1/13:We love a good underdog story... especially when there's romance involved. There's nothing as satisfying as watching a lovable ... Show More »We love a good underdog story... especially when there's romance involved. There's nothing as satisfying as watching a lovable comic book geek win the heart of the prom queen -- or seeing a quarterback fall head over heels for a math nerd.
We've chosen our 12 favorite tales of awkward social misfits getting the girl -- or guy -- of their dreams. Of course, it doesn't always work out... but for one shining moment, cafeteria hierarchy is proven obsolete. John Hughes would be proud.
Click through the gallery and see if your 'ship made the cut!
--Carina Adly MacKenzie, Zap2it « Less
2/13Summer and Seth, 'The O.C.':Her: Über hottie Summer (Rachel Bilson) was so cool she didn't even know Seth's name. She was pr... Show More »Her: Über hottie Summer (Rachel Bilson) was so cool she didn't even know Seth's name. She was prom queen not once, but twice. And no one will ever say "Chino? Ew!" quite the way she did.
Him: He sat at the kids' table at all the club events, frequently had his shoes urinated in by angry water polo players, and he named his boat after her before she even knew his name.
The story: Basically, there was no chance of her ever resisting his geeky charms. They totally got married! And we cried! « Less
3/13Tyra and Landry, 'Friday Night Lights':Her: While not exactly at the top of the social ladder, Tyra (Adrianne Palicki) was an undeniab... Show More »Her: While not exactly at the top of the social ladder, Tyra (Adrianne Palicki) was an undeniable hottie, with a bad-girl charm that had Dillon's most eligible bachelors just praying she'd get drunk enough to dance with them.
Him: Landry (Jesse Plemmons) was the lead singer of a Christian rock band called Crucifictorious. While he wasn't exactly a looker, he had a sharp tongue -- and, as the school math geek, he made an excellent tutor for the bad girl on a path to redemption.
The story: Basically, they accidentally murdered a rapist, tried to cover it up, and fell in love, in what would become the only storyline that critics pretty much hated universally. These two didn't end up together, but they did make each other better people. Texas forever. Etc. « Less
4/13Cordelia and Xander, 'Buffy':Her: Cordelia (
Charisma Carpenter) was your typical popular cheerleader at a high school located on a hel... Show More »Her: Cordelia ( Charisma Carpenter) was your typical popular cheerleader at a high school located on a hellmouth. She's shallow, and when we first meet her, she's being pretty cruel to geeky Willow.
Him: Willow's BFF, Xander (
Nicholas Brendon), was based on series creator Joss Whedon. He's a nerd with an unrequited crush on Buffy, so basically, he's got sidekick written all over him.
The story: Cordelia and Xander try to keep their relationship quiet, but when word gets out about this odd couple, Cordelia's popular friends kick her out of the inner circle. He casts a love spell to fix things, and despite the fact that it backfires spectacularly, she's charmed by his efforts. Unfortunately, when he hooks up with Willow, she can't forgive his transgression. She ended up on "Angel," the spin-off. « Less
5/13Rachel and Ross, 'Friends':Her: The beautiful, though somewhat self-absorbed Rachel Green (Jennifer Aniston) was the most popular girl... Show More »Her: The beautiful, though somewhat self-absorbed Rachel Green (Jennifer Aniston) was the most popular girl and head cheerleader her high school. After a runaway bride moment, she reconnects with her best friend Monica.
Him: Monica's brother, Ross (David Schwimmer) has been pining for Rachel since she had her real nose. He was a paleontologist with a Ph.D. He thought it was a good idea to adopt a monkey named Marcel.
The story: After a seemingly endless will-they-or-won't-they, Ross and Rachel finally get together. (Go on, watch their first kiss again and again. You know you want to.) Over the show's 10 seasons there are plenty of ups and downs (including having a daughter together) and we all crowded around our TV screens for the series finale, when they finally got together forever and ever. « Less
6/13Naomi and Max, '90210':Her: The richest, prettiest girl at West Bev, Naomi (AnnaLynne McCord) is sort of a bitch, but we can't he... Show More »Her: The richest, prettiest girl at West Bev, Naomi (AnnaLynne McCord) is sort of a bitch, but we can't help but love her. One time she punched us in the face. It was awesome.
Him: Max is such a dork that he nearly gets Naomi expelled because of his compulsive need to turn in perfect homework. Seriously.
The story: Though he is a geek, Max (Josh Zuckerman) has a rep of his own to protect, so these two keep their steamy relationship under wraps for a while. When everything is revealed, it's promptly ruined by his parents trying to send him away from her. Oh, and she might be pregnant. Unless she's lying about it. So there's that. « Less
7/13Penny and Leonard, 'The Big Bang Theory':Her: Penny (
Kaley Cuoco) is pretty, blonde, and midwestern. She's a social butterfly and... Show More »Her: Penny ( Kaley Cuoco) is pretty, blonde, and midwestern. She's a social butterfly and a pop culture junkie, unlike... everyone she hangs out with. According to some calculations, she's dated 180 men.
Him: Leonard (Johnny Galecki) is a physicist from
New Jerseywho likes to wear physics-themed t-shirts. His middle name is "Leakey." He's a big fan of Klingon Boggle. Need we say more?
The story: It took her until Season 2, but eventually, Penny fell for Leonard, too. Their relationship had its ups and downs -- because this is television, and stuff has to happen -- but she finally admitted that she should really be with Leonard. Unfortunately... that was shortly before Leonard caught her hooking up with his friend Raj. Oops? « Less
8/13Lana and Clark, 'Smallville':Her: Dating the blond varsity jock, Lana (
Kristin Kreuk) is your typical beautiful girl with a tragic pas... Show More »Her: Dating the blond varsity jock, Lana ( Kristin Kreuk) is your typical beautiful girl with a tragic past. Her beauty makes Clark clumsy and awkward. Or... you know... that could be the kryptonite around her neck.
Him: Clark (Tom Welling) may look like the most perfect guy ever... but when we first meet him, he's dealing with those awkward teenage moments like crushing on a girl and keeping secrets from his friends and... uh... being an alien.
The story: While their relationship was super sweet in the beginning, it didn't exactly end well. Lois Lane showed up, and... well... Lana married Lex Luthor. You can't really come back for that. Still, for a brief period of time, Clark Kent and Lana Lang were dreamy, in that high school kind of way. « Less
9/13Ben and Felicity, 'Felicity':Him: The hottest guy at their Palo Alto high school, Ben (Scott Speedman) had a sensitive side a mile wid... Show More »Him: The hottest guy at their Palo Alto high school, Ben (Scott Speedman) had a sensitive side a mile wide. (You could tell because he was always whispering. The sensitive ones do a lot of whispering.)
Her: We can't think of a single fictional character more awkward than Felicity (
Keri Russell). She followed Ben to college... and told him about it. We cringed so hard our spines still haven't straightened out nearly a decade later.
The story: Her hot (and sensitive!) R.A. Noel ran interference a bit, but in the end, Felicity and Ben went to med school together and, presumably, lived happily ever after. Even after she went back in time and chose to be with Noel instead. (Yeah, those last four episodes were kind of like an acid trip.) « Less
10/13Logan and Veronica, 'Veronica Mars':Him: A super popular "psychotic jackass," Logan Echolls (Jason Dohring) was king of the 09ers -- m... Show More »Him: A super popular "psychotic jackass," Logan Echolls (Jason Dohring) was king of the 09ers -- meaning he lived in the coveted (and fictional) 90909 zipcode full of mansions and murderers.
Her: Veronica (
Kristen Bell), a social outcast with a bad reputation and exactly one friend, didn't exactly sit at the cool table.
The story: A long time ago, they used to be friends. Their old camaraderie resurfaced after he saved her from evil
Jonathan Taylor Thomas, and they shared the best first kiss ever. That led to an incredibly messy, heartbreaking, but undeniably epic relationship. Unfortunately, it ended badly. Premature cancellation can really kill the spark. « Less
11/13Hanna and Lucas, 'Pretty Little Liars':Her: Though she used to be known as Hefty Hanna (Ashley Benson), she's slimmed down to bec... Show More »Her: Though she used to be known as Hefty Hanna (Ashley Benson), she's slimmed down to become one of Rosewood's hottest hotties. And she's graciously accepted the position of Most Popular Girl at Rosewood High, now that it's been vacated by her murdered BFF. On account of the murder thing.
Him: Lucas (Brendan Robinson) is the school geek with a knack for photography and creepily walking around hospitals. He sees the heart of gold under Hanna's possibly shoplifted designer duds.
The story: Okay, so maybe this one is a little bit of wishful thinking, because they haven't actually hooked up yet... unless you count him kissing her while she was sleeping. Which we don't. Because... weird. Hanna's stalker "A" blackmailed her into playing games with Lucas's heart, but in the end, they managed to become pretty close friends. We can't be the only ones hoping he'll eventually get to kiss her while she's conscious, right? « Less
12/13Finn and Rachel, 'Glee':Him: Finn (Cory Monteith) is a tall, attractive quarterback at a high school in the midwest. That says it all,... Show More »Him: Finn (Cory Monteith) is a tall, attractive quarterback at a high school in the midwest. That says it all, right?
Her: Rachel (Lea Michele) such a theater geek, she probably spells it "theatre." She is also the frequent recipient of a slushie facial.
The story: It took them a while, but these two crazy kids finally managed to get together. They'll graduate at the end of this season, so the big question is... will Finn follow Rachel to
New Yorkso she can pursue her Broadway dreams? We're guessing yes. He really has nothing better to do. « Less
13/13Nathan and Haley, 'One Tree Hill':Him: Nate (
James Lafferty) was a basketball star who was so cool, even the police let him off the ho... Show More »Him: Nate ( James Lafferty) was a basketball star who was so cool, even the police let him off the hook when he drunkenly stole a school bus. He had a habit of kidnapping people. And a nipple ring.
Her: Haley (Bethany Joy Galeotti) was the smartest girl in school, wore hideous ponchos, and didn't want to have sex until she was married. You can imagine that she wasn't exactly Queen Bee.
The story: Well, she tutored him in junior math, so obviously... they got married before they were even high school seniors. Somehow, these two crazy kids made it work, despite an endless parade of psychos trying to ruin their fun. The final season begins this winter on The CW... and we're willing to bet they'll be just fine. Because if not, Naley shippers who have devoted nine years to them will collectively descend on the "OTH" writers' office in a murderous rage, and no one wants to see that. « Less