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File:Flintstones alpha beta 6025.jpg

On your left, the couple the show is named after: The Flintstones. On your right... emmm... the other couple: The Rubbles.[1]


Rachel: You were our Fred and Ethel Mertz!

Katie: Funny, I thought you were our Fred and Ethel Mertz.
The Story Of Us

Present in the backdrop of many Romantic Comedies and Dramas with The Hero of the story looking at wooing their Love Interest, to provide a Foil to his/her efforts you will see one of their closest friends have a remarkably easier time getting together. This "simpler" pairing is the Beta Couple.

The Beta Couple is always a secondary pairing (and Foil) to the primary relationship. Often they are friends or confidants of one or both of them, it's not uncommon for The Hero and his wingman to simultaneously try to hook up with the heroine and her maid of honor.

Usually, they serve as a barometer for how well or poorly the main (alpha) couple is doing and offer possible solutions to any problems. Hit a Poor Communication Kills? The Beta Couple had that, but worked it out. Caught cheating? Losing "the spark" for your Love Interest? The Beta Couple had that, and here's how they got through it. In addition to all of that, if there is sexual tension that the Official Couple is oblivious about, the Beta Couple is all the more aware of it and will try to help them embrace it.

For these reasons, things tend to go more smoothly for them, letting them work as catalysts for the alpha couple's romance. That said, the Beta Couple is usually a source of comedy, and as such have more freedom to be unconventional and kinky and less problem (or at least conflict) prone than the alpha couple.

While the Beta Couple usually consists of secondary characters, sometimes the author(s) will decide that the main character has enough crap to deal with, make his relationship the Beta Couple, and make the bulk of the romantic conflict in the story concern the sidekick's relationship.

Compare Token Romance. See also Hooked Up Afterwards. Totally not related to Beta Test Baddie, but sometimes related to Pair the Spares or Romantic False Lead.

Has absolutely nothing to do with The Alpha Couple, surprisingly.

Examples of Beta Couple include:

Anime & Manga

  • Kazu and Emily from Air Gear as well as Agito and Yayoi, who had already reached a level of intimacy that far surpasses Kazu and Emily.
  • Lots of couples in Eureka Seven. Namely Holland x Talho, Ray x Charles, Sakuya x Norb. Dominic x Anemone is probably the most popular.
  • Though there are several couples in Clover the only seemingly happy pairing in which both members are still alive at the present time are the Yaoi Guys Gingetsu and Ran and even they are probably doomed in about five years.
  • Akane Higurashi and Kazuya Kurauchi act as a Beta Couple to the Love Triangle in the Mai-HiME manga, and also to an extent in the anime: the scene where both Akane and Mai use their CHILDS makes it clear they are very similar. Akane is then defeated by someone she thought was a friend (Miyu), resulting in Kazuya's demise. Same thing happens to Mai (she gets attacked by Shiho, whom she was friends with before Shiho found out she was a contender for Yuuichi's heart AND was manipulated by Nagi, then Shiho's child gets destroyed by a brainwashed Mikoto, killing Yuuichi).
  • Several couples in Marmalade Boy, but especially Ginta Suoh and Arimi Suzuki (who had previously tried to break Yuu and Miki up, but found solace with each other when it failed) , as well as Meiko Akizuki and Namura-sensei.
  • Miroku and Sango from Inuyasha, Though they have only a slightly easier time of it than the Alpha Couple.
  • The scarily fervent matchmaker friends to the leads of Lovely Complex.
  • Akane and Subaru provide some much-needed sweet romance in the midst of Hatsumi and Ryoki's twisted relationship in Hot Gimmick.
  • Souichi and Morinaga (the first wants to keep it Just Friends, the second is hoping for a Relationship Upgrade) in Challengers. The mangaka enjoyed writing about them enough to eventually give them their own Spin-Off series, The Tyrant Falls in Love.
    • Through one has to admit that it is everything but easier for them, to the point where you could consider Tomoe and Kurokawa the Beta Couple in The Tyrant Falls in Love.
  • Yamazaki and Chiharu (Zachary and Chelsea in the English dub) from Cardcaptor Sakura... even though they're both fourth-graders. Touya and Yukito were another pair of main characters who became a couple by the end, so they could be considered this as well.
  • Yuki and Sojiroh to a varying extent in the manga and J-Drama of Hana Yori Dango.
  • Junko and Kyosuke in Nana.
  • Tsuyoshi and Aya, classmates of Alpha Couple Sana and Akito in Kodomo no Omocha.
  • Roy Focker and Claudia LaSalle in Super Dimension Fortress Macross, and Ozma Lee and Cathy Glass in Macross Frontier, who play Beta Couple to their respective series' official Love Triangle. Also, Michel and Klan, although that particular Beta Couple met an unexpected end.
  • Haruka/Sailor Uranus and Michiru/Sailor Neptune from Sailor Moon. Interestingly, they are probably more stable and certainly more mature than the Alpha Couple consisting of Usagi/Sailor Moon and Mamoru/Tuxedo Kamen. And they're lesbians. Given the release period, early to mid 90's, this was very, very subversive.
  • Ogata Matake (Oga-chan) and Tanaka Eita in Shakugan no Shana and Shakugan no Shana Second. Also serving as a Beta Couple to the Love Triangle of Yoshida, Shana, and Yuji. (Although adding Ike in sort of makes it a Love Dodecahedron.)
  • From Mars, we have Harumi and Tatsuya.
  • Austria and Hungary (despite being "divorced"... it's complicated) are this to Germany and North Italy in the Valentines strip of Axis Powers Hetalia.
  • Code Geass - Suzaku and Euphemia could be this… if there was an alpha to begin with. The typical beta couple is the couple involving the most important people after the couple involving the protagonist. But here, the protagonist is a Celibate Hero, so Suzaku and Euphemia were the only couple displayed in some openings.
    • Oghi and Villetta, kind of beta for Suzaku/Euphie, but actually the only couple which ends well (not that Suzaku stopped loving Euphie: she dies).
  • Konoka and Setsuna in Mahou Sensei Negima, and to some degree, Natsumi and Kotarō.
    • It's almost a subversion, as Konoka and Setsuna are pretty much the only confirmed Official Couple at this point (well, other than Nagi and Arika). Negi/Asuna is still swamped in UST, Will They or Won't They?, and is only one piece of a massive Love Dodecahedron.
    • As of chapter 262, Natsumi/Kotarō definitely counts as canon. Kiss, pactio, etc. Wow. As of the conclusion of the manga, Natsumi/Kotarō are set in stone, given that they get married in the epilogue. Konoka and Setsuna are left up in the air however as the epilogue states they both married in the same year, it just doesn't say to each other (though it is implied).
  • Romeo's best friend Benvolio and Juliet's adoptive sister Cordelia in Romeo X Juliet.
  • Princess Amelia of The Slayers definitely has feelings for Zelgadis but, due to his quest to recover his human body and being the only serious guy of the group, for the most part he doesn't remark on it or doesn't care. However, she does make him blush a lot, and there are many hints that he cares for her quite deeply, especially in the second season. And then there's how... one of Amelia's wristbands is tied to Zel's canteen in the credits of the last episode of the third season.
  • Neon Genesis Evangelion - Toji Suzuhara and Hikari Horaki. Though the school-characters are usually on the periphery of the story while the main cast is fighting giant aliens, Toji and Hikari develop a relationship (of sorts) in episodes 17 to 18. Despite the fact that Hikari is the strict class president and Toji is the class jock, they both make the first steps towards a relationship fairly stark contrast to how "primary couple" Shinji and Asuka are barely able to communicate at all. Hikari even discusses with Asuka that she's attracted to Toji, though in the same conversation Asuka balks at the suggestion that she even likes Shinji. Meanwhile, Toji refers to Asuka and Shinji's bickering as "another fight with the newlyweds", causing them both to blush with embarrassment.
  • Tsubasa Reservoir Chronicle has somewhat of an inversion. The main protagonists Sakura and Syaoran were actually the ones with the more simplified relationship as opposed to the ambiguously canon Beta Couple Fai And Kurogane, possibly attributed to the fact that Sakura and Syaoran were carry-overs from the already canon version of themselves in Cardcaptor Sakura, so there was no question that they'd get together. Whereas Fai and Kurogane were entirely new characters who got their Character Development over the course of Tsubasa. Even so, they still frequently acted as parental figures to Sakura and Syaoran, as well as parallels/foils to them in various official artwork and in-story plots and jokes, such as their Outo Country names: Big Dog (Kurogane), Little Dog (Syaoran), Big Cat (Fai) and Little Cat (Sakura).
  • Nanami and Yuzuru in Dance in the Vampire Bund.
  • Orie and Hinako from Aoi Hana, who Fumi sees as having the ideal happy lesbian relationship.
  • In Umineko no Naku Koro ni, Lambdadelta/Bernkastel serves as this to Beatrice/Battler for some. Interestingly enough, so can Jessica/Kanon and George/Shannon. For extra Mind Screw fun, later arcs heavily imply that Beatrice, Shannon and Kanon are the same person.
  • Future GPX Cyber Formula has Shinjyo/Miki, Osamu/Clair and Shiba/Rena, if you're going to take them to account.
  • The Magical Girl Lyrical Nanoha series' non Les Yay couples, Chrono/Amy and Erio/Caro. Note that Erio and Caro fall for each other very fast, since they're still kids, and in Triangle Heart 3: Sweet Songs Forever (the game that the Nanoha franchise is a Spin Off from), Chrono dated Nanoha and they were this to Nanoha's brother Kyouya (the [Player Character]]) was dating.
  • In Bakuman。, Akito Takagi and Kaya Miyoshi are the Beta Couple. Their down-to-earth approach to love and marriage and their frequent bickering is a nice contrast to the romantic idealism of the Alpha Couple, Moritaka Mashiro and Miho Azuki. The contrast between the two couples is not lost on any of the people involved, as Mashiro wonders if he and Azuki should be more like Takagi and Miyoshi (who have gotten married despite confessing their feelings later than Mashiro and Azuki), before resolving to keep his promise.
  • Tenshi ni Narumon: Raphael and Mikael are somewhat an inverted Ho Yay Beta Couple to Noelle and Yuusuke as it's implied that they have been in a relationship long before the series actually started and their relationship is...a lot less innocent that Noelle and Yuusuke's. Though arguably, Raphael and Mikael's relationship has a lot more problems to work out than a pretty straightforward relationship of the main couple.
  • Magic Knight Rayearth: Caldina/Lafarga and Fuu/Ferio.
  • Princess Amue and Ryou Shirogane from GoLion are this to Princess Fala and her mostly-implied deal with Akira (and to Sincline's Stalker with a Crush deal towards her). Even more so, their counterparts Princess Romelle and Sven in Voltron towards Keith and Allura (and Lotor). Amue and Ryou end up as borderline Star-Crossed Lovers, Romelle and Sven get their romantic happiness.
  • Detective Conan has Heiji/Kazuha (and later, their Love Triangle with Momiji), as well as Makoto/Sonoko and Takagi/Miwako, all of them towards Ran/Shinichi. Arguably, also Ninzaburou and Sumiko
  • Rosalie/Bernard in Rose of Versailles, who are the only couple to survive at the end. Jeanne/Nicolas and Louise/Renier counts as well.
  • Ox and Kim of Soul Eater, although right now they're the only couple.
  • Yuuji and Shouko in Baka to Test to Shoukanjuu, though their relationship isn't all that different from the main's, lack of a Love Triangle aside. Voyeur and Aiko are probably a more "normal" example.
  • Hyper Police uses this trope later on in the series when Tommy and Poe hook up. Tommy is already Banten's wingman, and Poe takes Natsuki under her wing (And her slippers, yeouch!) to try and save her relationship.
  • Duero and Parfait in Vandread. Considering that he's a medic and she's a mechanic onboard a Living Ship, their jobs allow them to be close at all times. Not that they ever do anything beyond compliments and awkward touches... especially because they both grew up in societies that shunned the other gender as subhuman, leaving them unable to come to terms with their feelings.
  • Captain Tsubasa has two for the Love Triangle between Sanae, Kumi and Tsubasa: Jun and Yayoi, and later Hikaru and Yoshiko.
  • Arguably, either Machi and Yuki or Isuzu and Haru become this to Kyou and Tohru in Fruits Basket.
  • Kokoro and Mitsuru are this to Hiro and Zero-Two in Darling in the FRANXX. And maybe, Ichigo and Goro.

Comic Books

  • Post-issue #50 in Archie Comics' Sonic the Hedgehog series, Antoine D'Coolette and Bunnie Rabbot became the beta couple to Sonic the Hedgehog and Princess Sally Acorn.
    • Some argue they ascended to Official Couple after Sonic and Sally broke up, especially following their wedding in issue #174. Possibilities for a beta couple after that include Knuckles and Julie-Su, and Tails and Fiona before Fiona's Face Heel Turn. However, Sonic and Sally have begun warming back up to each other in recent issues, which may restore the original order at some later point.


  • Taniguchi and Yanagimoto in Kyon: Big Damn Hero have officially stated that Taniguchi is trying to paint themselves as the Beta Couple to Kyon and whichever girl he's being shipped with. There's Haruhi, Mikuru, Yuki, Kanae, Tsuruya so far...
  • Sirius and Aletha in the Dangerverse—quite literally, since they live in a "Pack" and are considered the Beta male and female.
  • Surprisingly, pops up very late in Naruto Veangance Revelaitons. Atni, a character based off of the author's new girlfriend and formerly part of Ronan's harem, has sex with Ronan's son Ekaj in a deliberate attempt to show that he can "LET ATI (sic) HAVE SEX WIT ANOTER MAN". In the end, Ronan leaves with Sakura to have sex for all eternity, leaving Ekaj and Atni to repopulate the earth.
  • Tsukasa and Miyuki in Stars Above... or rather, Tsukasa and the Demon disguised as Miyuki...
  • Kaiba and Yugi in Decks Fall Everyone Dies (the alpha couple is Joey and Tristan).
  • In a lot of Naruto fanfiction that puts Naruto and Hinata in the spotlight, Sasuke and Sakura are usually the Beta Couple. The inverse is also possible - for example, in White Rain, Sasuke and Sakura are the main pairing, with Naruto and Hinata as the Beta Couple. Hilariously, both couples become canon.
    • For those who don't particularly like Sasuke and Sakura, there are a lot of other pairings that can step up to the plate.
  • Many Heero/Duo yaoi fics in the Gundam Wing fandom cast Quatre/Trowa as the beta couple. Het fics often cast Duo/Hilde as such to Heero/Relena, though people who like both types of pairings may mix and match (i.e. having Heero/Relena, Duo/Hilde AND Trowa/Quatre in the same fanwork)
  • In Voltron: Legendary Defender fandom, Allura/Lance and Keith/Shiro go hand in hand. If the story's about one couple, the other will be this trope. i.e, in the VLD fic Across the Multiverse Akira/Keith's different incarnations will often try to invoke the trope on Isamu/Lance and Fala/Allura... because he's so obsessed with Shirogane/Sven and so repulsed by Fala/Allura's feelings for him, he wants Isamu/Lance to get her off his back. Sometimes Hunk/Pidge and Allura/Lance both serve as this for Keith/Shiro.
    • Klance fics tend to feature Shiro/Adam or Shiro/Curtis as the older and wiser Happy Couple who give the "gay disaster boys" romantic advice.
  • Happens in Fire Emblem shipping fic fairly often:
    • Ephraim/Tana has often served as the sweet romance to contrast the romantic drama and tension of many a Seth/Eirika fic.
    • Eliwood/Ninian and Hector/Lyn or Hector/Florina tend to be Ship Mates; if it's an Eliwood/Ninian fic, Hector and his lady's romance is playfully in the background, while if it's a Hector romance fic, Eliwood/Ninian are the Relationship Goals Couple.
    • Boyd/Mist serves as this to Ike/Soren in some Tellius fics.
    • In Awakening fics, Frederick/Sumia (and less frequently, Gaius/Sumia) is this to Chrom/female Avatar, while Chrom/Sumia is this to Frederick/Cordelia. Sully/Stahl and occasionally Olivia/Henry may be seen once or twice around as well.
    • In Three Houses, it's not uncommon to see Sylvain/Ingrid and/or Ashe/Dedue as this to Felix/Dimitri.
  • Toph/Aang is the Beta Couple to first Zuko/Katara, then Sokka/Azula in How I Became Yours.

Films — Animation

  • John and Mary in WALL-E.
  • Vlad and Sophie are this to Anastasia and Dimitri.
  • Mulan 2 had not one, but three Beta Couples - Mulan and Shang's soldier friends (Yao, Ling and Chieng-Po) with the princesses (Ting-Ting, Mei and Su).
  • From the Cinderella sequels, we have Cinderella's redeemed stepsister Anastasia and the local baker.
  • Alpha and Omega has Garth and Lilly, who were spending time together while the Western pack desperately searches for Kate before a pack war starts. While Kate and Humphrey, who were darted and trucked to Idaho and struggling to get back to Jasper, falling in love along the way, Garth and Lilly find themselves hitting it off beautifully. In fact, it gets to the point where the Western pack Alpha prince would be more than happy having Lilly substitute for Kate, even though Lilly is an Omega.
  • Tulio and Linda in Rio.

Films — Live Action

  • Albert and Allegra in Hitch.
  • Marie and Jess in When Harry Met Sally.
  • Wedding Crashers has Jeremy and Gloria, a mentally unstable nymphomaniac. Despite torturing Jeremy with/during sex, and being desperately possessive and scary, the two end up getting together while John and Claire hit a rough patch. The irony here is that John forced Jerry to date Gloria so he would have shot with Claire, only for it not to pan out at first.
    • Even more ironic (and plays the trope straight) considering John and Claire didn't hook up until they were forced to be in the same room with each other during Jerry and Gloria's wedding as the best man and maid of honor.
  • Chad and Taylor in High School Musical.
    • And in High School Musical 3, Ryan and Kelsi.
  • Kit and Ace in Failure to Launch.
  • Maida and Killjoy, in The Ice Pirates
  • Megan and Joe Dayton (Bonnie Hunt and Jim Belushi) from Return to Me.
  • Rusty and Willard (to main couple Ren and Arielle) in Footloose.
  • Lucas Belvaux has made a trilogy of movies (a comedy, drama and thriller) re-telling the same few days from three perspectives. Each of the three couples was the alpha couple in one of them and a beta couple in the two others.
  • Jacqueline/Capt. Laurent to Danielle/Prince Henry in Ever After.
  • Dianne and David in Shaun of the Dead. In the end, it turns out to be more complicated than this.
  • In a way, Jack the Bartender and Annie from the movie Penelope.
  • Orville and Echo in Every Which Way But Loose.
  • Martin and Chessy in the 1998 version of The Parent Trap.
  • Rizzo and Kenickie in Grease are a Slap Slap Kiss version.
  • Rob and Carrie in Eternal Sunshine of the Spotless Mind.
  • A Kind of Loving begins with the wedding of Christine and David, and they provide a tranquil counterpoint to the stormy relationship of Vic and Ingrid throughout.
  • In The Time Travelers Wife, we have Gomez and Charisse, which is very different from the book version (see the Literature section below).
  • The 1998 made-for-television film Merlin has Frik and Morgan le Fay, whose romance ends a lot less happily than Merlin and Nimue's.
  • Most Porn with Plot movies will slightly parody this or take it to its "area". The routine is of a normal suburban couple which needs its love life spiced up by the couple that "has seen it all and knows it all". Of course, it tends to become an Undead Horse Trope because of all its use, so sometimes it's parodied, subverted, played with (the couple is of lesbians, or it's just one woman teaching everything etc.) and whatnot.
  • Ezra and Emma in The Haunted Mansion, to Edward and Elizabeth (man, Disney likes their "E" names). A rather unromantic Beta Couple, but still more or less Happily Married.
  • Ingrid Bergman's character's older sister and brother-in-law in Indiscreet are the beta couple to Ingrid and Cary Grant.
  • Manny and Gina in Scarface
  • Balraj and Jaya in Bride and Prejudice.
  • Down With Love's Vikki Hiller and Peter MacMannus's relationship revolves around Barbara Novak and Catcher Block.
  • Enchanted's Career woman and Robert's girlfriend Nancy falls for Giselle's own Romantic Runner-Up Prince Edward. The very ending of the movie has them in their Wedding Day.
  • Jacques and Lulu in the movie musical The Love Parade provide a plebeian contrast to the royal principal couple.
  • Toshi and Hanako in Wild Zero.
  • In the live-action Aladdin movie, the Genie and Princess Jasmine's Lady in Waiting Dalia become this to Aladdin and Jasmine themselves. They're also Happily Married at the end.
  • The LGBT comedy Adam and Steve has Adam's best friend Rhonda and Steve's best friend Michael.


  • Twilight has so many, it's almost the entire supporting cast. You have the Cullen family, the various werewolves and their imprintees, the human pairings, and several other vampire relationships (ie Garrett and Kate in Breaking Dawn).
  • Marianne Dashwood and Colonel Brandon to Elinor Dashwood and Edward Ferrars of Sense and Sensibility.
  • Jane Bennet and Mr. Bingley to Elizabeth and Mr. Darcy in Pride and Prejudice; the Official Couple (the girl who falls for a charismatic Casanova before discovering his true colors before growing to esteem and appreciate a worthy man) and Beta Couple (the man forbidden from proposing to the girl he loves because his family doesn't believe she is rich enough) are essentially reversed from Sense and Sensibility.
    • Jane and Bingley are a humorous example because they're only the Beta Couple to the reader. Since Elizabeth is the protagonist, she and Darcy of course form the Alpha Couple of the story. However, in the world of the story itself, it's Elizabeth and Darcy who are the Beta Couple, since pretty much from the get-go, the people around them are waiting to see if Jane and Bingley will hook up.
  • Sparhawk and Kalten in David Eddings' Elenium and Tamuli series. Sparhawk marries Queen Ehlana and Kalten falls for her personal maid Alean. Also Melidere and Stragen, and Talen and Danae, and Sephrenia and Vanion.
    • David Eddings loves this trope. It's taken to a ridiculous extreme in the Belgariad/Malloreon: Hettar and Adara, Silk and Velvet, Durnik and Polgara, Mandorallen and Nerina, Lelldorin and Ariana, 'Zakath and Cyradis, Relg and Taiba, Beldin and Vella, a reunited Belgarath and Poledra... granted, for those who love happy-ever-after cliches, early Eddings is made to order.
      • Belgarath at one point snarks that the Purpose of the Universe loves marriages.
      • And the Purpose indicates that arranging happily-ever-afters is its way of repaying the favor for serving 'destiny',
  • It's a smooth and quick hook-up for Roger and Bonnie in Jennifer Crusie's romance novel Bet Me, compared to the more rocky relationship of their respective friends Cal and Min.
  • Sonya/Nikolai/Maria are the Beta Triangle of War and Peace, with Nikolai/Maria going on to become the full-fledged Beta Couple.
  • Kitty and Levin in Anna Karenina, to the Alpha Couple of Anna and Vronsky.
  • Charisse and Gomez appear to be the Beta Couple in The Time Travelers Wife at first, but it is later revealed that Gomez harbors strong feelings towards Clare.
  • Faramir and Eowyn in The Lord of the Rings. More present in the book than The Film of the Book. Aragorn even makes them Prince and Princess of Ithilien, a province of Gondor.
  • From Lois McMaster Bujold's Vorkosigan Saga:
    • There's a weird case in Barrayar. Aral and Cordelia Vorkosigan, in all other respects the book's protagonists, play Beta Couple to Koudelka and Droushnakovi in a minor subplot.
    • Mark and Kareen in A Civil Campaign, both as secondary to Miles and Ekaterin, and due to the planet where they're attending school.
    • Miles and Ekaterin play beta couple to Taura and Roic in Winterfair Gifts
  • Nick Carraway and Jordan Baker in The Great Gatsby. They don't really work out but compared to mess of the main Love Dodecahedron, they are pretty normal.
  • Conaire and Caitlin are a classic Beta Couple in Jules Watson's The White Mare. He's the hero's right-hand man and she's the heroine's best friend, and their relationship is far less complicated than that of the main couple.
  • Spook and Beldre in Mistborn, though Spook was originally a Mauve Shirt that got promoted to main character in the third book.
  • Mari and Prince Kieran in Salamander. It's an unusual example because he's a Well-Intentioned Extremist villain for most of the story, including their courtship.
  • Sachar and Anisya in Oblomov.
  • Nino Sechetti and Lola Nirdlinger in Double Indemnity.
  • The duchesse de Nevers and Coconnas fill the spot in La Reine Margot, but they are less peaceful than Margot and La Môle.
  • Golondrina de Invierno has two BC's opposite the main one with José Antonio and Graciela/Chela: José Antonio's best friend Joaquín and his wife Rosario (who are Happily Married with many kiddos), plus José's younger sister Anita and the medicine student Félix (who start well but hit a massive road bump when Félix becomes a male Ophelia for some time but ultimately ends well)

Live Action TV

  • On The Nanny, Niles and CC play this role after they were hooked up together. They were quite a fun Beta Couple since they hated each-other as much as they were in love, so they were always attacking the other.
  • On Community Troy and Annie were a Beta Couple to Jeff and Britta, but these were both eventually dropped once the show found itself.
    • Since then, Jeff and Annie have ascended to Alpha Couple (as of early season three in the Will They or Won't They? stage), while the show seems to be setting up Troy/Britta as the Beta Couple.
  • The Big Bang Theory: Howard and Bernardette to main couple Leonard and Penny.
    • Later, Sheldon and Amy
  • In That 70's Show, Kelso/Jackie and later Jackie/Hyde to Donna/Eric.
  • Fred and Ethel Mertz in I Love Lucy, television's original Beta Couple.
  • Turk and Carla in Scrubs. At multiple times J.D. has mentioned that they act as a unit giving advice to others, to the point in one fantasy based episode they were portrayed as a two-headed witch.
    • One could argue that Turk is in both the Alpha AND Beta Couple, if you consider the Alpha Couple to be Turk and JD.
  • In Lie to Me, Torres and Loker are now confirmed to be this, to Lightman and Foster's Alpha.
  • Monica and Chandler become this couple (to main couple Ross and Rachel) in the later seasons of Friends.
    • Eventually Phoebe and Mike.
  • Buffy the Vampire Slayer: At various times Willow and Xander would be in a relationship to contrast Buffy's various relationships. Willow/Oz and Xander/Cordelia in the earlier seasons, then Willow/Tara and Xander/Anya in the later seasons.
    • On Angel this was modified with a Love Triangle for the Beta Couple between Gunn, Fred and Wesley, while Angel began a relationship with Cordelia.
      • To be specific, Gunn and Fred were the Beta Couple on their own during seasons 3 and 4. While Angel and Cordy were trying to figure out that they were in love with each other in the third season and god knows what happened to Cordy in the fourth, Gunn and Fred had a fairly stable relationship from the time they got together until "Supersymmetry".
  • Although there wasn't any one official couple for the show, Jed and Abby, on The West Wing are this trope to everyone else, as they were Happily Married with the ups and downs of a normal, well-adjusted couple (or as normal as possible for a President and First Lady). This was in contrast to Josh and Donna, CJ and Danny, Toby and Andi, Sam and Ainsley, CJ and Simon, Josh and Amy, Sam and Mallory, Leo and Jenny, and Charlie and Zoe, all of whose romances were constantly trampled by politics, ethics, and Dysfunction Junction. But mostly politics.
    • Except for Josh/Donna and CJ/Danny of course, who were upgraded to Official Couple and ended up together in the final season.
  • ICarly: Gibby/Tasha, to either Carly/Freddie or Sam/Freddie.
    • Appear to have broken up when Tasha's actor went off to become a lingerie model, leaving Tasha as a Brother Chuck for season 4..
  • Stanley and Mimi in Jericho. Oddly enough however, their pairing became the only major romance of focus throughout most of season one and all of season two pummeling the hell out of the pretty much forgotten (by the writers) Heather/Jake/Emily triangle, which from a story-telling standpoint, should've been the romance arc of focus.
  • Slater and Jessie on Saved by the Bell (to main couple Zack and Kelly).
  • Chris and Shaz in Ashes to Ashes
  • Helo and Athena in Battlestar Galactica, especially considering they are one of the only couples that remain steady throughout the series.
  • One could say How I Met Your Mother has a Beta Couple (Marshall and Lily), but no real Alpha couple. Alternately, if you say Marshall and Lily are the Alpha couple, then Ted and Robin were the Beta couple at least in the first two seasons.
    • Or you could say that Marshall and Lily are the Beta couple while Ted and Current Love Interest is the Alpha Couple.
    • Marshall and Lily are definitely the Beta Couple - aside from a brief break-up, their relationship has been very smooth and they frequently offer advice to others. The Alpha couple was probably Ted/Robin with their Will They or Won't They? and various RomanticFalseLeads in the first two seasons, and after their inevitable break-up, Barney/Robin were slowly elevated to the Alpha Couple even though they were both secondary characters.
  • For the first two seasons of The OC, Seth and Summer were the Beta Couple to the Official Couple of Ryan and Marissa. In the third season, Ryan and Marissa break up for good and there is no real Official Couple. In the fourth and final season both Seth/Summer and Ryan/Taylor are given about equal weight.
  • Patrick and Sally on Coupling.
    • Arguably, Steve and Susan are the Beta couple, as they're the ones in a more or less constant (if also constantly bickering) relationship. Patrick and Sally, even as secondary characters, are the ones who struggle through their possible relationship.
  • On Yes, Dear, it depends on the episode. It's twice as likely Greg and Kim serve the position than Jimmy and Christine, however.
  • Arthur and Morgana have a Will They or Won't They? that mirrors Merlin and Gwen's in the first Series of Merlin. But in Series 3, Arthur and Morgana are revealed to be brother and sister, so it's pretty unlikely to become canon! It should be noted, however, that it hasn't stopped the shippers. In fact, you could argue that almost every potential Beta-pairing (including Gwen/Lancelot, Merlin/Morgana, and particularly Arthur/Merlin) is more popular among fans than the Arthur/Gwen coupling.
  • D'Argo and Chiana in Farscape, though theirs is a tempestuous, mostly physical relationship that's more off than on, and is ultimately doomed. Nevertheless, both Chiana and D'Argo often dispense relationship advice to Crichton and Aeryn. A (marginally) less dysfunctional example is the tragically brief relationship between Stark and Zhaan.
  • Smithy and Nessa in Gavin and Stacey. However, in later seasons Gavin and Stacey's relationship stabilises considerably, while Smithy and Nessa's provides most of the drama, essentially making the eponymous Gavin and Stacey the Beta Couple.
  • Found on Chuck: Both Morgan/Anna (and later Morgan/ Alex) and Captain Awesome/Ellie are beta couples to Chuck and Sarah's alpha couple storyline.
    • Subverted somewhat because, although the Chuck/Sarah UST is a storyline, their relationship is fake, and therefore the Beta Couple's advice/involvement/etc is a joke.
      • Not anymore...
  • Firefly has Zoe and Wash, a married couple, as the Beta Couple to Mal/Inara and Simon/Kaylee. (Gamma couple?)
  • Angela/Hodgins to Booth/Brennan on Bones... though Booth/Brennan aren't really a couple... yet. (ok, rumors about the season finale). Angela/Hodgins are in many ways the LESS stable couple.
    • Doc Sweets and Daiasy.
    • "The Witch in the Wardrobe" sounded somewhat surprising (but much-loved) wedding bells for Angela and Hodgins, after several episodes of rekindled feelings. As of the fifth season finale, they're on honeymoon in Paris.
  • In True Blood, Sam and Tara are an off-again, on-again Beta Couple.
    • Lately them seem to have been replaced by Hoyt and Jessica. Who also mirror the alpha couple's human-vampire relationship.
      • Hoyt and Jessica are broken up as of Season 4. It would seem the Beta Couple is now Arlene and Terry.
  • Will and Djaq from the 2006 series of Robin Hood. Their relationship ends up being much more successful than Robin and Marian's.
    • Yes, but Robin/Marian takes place over two seasons, with a back story as well, while as cute as Will/Djaq was, we only saw them together in a two-part season finale. Their relationship made sense, but I just didn't see that many clues of their mutual attraction beforehand.
  • In Mad About You, Fran and Mark (although in a "what not to do" sense), and later in the series, Debbie and Joan. Or alternatively, one could consider Paul and Jamie to be the Beta Couple to those guys, as they were more stable than Fran and Mark, and they were together for longer than Debbie and Joan.
  • In Skins, despite its numerous couples in every generation, only Grace/Rich in Generation 3 truly fit this trope, as they've had relatively smooth sailing compared to every other possible coupling in their cast. In the previous generations, both intended Beta Couples (Sid/Cassie and Naomi/Emily) proved to be far more popular than their generations' Alpha Couples (Tony/Michelle and the Freddie/Effy/Cook Triangle of Doom), and thus were promoted to Alpha status in their second series, with the attendant Conflict Balls being thrown their way. And it wasn't like they were without conflict to begin with anyway.
    • The third generation is still an odd example; while Rich/Grace fit the Beta Couple dynamic, there is no real Alpha Couple, more of an Alpha Love Dodecahedron of Mini/Nick/Liv/Matty/Franky. Matty/Franky probably have the best claim to the title in season five, though who knows what season six will bring. Although, as in the first two generations, the Beta Couple (Rich/Grace) have proved miles more popular than the near-universally-derided Matty/Franky, it is unlikely that Rich/Grace will be promoted to Alpha Couple. Mini/Franky seem to be poised to step up into this role. But who knows what's going to happen with both the alpha and the beta couple, now that the police is searching for Matty who disappeared, and Grace is dead...
    • One could argue that Chris/Jal became the Beta Couple of the first generation after their hook-up early in season two. Things went rather smoothly for them compared to Sid/Cassie and Tony/Michelle. Until Chris died of course.
  • In venezuelan telenovela Cosita Rica (2003), although Diego Luj?and Paula C were the alpha couple, her respectives siblings—Ver?a and Cacique—being the beta couple, attracted a lot more attention than the alpha one, to the point the actress who played Paula C almost left the show because of this. In fact, the actors who played Ver?a (Marisa Rom? and Cacique (Edgar Ram?z) became very famous. Ram?z even made his way into Hollywood, appearing alongside Keira Knightley in Domino and in Bourne Supremacy.
    • This is a pretty common phenomenon in Latinamerican telenovelas, in where the actors who play the beta couple (depending of the public's reaction) are allowed to play the main characters in subsequent telenovelas. Sometimes, several beta couples are included in the same telenovela.
  • Twist and Brian are the Beta Couple to Tim and Daisy's Alpha in Spaced
  • Sol Star and Trixie in HBO's Deadwood are the beta couple to Seth Bullock & Alma Garrett and later Seth & Martha Bullock.
  • Victor and Sierra in Dollhouse are the beta couple to Paul and Echo. Subverted in that Paul and Echo never got beyond the UST phase, while Victor and Sierra ended up with a kid.
    • Debatable, seeing as Paul died, and was then imprinted as another one of Echo's personalities which is pretty high up on the commitment scale, though does make one wonder how or if that UST will be resolved. Also, it is somewhat implied that it was already resolved during the years between The Hollow Man and Epitaph One/Two
    • Interesting in that, during the first season, most thought that Paul and Mellie would be the Beta to Echo and Alpha's... well... Alpha.
    • Actually, it's pretty common for the Beta Couple to get further than the main couple, as well as having a simpler and faster relationship. Look at Friends, Farscape, Bones, and Firefly, as well as many others. It's possible the Beta Couple is there to satisfy our cravings for an actual relationship while the Alpha gives us the UST.
  • Michael and Maria on Roswell, respectively the best friends of Max and Liz and as another alien-human-hybrid/human relationship, embody this trope, in getting together first and with less angst, and typically providing more comedy with their totally different kind of relationship, but somewhat subvert it, acting more as a a reverse barometer- when they were doing well, Max/Liz usually weren't, and vice versa.
  • John Doggett and Monica Reyes on The X-Files could be considered the beta couple to Mulder and Scully's alpha, though their relationship and UST started mostly after Mulder and Scully were already an established couple. Unforunately for fans of the ship, the show didn't run long enough with them as head investigators of the X-Files for their relationship to be fully established (though there was a good dose of shippiness in season 9); it is unclear what became of them after the series finale. They did not appear in The X-Files: I Want to Believe.
  • Noah's Arc: Alex+Trey and Chance+Eddie typically play this role to Noah+his boyfriend at the time.
  • Billy Bob and Mavis Davis in Hearts Afire.
  • Curtis and Alisha during the first season of Misfits, despite also being the Official Couple and having a fair bit of relationship drama in their own right. Whether or not the show itself actually treats them as a beta couple is debatable, but the fandom indisputably saw Nathan and Kelly as the alpha couple, despite them not getting past the UST stage.
    • Come the second season, things change entirely, with Alisha and Simon becoming the alpha couple (both in-universe and in the eyes of the fandom), and Nathan and Kelly's awkward almost-romance fizzling out as they decide to just be friends - although they're still a hugely popular pairing among fans, so whether this is really the end for them has yet to be seen.
  • Adam and Jennifer (engaged to be married) in Rules of Engagement to the main, married couple Audrey and Jeff.
  • Cal and Chloe on Harper's Island. They both die. It's a murder mystery.
  • Sookie and Jackson in Gilmore Girls
  • Harper and Zeke have developed an adorable relationship on Wizards of Waverly Place. The Unfortunate Implications of their relationship stems from the fact that they are the respective sidekicks of Alex and Justin Russo.
    • Incest Subtext notwithstanding, Wizards normally has two Alpha Couples: Alex and whomever she is dating, and Justin and whomever he is dating. True to form, Harper and Zeke (who got together at the end of season 2) have outlasted their best friends' more passionate but more fleeting relationships.
  • Caroline and Matt were one to Stefan and Elena on The Vampire Diaries.
  • Piper and Leo in Charmed are this for most of Phoebe's or Paige's relationships - especially Phoebe and Cole in seasons 3 and 4.
  • As of season 3, Lanie and Esposito, Alexis and Ashley, and Ryan and Jenny count as Beta Couples to the alpha couple, Castle and Beckett.
  • On Glee, Artie/Tina was this for the first season, compared to the Rachel/Finn/Quinn/Puck mess and Terri/Will/Emma. In the second season, after breaking up with Artie over the summer, Tina and new boyfriend Mike became this, compared to the Rachel/Finn/Quinn/Sam mess and Holly/Will/Emma/Carl. In the second half of the season, Puck/Lauren and later Kurt/Blaine have also assumed this role.
  • Leverage has Hardison and Parker to Nate and Sophie. Hardison and Parker have minor problems, but mostly as a result of Parker being emotionally troubled.
  • Once Angela was added to Boy Meets World in season five, Shawn and Angela became this to Cory and Topanga, except when they break up during season six.
  • On Parks and Recreation, Andy and April have become this to Leslie and Ben, even giving the latter couple relationship advice on a few occasions.
  • Tristan and Isolde on Merlin serve as the catalyst for getting Arthur and Guinevere back together.
  • On Married... with Children, Marcy and Steve (or later, Marcy and Jefferson) to Al and Peggy. Played With in that Al and Peggy loathed each other (most of the time.)
  • Lary and Megan on Numb3rs.


  • Thanks to The Zeroth Law of Trope Examples, this is Older Than Steam:
    • Gratiano and Nerissa from The Merchant of Venice seem to fit into this category rather nicely, if we take Bassanio and Portia as the "alpha couple".
    • Much Ado About Nothing plays with the conventions. Initially, Claudio and Hero are the happy beta couple, and Beatrice and Benedick are the bickering alphas. The rest of the cast decides to trick B&B into admitting their love for each other, with amazingly quick success—by the midpoint of the play, everyone's soppy in love. Then Claudio is led by slander into accusing and abandoning Hero, and Beatrice demands that Benedick challenge his close friend Claudio to a duel to the death. The play ends with Claudio and Hero marrying (as if they're the Official Couple), but with Beatrice and Benedick pledging their love. (The opera version drops the whole Claudio and Hero story.)
    • As You Like It goes all the way to four couples, but Rosalind and Orlando are pretty clearly Couple A.
    • And Love's Labour's Lost has five (with Berowne and Rosaline as Couple A).
    • Sir Toby and Maria in Twelfth Night. Sebastian and Olivia, too—more so than Toby and Maria, since the former are tangled with the main plot and the latter are subplot characters.
    • Helena and Demetrius in A Midsummer Night's Dream. Oberon and Titania also qualify.
    • Bianca and Lucentio in The Taming of the Shrew who are played by Beta Couple Bill and Lois in Kiss Me Kate.
    • Valentine and Silvia in Two Gentlemen of Verona.
    • Tragic example: Iago and Emilia in Othello
  • Prince Valiant and Lucy the Maid in The Christmas Princess
  • You Can't Take It With You has two to compliment Alice and Tony: Alice's mother Penny and father Paul, and her sister Essie and brother-in-law Ed.
  • George and Lucy in Once in a Lifetime to May and Jerry's Couple A.
  • Annie Get Your Gun did until it was revised to eliminate the parts of Tommy Keeler and Winnie Tate, along with their two song-and-dance numbers.
  • Another good example of musical comedy's predilection for adding a Beta Couple for the sake of comic relief is The Most Happy Fella, whose Cleo and Herman have no counterparts in the non-musical source play.
  • The Wedding Singer, which makes Sammy and Holly an on-again, off-again couple.
  • In Sweeney Todd: The Demon Barber of Fleet Street, the two couples are Anthony and Johanna as well as Sweeney and Mrs. Lovett, but it's not straightforward which couple is which. Anthony and Johanna have the more conventional romantic arc, with Todd and Lovett helping them out, and Mrs. Lovett's courting of Todd being more in the way of comic relief. On the other hand, Sweeney Todd is the title character and lead role.
  • West Side Story: Behind Tony and Maria, there are Bernardo and Anita.
  • Ragtime: Behind Coalhouse and Sarah, there are "Mother" and "Father". And then Mother and Tateh after Mom and Pop are splitsville.
  • Many of the Rodgers and Hammerstein musicals include a Beta Couple:
    • Oklahoma!: Behind Curly and Laurie are Ado Annie and Will.
    • Carousel: Behind Billy and Julie are Mr. Snow and Carrie.
    • South Pacific has Cable and Liat playing Beta Couple to Emile and Nellie.
    • In The King And I, Tuptim and Lun Tha are written like a Beta Couple, but Anna's relationship with the King of Siam is obviously not a romantic one. Both relationships end in tragedy.
    • The Sound of Music: Behind the Captain and Maria are Liesl and Rolf ( which ended up real bad when Rolf had his sort-of Face Heel Turn), and ALSO Max and the Baroness
    • Me and Juliet has Mac and Betty.
  • Frank Schultz and Ellie May Chipley in Show Boat.
  • Tommy Djilas and Zaneeta Shinn in The Music Man. Cut Songs excluded, this Beta Couple has nothing to sing in this musical.
  • Bill Calhoun and Lois "Bianca" Lane from Kiss Me Kate.
  • Hines and Gladys from The Pajama Game.
  • Schultz and Schneider from Cabaret.
  • Nathan and Adelaide from Guys and Dolls are an odd case, as they are a Beta Couple in role alone; in stage time and importance they are equal to Sky and Sarah. It also should be noted that they were never paired in Damon Runyon's original stories.
  • Jimmy and Snookie from 110 in the Shade; less so in the original non-musical play it was based on, The Rainmaker, in which Snookie does not actually appear.
  • Boq and Nessarose from Wicked are probably the single most dysfunctional Beta Couple in this entire list.
  • Sue and Sandor in Bells Are Ringing.
  • Examples from the Gilbert and Sullivan canon are rare, but Despard and Margaret are a Beta Couple in Ruddigore.
  • Papageno and Papagena in the opera The Magic Flute.
  • Marcello and Musetta are a Masochism Tango variety of this in the opera La Boh?.
  • Hugo and Kim in Bye Bye Birdie.
  • Christine and Dell in The Beautiful Game and its rewrite The Boys in the Photograph.
  • Harry and Lady Larkin in Once Upon a Mattress.
  • Gideon and Alice from Seven Brides for Seven Brothers, as well as the other five, less-prominent brothers and brides.
  • Steven Kodaly and Ilona Ritter in She Loves Me.
  • Hilariously in StarKidPotter's Me and My Dick, the main Beta couples are the alpha couple's body parts, Dick and Miss Cooter and Joey and Sally's hearts, and Joey and Sally can only get together when they are happily paired off. There are a couple less prominent beta couples too, like The Old Snatch and Big T.
  • In the Heights has two couples but both are given equal prominence. If one had to be picked it would be Nina and Benny behind Usnavi and Vanessa since Usnavi is clearly the main character.
  • Deconstructed mercilessly in Who's Afraid of Virginia Woolf?. At first, newlyweds Nick and Honey appear to be this to the severely dysfunctional marriage of George and Martha. By the end, however, it's become apparent that though George and Martha are indeed a dysfunctional couple, they also have a very strong bond holding them together. By contrast, Nick and Honey have dealt with problems by ignoring or hiding them, and are implied to be on the road to an even more miserable marriage.
  • Hilariously subverted in Thoroughly Modern Millie. As a way of Cleaning Up Romantic Loose Ends it seems like Miss Dorothy and Trevor are going to hook up (which they actually did do in the original movie). Instead Dorothy hooks up with one of the Those Two Guys that rescues her instead. Then in an equally funny Pair the Spares The other half of Those Two Guys becomes Trevor's new employee, replacing Millie after she leaves.
  • A Little Night Music has an Alpha Couple in Fredrick and Desiree, as well as a Love Dodecahedron among the entire cast, but arguments could be made for Anne/Henrik, Petra/Frid, and Carl-Magnus/Charlotte as the Beta Couples.
  • Rusty and Willard, as well as Shaw and Vi in the musical of Footloose.
  • Natalie and Henry in Next to Normal.
  • Fame has either Nick and Serena to Schlomo and Carmen... or Schlomo and Carmen to Nick and Serena, depending on how you look at it.
  • Spring Awakening has both Moritz/Ilse and Hanschen/Ernst as the Beta Couples to Melchior/Wendla. Subverted in that both relationships are as twisted and messy as the main one: Moritz kills himself, and while Hanschen and Ernst end the story slightly better off, Word of God says they weren't going to end up well either.
  • Both Angel and Collins and Maureen and Joanne from Rent qualify as this to the main drama that is Roger and Mimi. The former is pretty much Happily Committed until Angel succumbs to advanced AIDS , while the latter is trapped in a "Tango: Maureen" that is played for laughs. Important to the sexual and ethnic All Token Band.
  • Behind Fiona and Tommy in Brigadoon there are some very dysfunctional pairings (which are very All Love Is Unrequited). Meg and Jeff, with Jeff not into Meg at all. Then there's Maggie who is love with Harry who is in love with Jean who is marrying Charlie.
  • A standard feature of any Usles pantomime - the main love interests usually have friends, advisors or servants who fall for each other. Sometimes this doesn't happen until the very end of the show, when it can also end up as a case of Pair the Spares.
  • The Desert Song had reporter Benjamin Kidd and his good-girl sweetheart Susan, but all film adaptations after the 1929 one removed either or both characters.
  • Subverted in Of Thee I Sing. Jenkins and Miss Benson, respectively Wintergreen and Mary's secretaries, usually appear together but have no love plot of their own.

Video Games

  • Bubble Symphony, aka Bubble Bobble II, introduces Cororon and Kululun, both who also get cursed with Bub and Bob and turn into bubble dragons. Coro and Kulu are magenta and orange respectively. They never appear in any other Bubble Bobble game.
    • Keep in mind that Bub and Bob are male, and Coro and Kulu are female.
    • And Pab and Peb,[2] the new Beta Couple in Bubble Bobble Plus (Wii Ware). They're still magenta and orange and both female.
  • Another subversion: Contra 4 for the DS not only brought back Bill and Lance, the original Contra duo, but also introduced a Beta Duo in the form of Mad Dog and Scorpion, whose names are Shout Outs to Bill's and Lance's former nicknames from the American localization of the NES games. While Bill and Lance wear blue and red (their colors from the NES games), Mad Dog and Scorpion wear green and purple, which were Bill's and Lance's colors in the arcade version of Super Contra.
  • Kyle and Jessica in Lunar: The Silver Star. However, they're quite a bit more dysfunctional than the game's Alpha Couple of Alex and Luna.
    • Not to mention Nash and Mia.
  • Tali'Zorah vas Normandy and Garrus Vakarian at the end of Mass Effect 3, should you have not romanced either one of them. Especially prevalent if your romance was Liara.
  • Aveline and Donnic in Dragon Age 2. Notable for requiring an extremely silly sidequest to bring about, and for the even sillier lines the whole thing draws from the rest of your team.

  Varric: "Let me draw you a picture of where she wants you to touch her..."

  • Maybe not in a strictly romantic sense, but in Kingdom Hearts, Roxas and Namine's relationship certainly parallels with the relationship of the official couple Sora and Kairi, since Roxas and Namine are the Nobodies clones of Sora and Kairi.
  • Lance and Lilly in Illusion of Gaia, to main couple Will and Kara.
  • Ashelin and Torn from Jak and Daxter.
  • Aerith and Zack form this to the God-confirmed Alpha Couple of Cloud and Tifa in Final Fantasy VII, since Aerith and Zack are both dead at the end.
  • To some degree, Steiner and Beatrix in Final Fantasy IX.
  • Also to some degree, Irvine and Selphie in Final Fantasy VIII.
  • Lulu and Wakka from Final Fantasy X, who have a bit more of a harder time getting together than Tidus and Yuna, who were pretty much in Love At First Sight. Though understandable, as Lulu had previously been with Wakka's brother (who had died). But interestingly enough, Lulu and Wakka get married and have a kid before Tidus and Yuna, seeing how Tidus was the fayth's dream and had to leave Yuna.
  • Tales of Symphonia Dawn of the New World has Lloyd and Colette, to Emil and Marta. Or Lloyd and Sheena. Or Lloyd and Presea. Or Lloyd and Raine. Or Lloyd and Zelos (depending on the interpretation of the scene). It's all really a matter of choice by the player (tjough supplemental material leans more to Lloyd and Colette).
  • Prince Harry and Maria from Dragon Quest V, to the Hero and whoever he chooses (Bianca, Flora or Debora).
  • Agarest Senki 2 has two of them. The first couple is Janus and Chloe in the first generation, and the second couple is Ignis and Cynthia in the second generation. Both couples then had a child each (Jude, and Lizerotte respectively).

Web Comics

  • A literal Beta Couple from El Goonish Shive. Okay. That was an awful pun.
    • In universe, though, Elliot and Sarah take this role, with Tedd and Grace serving as the main couple. Or Ellen and Nanase. Not sure where they fit.
      • Tedd/Grace and Ellen/Nanase are the alpha couples since a large part of the storyline revolves around their relationships. Elliot/Sarah is a definite Beta Couple though, and maybe Susan/Catalina, although they aren't a couple..
  • Casey and Mary in Casey and Andy. Subverted somewhat in that Andy Weir ditches the "one for romance" part of the idea and just plays both couples (Casey/Mary and Andy/Satan) for laughs.
  • Several in Girly: Officers Policeguy and Hipbone, Chuy and Autumn, and Lucy and Yumi. A few others are heavily implied to have Hooked Up Afterwards, and there are a fair share of Heterosexual Life Partners.
    • Let's just say this comic has a lot of love to give.
  • Fox and Collin in Boy Meets Boy, as loving as a cheerful Handsome Lech and a stoic Deadpan Snarker can be. They become the main couple in the Spin-Off webcomic Friendly Hostility.
  • Erika and Largo in Megatokyo are a classic case of a Beta Couple used to provide a light, humorous contrast (most of the time) to the much more dark and dramatic main couple: Piro and Kimiko.
  • Walkyverse: Billie and Danny to Joyce And Walky.
    • And Jason and Sal possibly count as well.
    • For another "main character in beta couple" example, Ethan and Drew.
  • Melissa and Kurt from Multiplex. Outside of Kurt's habit of pulling pranks on Melissa, they're the rock of love compared to the Jason/Jay/Becky/Angie quagmire.
  • The Law of Purple subverts this trope in an odd way; there are two clearly defined couples amongst the main characters, which take turns being the Alpha and Beta couples depending on which pair contains the character(s) who are the focus of the current arc. At the time of this writing, Blue and Lette are the designated Beta Couple. And that's not even considering what the rest of the cast is up to...
  • Subverted in Questionable Content when alpha couple Faye and Marten doesn't happen and Beta interest and Alpha character end up forming a strange mix between Alpha and Beta couple—Dora and Marten.
    • The former is either Not a Subversion or completely unrelated to this trope, but Marten and Dora revert to this when Faye and Sven become the source of the drama.
  • Roy and Celia in Order of the Stick, who manage to play the calm, laid-back beta couple to Haley and Elan's angst-ridden alpha despite the fact that Roy spends a large proportion of a recent plot-arc dead!
    • A role also played by Mauve Shirt couple Kazumi and Daigo, who are happily married (and expecting) already, despite having only got together after Haley and Elan got together.
  • In most Heterodyne stories, while Bill is canonically paired with Lucrezia, his brother Barry is paired with whoever the "High Priestess" character happens to be this time.
  • Mell and Caliban in Narbonic are a nice, steady evil couple who provide nice contrast to the main pairing of Dave and Helen.
  • Abbey and Daisy have a near-perfect relationship in Bittersweet Candy Bowl. This is in stark contrast to the angst, anger, heartbreak, confusion and jealousy experienced by the (many) other characters on an almost daily basis.
  • In Sinfest, Slick sees Percy's romance and wishes his life were that simple.

Western Animation

  • Code Lyoko: Jeremie and Aelita are the Beta Couple for the Yumi/Ulrich relationship William/Yumi/Ulrich/Sissi love square, and they in fact become an Official Couple while the love square never gets resolved.
  • Zuko and Mai of Avatar: The Last Airbender.
    • Sokka and Suki as well.
  • Barney and Betty Rubble, to Alpha Couple Fred and Wilma Flintstone.
  • Matrix and AndrAIa in Re Boot.
  • Winx Club has at the end of season 1 three beta copules. At the end of season 2, four. At the end of season 3, five. and it seems that there will be six beta couples at the end of season 4.
    • Actually, they are now back down to four beta couples due to a Heroic Sacrifice near the end of the season. But maybe this will be fixed in season 5?
  • Gerald and Phoebe from Hey Arnold; heck, unlike Arnold and Helga this one isn't one-sided.
    • Word of God mentioned that they would have been an explicit beta couple in The Patakis, had the series been green-lighted. They would've been the "cool couple" to contrast with the more complicated relationship of Helga and Arnold. And in The Jungle Movie, Helga/Arnold is fully canonized
  • Stacy and Coltrane on Phineas and Ferb. Since both of them are rather laid-back, their romance is meant to be a contrast to Candace's neurotic attempts to get Jeremy's attention.
    • Though "The Secret Success" seems to have confirmed Coltrane's status as a Boy Of The Week, so there not actually together and not a couple.
      • ...and he made his return in "Candace Gets Busted".
    • One could argue Ferb's pining for the older Vanessa is a Beta Couple for Phineas and Isabella.
  • Bonnie and Señor Senior Junior, and, more notably, Drakken and Shego in Kim Possible.
  • Beezy and Saffi, paired up by Jimmy Two-Shoes who is yet to know about Heloise's feelings for him.
  • Though all the couples in Toy Story are on equal standing, Buzz and Jessie are this to Woody and Bo Peep, pairing up at the end of the second movie. And we cannot forget Mr Potato Head and Mrs Potato Head. They were this to Woody and Bo Peep before the couple got tragically split for good between Toy Story 2 and Toy Story 3, anyway.
  • Amy Wong and Kif Kroker from Futurama
  • Libby and Sheen from Jimmy Neutron.
  • Skeeter and Beebe from Doug, to the title character and Patti, eventually.
  • Gunther and Jackie on Kick Buttowski, albeit only canon in one episode (despite Gunther calling her lovely and etc in later episodes) does serve as a beta couple for the much more popular Kick and Kendall relationship.
  • In Recess, it's hinted that Vince and Gretchen would become this eventually to T.J. and Spinelli.
  1. (Note: Couple importance is directly proportional to their height)
  2. Title Operations Guide in Shop Channel