together.

Eep & Guy — Croods (2013)

If you are looking for a fun movie to enjoy with your family, go for Croods. It is a jovial movie that even cavemen could enjoy (no pun intended). The movie is a hilarious take on humanity and innovation back in the stone age.

Image courtesy of Dreamworks

Eep was a rebellious girl who sought adventure, much to her protective father’s dismay. Meanwhile, Guy was basically the Einstein of the stone age. His head was brimming with ideas. He was the farthest thing from Eep’s father’s choice of a man for his daughter, but fate said otherwise.

Plankton & Karen — SpongeBob SquarePants (1999-present)

These two are possibly the most unique couple in this listicle. Who would have thought a single-celled organism and a computer could get married. Yet, Nickelodeon keeps surprising us. Funnily enough, they also have the most realistic (albeit somewhat toxic) relationship dynamic.

Image courtesy of Nickelodeon

Karen is the constant companion to Plankton’s evil plans. She supports him and even buys regular customers to keep her husband happy. She even gets into a fight with another computer when she feels her relationship is threatened. Overall, watching their unconventional marriage blossom is one of the funniest aspects of the show.

Mickey & Minnie

These two need no introduction. Mickey and Minnie are the OG Disney couple. They had existed almost as long the Walt Disney production existed. It’s funny that even our parents and grandparents grew up watching these two mice. They are probably the oldest animated couple on TV.

Image courtesy of Disney

Minnie and Mickey look almost the same. Minnie, of course, wears her iconic bow tie on her head. Minnie is Mickey’s closest confidant and often gives him advice. However, sometimes they have occasional rifts due to Mickey’s oblivious and playful attitude.

Tarzan & Jane — Tarzan (1999)

Love can bloom anywhere, even in the harsh wilderness. Tarzan came out during Disney’s renaissance period. The movie is still a cult classic despite many more award-winning films coming out of the studio since its release. No one expected to see the love blossom between an English woman and a gorilla-raised man.

Image courtesy of Disney

Although it was unexpected, it was well received by the audience in the late ’90s. Tarzan’s story is simple yet beautiful. A man who grew up among gorillas one day meets a beautiful woman; their curiosity attracts each other like moths to fire. Fortunately, the fire created a romantic spark that never dwindled.

Kif & Amy — Futurama (1999-present)

Get out of the Avatar: The Way of Water craze for a second and focus on Kif and Amy from Futurama. They may not be Jake Sully and Neytiri, but this interspecies relation is no less wholesome than the cinematic duo. Sometimes in life your one true love comes from another planet.

Image courtesy of Fox

Kif and Amy are perfectly fit puzzle pieces despite one being a human and the other being an alien. Kif is shy and self-conscious about this appearance. However, Amy is not put off by it and loves him just the way he is. He loves her dearly, even if he struggles to express it.

Woody & Bo Peep — Toy Story (1995)

You know you have done something severely wrong with your life when toys can find love, yet you can’t. Not that we can relate… moving on. Woody and Bo Peep’s love dynamic is not discussed much and we are about to change that.

Image courtesy of Pixar

Bo Peep had always been Woody’s primary love interest. She stood by his side when he was insecure about Andy abandoning him for Buzz. Similarly, he missed her dearly when she was away from him in the 3rd movie. They eventually found peace after reuniting in the final movie.

SpongeBob SquarePants & Sandy Cheeks — SpongeBob SquarePants (1999-present)

No one could have ever imagined a sea sponge and land squirrel could find love in each other. Yet, here we are and we still can’t find a girlfriend on land. Then again, we are not too surprised. SpongeBob SquarePants is known for pairing up unconventional people together.

Image courtesy of Nickelodeon

Sandy Cheeks is arguably one of the most creative and intelligent cast members of the SpongeBob SquarePants crew. She is a close confidant to SpongeBob and provides him with rational advice in his time of need. Their pairing may be unconventional, yet they are perfect together.

Megara & Hercules — Hercules (1997)

They are undoubtedly Disney’s top power couple. Just think about it: Megara is the brain who can girlboss, gatekeep, gaslight her way out of anything. Hercules is the brawn who can defeat almost everything. Together they are unstoppable and we are here for it!

Image courtesy of Disney

Megara and Hercules’ relationship was not always all sunshine and rainbows. He lost faith in her when Hades spilled the beans, but true love won in the end. As for Meg, her hard walls softened at Hercules’ pure love and bravery.

Thomas O’Malley & Duchess — The Aristocats (1970)

Someone once said that Thomas O’Malley and Duchess are the feline versions of the Lady and Tramp and we have not been able to get it out of our heads ever since. With that being said, they are also most certainly soulmates just like Lady and Tramp.

Image courtesy of Disney

Thomas O’Malley was the suave street cat and Duchess was the elegant, pristine cat of French high society. These two unlikely souls found love in each other in the best way possible. Thomas even became a father figure to the Duchess’ three adorable kittens.

Belle & The Beast — Beauty And The Beast (1991)

It would be criminal to not include Beauty And The Beast on this lsit. It is a timeless Disney classic that defined love for many people. Just like Shrek, Belle and Adam taught us that outer beauty should be the least of our concern in finding love.

Image courtesy of Disney

The prince from the movie learned it the hard way. His vanity led him to becoming an unsightly, cursed beast. When he thought no one could love him in his ungodly form, Belle lent him her heart. If that isn’t beautiful, we do not know what is.

Simba & Nala — The Lion King (1994)

The Lion King is another Disney classic that will have a special place in our hearts forever. The film may not be the most accurate in terms of lion pride behavior, but that doesn’t change the fact that this movie is filled with joy.

Image courtesy of Disney

In our opinion, the most underrated aspect of Lion King is Simba and Nala’s romance. It is wonderful how they were childhood friends who became mates in their adulthood. Nala was the one who encouraged Simba to fight against Scar and take back his birthright. 

Mufasa & Sarabi — The Lion King (1994)

Since we are already on the topic of Lion King, we must pay some respect to Mufasa and Sarabi—the OG couple of the movie who started it all. They are basically the less fortunate version of Simba and Nala who were separated from each other too quickly.

Image courtesy of Disney

Mufasa and Sarabi ruled the jungle alongside each other. They were the power couple who kept up the order and respected the circle of life. After the passing of her husband, she mourned him and did her best to keep up his legacy. Her efforts were answered when her son came back from the dead.

Leela & Fry — Futurama (1999-present)

It is fitting that the show is named Futurama; because the romance depicted in the show is quite futuristic and progressive for its time. Who knew you could ever fall in love with a one-eyed woman at first sight? However, to Fry, falling in love with Leela was as easy as breathing.

Image courtesy of Fox

Aside from breaking several stereotypes, the two of them are perfect for each other. Leela had a hard time taking Fry’s feelings seriously at the beginning. However, Fry proved himself worthy and she had no choice but to give him her heart and hand for marriage.

Selina Kyle & Bruce Wayne — Batman: The Animated Series (1992-1995)

The relationship between Selina Kyle and Bruce Wayne is, ironically, that of a cat and a mouse. If they were on the same page, they could have been the ultimate power couple. However, due to having different sets of morals, they rarely acknowledge each other’s attraction.

Image courtesy of Fox

However, we cannot deny the chemistry between them. Even a loner like Batman entangles himself with the likes of Catwoman occasionally. It is entertaining yet very frustrating to watch. It is hilarious to see her steal an item only for Batman to chase her down.

Wendy Darling & Peter Pan — Peter Pan (1953)

Grass is green, the sky is blue, and Wendy Darling has a crush on Peter Pan; these are all universal truths. Sadly the tale of Wendy and Peter never took a romantic turn. Wendy Darling never managed to become Peter’s darling. This is another case of “the one that got away.”

Image courtesy of Disney

Peter was determined to remain a little boy forever and refused to give in to Wendy’s nurturing nature. Eventually, Wendy grew up while Peter did not. She went on to get married and have children of her own. Meanwhile, Peter remained in Neverland.

Danny Fenton & Sam Manson — Danny Phantom (2004-2007)

There is something incredibly wholesome about a shy boy and goth girl falling in love. If you are into this trope, give Danny Phantom a try. They were childhood friends who stayed by each other through all hurdles and it is beautiful. We are glad that they ended up together.

Image courtesy of Nickelodeon

While Sam liked him from the beginning, Danny was more into popular and stereotypical pretty girls like Paulina. Danny saw reason in the end and realized he would never find a girl better than Sam. They were a couple by the finale. We were hoping they would also get married.

Beast Boy & Raven — Teen Titans (2003-2006)

Speaking of goth girls, we must discuss the romantic dynamic of Beast Boy and Raven. They are perfect and more people should be talking about it. We will start the conversation today with this listicle. DC, if you are reading this, please marry the two of them ASAP.

Image courtesy of Cartoon Network

Raven and Beast Boy are polar opposites in terms of personality and aesthetic. However, opposites attract. Therefore, these two are perfect together. Raven is apathetic to Beast Boy while the latter pesters her constantly with his playfulness. However, we think she has a crush on him.

Kim Possible & Ron Stoppable — Kim Possible (2002-2007)

Relationships should be like yin and yang. Partners should balance and complete each other. This is why the “opposites attract” trope works so well when it comes to romance. This is another instance in which the overdone trope worked its magic and created a harmonious relationship.

Image courtesy of Disney

Kim is an avid perfectionist, while Ron is laid back and prefers life to take its own course. Sometimes Kim lets external forces affect her too much and lets the peer pressure overwhelm her. Ron then calms her down. On the other hand, Kim pushes Ron to do better things in life.

Prince Charming & Cinderella — Cinderella (1950)

Their relationship is as fairytale-esque as one’s love life can get. It is borderline unrealistic. To be completely honest, it is not our favorite. We feel that there are better OTPs to look up to. However, we see the charm of Prince Charming and Cinderella.

Image courtesy of Disney

Orphaned damsel in distress finds solace in the prince who falls in love with her at first sight. He then chases after her with her discarded shoe. However, in our opinion, the movie puts too much emphasis on beauty. As people who adore Shrek, we cannot support this movie.

Ariel & Eric — The Little Mermaid (1989)

The original story of The Little Mermaid was beyond horrifying. We are amazed Disney actually came up with a PG version of the storyline with a supposed happy ending. However, from our perspective, this movie soured like old milk. We miss our younger days when we weren’t as critical.

Image courtesy of Disney

So basically, Ariel fell in love with Eric at first sight. To be with him, she sacrificed her voice and colluded with her father’s old enemy. That is a lot of sacrifice for a boy who knows nothing about you. At least things ended well for them.

Jerry & Beth Smith — Rick And Morty (2013-present)

Rick And Morty fans will most likely be offended by this comment, but we’re not holding back: these two should not be together. What they have between the two of them is not love. Rather they settled for each other because it was convenient. We hope Rick And Morty ends with these two divorcing.

Image courtesy of Adult Swim (Cartoon Network)

A mistake in their younger days led to the two of them being married. Jerry doesn’t have a stable income. Yet, he does not respect his spouse’s job. The two of them are constantly bitter about what they could have done with their life if they weren’t stuck together.

Arnold Shortman & Helga Pataki — Hey Arnold! (1996-2004)

If being tsundere was a competition, Helga would have been a world champion. She took the theme of “bullying your crush for attention” a little too seriously. Contrary to her harsh treatment of Arnold, she is actually obsessed to the point of worshiping him.

Image courtesy of Nickelodeon

Arnold, on the other hand, simply tolerates her existence due to his kind disposition. Kudos to him for keeping his calm. We would have erupted by now had we been in his position. He likes her better when she is not acting cold towards him.

Brittany & Kevin — Daria (1997-2002)

The dynamic between Brittany and Kevin happens when Dumb and Dumber find their way to each other and make the mistake of romancing each other. If your relationship even remotely resembles these two idiots, please do yourself a favor and run for the hills.

Image courtesy of MTV

They are what kids these days call a “red flag.” When the two of them unite, they have more red flags than a lively soccer match. Brittany and Kevin are constantly at each other’s throats and get jealous very often. Nevertheless, they cheat on each other constantly.

Joker & Harley Quinn — Batman: The Animated Series (1992-1995)

We saved the worst for the last. If your relationship starts resembling that of Brittany and Kevin, you run for the hills. However, if it resembles Joker and Harley Quinn, you first call the cops and then run for the hills. Chernobyl has nothing on the toxicity of these two people.

Image courtesy of Fox

Over the years, we saw many romanticizing the Joker and Harley Quinn as “couple goals.” If they are your idols, then your goal must also be to end up in the asylum. Remember, it is not cute to slap your girlfriend or push her off a building. We call that felony, not “couple goals.”