For those of you that don’t know, we figured we’d explain what a ship is briefly. There are a lot of different types of relationships on television but not all of them qualify. A ship is a romantic (or potentially romantic) relationship between two characters that earns a fanbase. These are the sorts of relationships that fans are passionate about.
#25 Dexter and Rita
I don’t think anyone thought Dexter would be a daddy but his love (we’re going to call it that because we think that’s true) for Rita is enough to change a man.
#24 Vanya and Dorota
Not many couples would get their own webseries but the world fell in love with Dorota and Vanya’s sweet but awkward story. Recently their happiness took center stage on Gossip Girl when it was revealed that everyone’s favorite doorman and maid are having a baby! We only hope to see more of the couple, and their little one, as the series goes on.
#23 Owen and Christina
Cristina finally has a man to make her forget about Burke. Owen is a little disturbed and dangerous, but even when he tries to choke her in his sleep due to his PTSD, this relationship has a tone of sizzle and passion.
#22 Roger and Joan
He may be married to Jane, but clearly Roger’s heart still belongs to Joan. What started as just sex has turned into a great love affair, even if Roger and Joan aren’t willing to admit it. It’s Joan who he goes to for comfort and advice, whether the president was assassinated on the day before his daughter’s wedding or when he was trying to steal all the office supplies to start his new agency.
#21 Nathan and Haley
One Tree Hill
Stability was the name of the game but 2009 saw a great deal of challenges for Nathan and Haley. Luckily, Nathan and Haley are standing strong and their family is as cute as ever.
#20 Mitchell and Cameron
We were introduced to this quirky couple on the most important day of their lives: the adoption of their first child! Now Mitchell and Cameron are figuring out family life as new parents, and proving that sometimes opposites not only attract, but bring out the best in each other. Mitchell is neurotic but logical, and Cameron is over-the-top but loyal. Even though they get into some ridiculous situations together, each week they represent the trials and triumphs of gay marriage with care, humor, and genuine emotion.
#19 Callie and Arizona
There’s something incredibly sweet about how opposite these two are. Callie is a cocky bone-healing goddess and Arizona is a timid nice girl, but together, they absolutely work.
#18 Tony and Ziva
Ziva and Tony are constantly trying to outdo one another in both physical and verbal competition. They pretended to be a couple before but Ziva’s trust issues linger and keep them apart. Granted, she does sleep with a gun in hand so she might have a ways to go.
#17 Roslin and Adama
The gradual progression of the relationship between Adama and Roslin has been perhaps the most realistic portrayal of love to ever grace the small screen. In season four we were faced with the impending death of Roslin. Throughout, Adama’s unwavering dedication and commitment to the dying president not only gave us some of the most touching moments of the series, but left us with a moving end to their story.
#16 Chuck and Sarah
Chuck and Sarah finally got between the sheets but not in that way. Well, almost in that way. Watching Sarah squirm as Chuck reconnected with his first flame was heartbreaking and we all wanted nothing more than to see them confess their love for one another.
#15 Victor and Sierra
To Dollhouse fans, the possibility that a relationship could develop between two “dolls” seemed next to impossible. The blank personalities that define the “doll” state were humanless and child-like. Insert Sierra and Victor. Joss Whedon brilliantly developed their friendship, attraction, and love through small moments that were slipped in throughout the series. By season two, the few scenes they presented us with in each episode were touching and real and had us rooting for the two blank humans to take comfort in each other. As Dollhouse nears its final episodes, we can only hope that Sierra and Victor spend their remaining days together.
#14 Lois and Clark
We all know Lois and Clark are supposed to be together, and this year they finally acted on their feelings and started a very uneasy and clumsy relationship. Still, seeing them kiss, finally, was worth the wait.
#13 Danny and Lindsay
Danny and Lindsay didn’t hit it off immediately but over time, though, the two developed a friendship, which eventually blossomed into a romantic relationship. Danny eventually risked his life to save Lindsay’s and proved he loved her more than life itself.
#12 Stefan and Elena
The Vampire Diaries
There’s no angst like teen angst, and from the moody vampire’s desire to learn more about Elena to her inability to stay away, their young and brief love is indeed epic. It’s just another age-old tale of vampire-meets-girl.
#11 Micheal and Sara
Although there were only a handful of episodes in 2009, Micheal and Sara managed to cement their place in the history books as one of the best ships ever. From the moment when Michael snuck a daring kiss in between insulin shots in ‘Fox River Penitentiary’ to when Michael discovers what he thinks is the decapitated head of Sara in season three, the audience waited with bated breath for these two crazy fugitives to have their happy ending. Michael may have died but Sara lives on with Michael Jr and their beautiful memories.
#10 Barney and Robin
How I Met Your Mother
Barney and Robin may have amicably broken up but we haven’t broken up with them. Their laser tag games, insides jokes and honest relationship kept us entertained and laughing. We can’t wait for them to realize they are perfect for one another… again.
#9 House and Cuddy
This is a relationship with an established history, and viewers have jumped into their volleys of sarcasm and plots to outwit one another with a zeal and curiosity about where it all would lead. And while the fierce roller-coaster relationship between these two is undeniably frustrating, Cuddy’s steadfast belief in House and his angsty obsession with her bespeaks a love that goes bone deep. They finally slept together (though it was only in House’s delusional mind) and she responded to his psychotic breakdown by starting a fairly serious relationship with one of House’s only “friends.” But all of this makes the sexual tension that much more taut.
#8 Chuck and Blair
Surrounded by peers whose most committed relationships are with their limo drivers, and haunted (literally, in Chuck’s case) by their respective insecurities and agendas, Chuck and Blair have managed to build a trusting, devoted, and–dare we say–healthy partnership that allows them to both be themselves, but also to grow and become even better, together.
#7 Sookie and Eric
Bill and Sookie are as vanilla as any vampire/ human relationship can get. Eric’s smoldering sex appeal is a wanton and forbidden temptation that complicates Sookie’s one-note, goody-goody facade, while Eric’s love/hate attraction to her foreshadows an affair that will be both twisted and tantalizing.
#6 Jim and Pam
Jim and Pam have been capturing the hearts of America for years and they continue to woo us with their sweet and honest relationship. Their wedding was one of the biggest television events this year and it didn’t disappoint.
#5 Sawyer and Juliet
For a long time it was Jack who was the prize all the girls were fighting over, but when they were trapped in the past, Juliet and Sawyer became a simple, domesticated couple. She turned the con man into a sweetheart, and proved that Kate doesn’t deserve a man like James.
#4 Castle and Beckett
The witty banter between these two is grounds enough to keep you coming back. There’s enough friction to keep things interesting, but enough of the characters’ obvious enjoyment of one another to give you hope that all those verbal acrobatics are going to end in some steamy romance.
#3 Brooke and Julian
One Tree Hill
Brulian is a great ‘ship because they’re so perfect for each other, yet they can’t be together. Brooke Davis has serious issues when it comes to commitment, so the fans are obsessed with seeing her overcome her fears and let Julian sweep her off her feet.
#2 Will and Emma
From the moment Will wiped the smudge of chalk off Emma’s nose, we knew we had a powerful ship on our hands. We waited patiently for Will to figure out what a coniving ass his wife really was and for him to realize what was right in front of him. Will’s life would suck without Emma.
#1 Booth and Brennan
The name of the game for ships is anticipation and there’s no kiss we’re anticipating more than a real one between Booth and Bones. These opposites bring out the best in each other and after five seasons they seem to be cluing into what we’ve seen from day one: chemistry, potential, and true love.