Over the past 80 years, there has been a lengthy history of outstanding enemies-to-lovers movies, as well as numerous notable examples on television.
The enemies-to-lovers setting may lead to some of the best romances in films and television series. They hate each other at first, and some are even hoping for their adversary’s death. Despite their evident chemistry, it doesn’t appear like they’ll ever be attracted to one another on any level, be it physical or emotional.
In many cases, fans are able to predict the characters’ future relationships before they are ever born. It’s exhilarating when they finally come out and say what they’ve been thinking.
Mark Birrell updated this page on July 21st, 2021:
For almost 80 years, the best enemies-to-lovers movies have been around, and some of the most well-known tales in television have been based on this pattern. It doesn’t matter whether they’re classics or modern-day hits, the stories of foes becoming lovers continue to warm viewers’ hearts by illustrating how differences can be overcome and how passion can be found in the most unlikely places.
1. Caroline Forbes & Klaus Mikaelson from The Vampire Diaries (2009–2017)
When The Vampire Diaries began, Caroline Forbes (Candice King) and Niklaus “Klaus” Mikaelson (Joseph Morgan) were at loggerheads.
A human-turned-vampire and a vampire-werewolf hybrid are just two of the show’s many tangled pairings.
Caroline’s archenemy is Klaus. In the end, they build a close friendship and finally begin dating. In spite of the fact that she had a prior relationship, Klaus says he wishes to be her “last” one. Caroline and Klaus’ relationship was short-lived (and many are still angry), but it was entertaining to watch and had many memorable moments, both as foes and as lovers.
2. Han Solo & Princess Leia from The Original Star Wars Trilogy (1977–1983)
At the beginning of Star Wars: A New Hope, Han Solo (Harrison Ford) and Princess Leia (Carrie Fisher) appear to be feuding. Leia is responsible and selfless, while Solo is impetuous and self-serving. “Stuck up, half-witted, scruffy looking nerf herder” is how she has memorably described him.
As long as they can, they’ll go after each other. As a result, when they finally kiss and declare their love for each other, it’s both unexpected and heartwarming. Even though they were separated, their love for one another lasted. They were always in love, even though the sequel trilogy demonstrated that Han Solo and Princess Leia were never exactly right for each other.
3. Peter Warne & Ellen “Ellie” Andrews from It Happened One Night (1934)
Claudette Colbert and Clark Gable star in a classic enemies-to-lovers movie, It Happened One Night, in which the heiress (Colbert) and the reporter (Gable) go on a road trip to deliver the heiress back to her new husband in return for a story.
In the end, the hostility and fighting between the two eventually yields into romance, but the movie’s attractions nevertheless make it an ideal example of anenemies-to-lovers story. Only three films have won the “big five” Oscars, including Gone with the Wind: Gone with the Wind won the best picture Oscar in 1939, but Gone with the Wind didn’t win best director, best actor, best actress, or best screenplay.
4. Buffy Summers & Spike from Buffy The Vampire Slayer (1997–2003)
First meeting Spike on Buffy the Vampire Slayer, Buffy (Sarah Michelle Gellar), wants to kill him. Because he’s a vampire, she’s supposed to. As well, he’s ready to kill her at any moment. There are better ways to build a relationship than this.
It’s only a matter of time before the two develop a mutual regard and affection for one another. Fans were eager to see how the relationship progressed, despite the fact that it was riddled with toxicity.
5. Harry Burns & Sally Albright from When Harry Met Sally (1989)
when harry met Sally, they aren’t pals at the beginning of the romantic comedy movie. In fact, they dispute about whether men and women can be friends without sexual attraction getting in the way. They argue constantly and have no love feelings for each other.
It’s been ten years since they last saw each other. Friendship develops between them, despite their differences of opinion; they eventually develop feelings for each other. They can’t have a purely platonic relationship, after all. No one can deny that Harry and Sally are stronger as a team despite their constant squabbles.
6. Emma Swan & Captain Hook from Once Upon A Time (2011–2018)
While Emma Swan (Jennifer Morrison) is the show’s heroine, she has an instant disdain for Killian Jones (Colin O’Donoghue), better known as Captain Hook. Despite his sarcastic humor, she does not trust him. In the end, they’re enemies who would rather fight each other than go on any more journeys together.
His genuine character is revealed when he puts Emma’s happiness ahead of his own. To keep her, he’d go to any lengths. This guy isn’t a bad guy; in fact, he might possibly turn out to be her hero. When they ultimately do kiss and fall in love, it’s one of the most beautiful (and underestimated) partnerships in television history.
7. Patrick Verona & Kat Stratford from 10 Things I Hate About You (1999)
In the 1999 romantic comedy,10 Things I Hate About You, a modernized adaptation of William Shakespeare’s The Taming of the Shrew, Julia Stiles’ Kat Stratford (the Shrew) clearly despises Heath Ledger’s Patrick Verona (the Verona).
After their first meeting, they come up with a variety of arguments. Patrick must keep pursuing Kat because of a wager with his pals. Kat doesn’t want anything to do with him.
Kat’s defenses gradually come down over time. She understands Patrick’s charisma, humor, and compatibility with her make him a perfect match. On the other hand, she reveals her affections for him during a class presentation in the movie. Because of this, she says, “But the most frustrating thing about our relationship is how we don’t despise each other. That’s a far cry from the truth. Not in the least. “Not in the least.” The romance did more than any other film to bring classic rom-com cliches up to date for a contemporary audience.
8. Alfred Kralik & Klara Novak from The Shop Around the Corner (1940)
The Shop Around the Corner centers on a store salesperson (James Stewart) who falls in love with the woman he’s been writing letters to after seeing the playParfumerie, from which the story for You’ve Got Mailwas also adapted. A young woman (Margaret Sullavan) is hired in the same store as her, and they begin their working relationship in the wrong way because they have no idea that they are actually pen friends.
The plot’s simplicity only adds to the story’s sweetness, as the viewers root for the main characters to see the happiness that is right in front of them, despite the many misunderstandings and missed opportunities.
9. Elizabeth Bennet & Mr. Darcy from Pride & Prejudice (2005)
Since its publication in 1813, Pride and Prejudice by Jane Austen has been the subject of numerous film and television adaptations. The story was adapted for the small screen in the 2001 romantic comedy Bridget Jones’s Diary, starring Colin Firth and Jennifer Ehle. It wasn’t until 2005’s film adaption, starring Keira Knightley and Matthew Macfadyen, that Elizabeth Bennet and Fitzwilliam Darcy’s struggle was truly portrayed.
Elizabeth and Mr. Darcy were a polar opposites from the get-go. They can’t see past their differences because of their “pride and prejudice.” However, they’re too stubborn to see it for what it really is. The transformation in Mr. Darcy’s feelings and the realization that Elizabeth is too important to lose takes him a long time. He tells her, “You have enchanted me, body and spirit, and I love—I love—I love you. You have enchanted me.” For the rest of my life, I don’t want to be apart from you.”
10. Sam Malone & Diane Chambers from Cheers (1982–1993)
In Cheers, Ted Danson’s Sam Malone and Shelley Long’s Diane Chambers are two examples of “haters who became lovers.” Sam is crass and a ladies’ man when they first meet. Diane, on the other hand, is a well-off snob. When they first meet at the Boston pub, they immediately dislike one other.
Sam and Diane’s tense relationship gradually transforms into flirty conduct over the course of time. During one of their most heated debates, the audience had predicted that they would kiss. They were inseparable, and even though they didn’t end up together, their lighthearted, flirty romance had a lasting impact on television history.