Love triangles have always been a captivating and thrilling device in books, TV shows, and movies. They have the power to stir up intense emotions and ignite passionate debates among fans. The concept of two potentially mesmerizing romantic connections creates an exhilarating and invested experience for viewers. However, it also sparks fierce rivalries between supporters.
The intrigue deepens when the individuals involved in the triangle share a close bond, like cousins in The Favourite or siblings like Crush. This intricate twist adds an extra layer of complexity to the dynamics at play.
Numerous factors contribute to the intricacy of each love triangle, leaving fans torn between their allegiances and making it impossible to determine a definitive “best” option.
Let’s dive into some remarkable movie love triangles that have equally divided fans, showcasing the intricate and multifaceted nature of these relationships.
1. Pretty in Pink (Blane v. Duckie)
In the 1980s classic, Pretty in Pink, the social outcast Andie Walsh, played by Molly Ringwald, spends most of her time either at work or hanging out with her best friend, Duckie, portrayed by Jon Cryer. However, everything changes when the wealthy Blane McDonough, played by Andrew McCarthy, asks her out.
Duckie, being too nervous to make a move on Andie, assumes that she only sees him as a friend. He finds solace in talking to Andie’s father and awkwardly lip-syncing his feelings. As the funny guy who has always been there for Andie, many fans hope for the classic best-friends-to-lovers storyline.
On the other hand, Blane has the advantage of being the rich guy in a relationship with a girl from a less privileged background. He is handsome and holds a high position on the school’s social ladder. While he may come across as quiet and sometimes dull due to his sensitivity, Andie’s influence on him makes him aspire to be a better person, a quality that any girl would find attractive.
At the prom, Andie and Duckie reconcile after a fight, with Duckie even encouraging her to choose Blane, a decision she had already made. Andie and Blane then share a passionate kiss in the parking lot.
Interestingly, director Howard Deutch reveals that there was an alternate ending featuring Duckie, but test audiences strongly disliked it. This is why the final version shows Andie choosing Blane. Upon rewatching, many viewers realize that both Duckie and Blane have their moments of not treating Andie with the respect she deserves, as well as moments of sweetness, which leaves the audience divided.
2. The Hunger Games (Peeta v. Gale)
The Hunger Games and its sequels, based on Suzanne Collins’ books, were at the forefront of the YA dystopian trend in the 2010s. These films vividly portrayed the brutal story of rebellion, while also offering a touch of romance. The protagonist, Katniss Everdeen, finds herself torn between her childhood friend Gale Hawthorne and her fellow tribute in the games, Peeta Mellark.
In the first movie, Gale’s presence is not as prominent, but it is clear that he has been Katniss’s closest friend for a long time, as they often engage in illegal hunting together. He affectionately refers to her as “Catnip” and consistently watches out for her. While he shares her strong-willed nature, he still respects and values her opinions. At first, Gale even offers to run away with her, although circumstances change by the time Catching Fire rolls around.
According to a Redditor named u/rileyhandley01, Gale is portrayed as a genuinely good person who tries his best. He assists Katniss’s family during her time in the Hunger Games, despite having his own family to worry about. He plays an active role in helping people escape when District 12 is raided by the Capitol. Gale puts himself at risk in order to save others and do what he believes is right. He even joins the fight for District 13, despite not being obligated to do so.
Peeta, on the other hand, is portrayed as the opposite of Gale – softer, more sensitive, and skilled in baking rather than hunting. Katniss initially encounters Peeta when he gives her discarded bread that helps her survive. Their relationship deepens when they are thrust into the Hunger Games together, and Peeta publicly declares a fake crush on her to gain sponsors, which eventually becomes genuine. Through their shared experiences and trauma, Peeta develops a unique understanding of Katniss that no one else can match.
In the opinion of another Redditor, u/theHBIC, Peeta knows and loves Katniss despite her flaws. He provides her with support, balance, and forgiveness. Peeta sees the goodness in her and helps her recognize the impulsive aspects of her behavior. Ultimately, this Redditor believes that Peeta’s love and support for Katniss are more enduring.
By the conclusion of Mockingjay – Part 2, it becomes clear that Peeta is the chosen one for Katniss. While she chooses him because he makes her feel safe, it is understandable why some fans might imagine an equally profound romance between Katniss and Gale had their circumstances been slightly different.
3. Scott Pilgrim vs. the World (Knives v. Ramona)
The film adaptation of Bryan Lee O’Malley’s graphic novels tells the story of Scott Pilgrim (Michael Cera), a bass guitar player who finds himself torn between two women. While dating Knives Chau (Ellen Wong), he meets the captivating Ramona Flowers (Mary Elizabeth Winstead). Scott is instantly enamored with Ramona and feels a strong connection with her due to their shared love for music. Despite her mysterious and mature demeanor, Ramona refuses to let her past define her.
Redditor u/moal09 believes that Scott’s relationship with Ramona allows him to experience what it feels like to be on the receiving end of his own behavior towards others. This shared understanding helps them both become more self-aware and encourages personal growth. Ramona, in many ways, represents a more self-aware and cooler version of Scott.
In contrast, Scott’s relationship with Knives is seen as more down-to-earth and relatable by some fans. The epic battles Scott must face to defeat Ramona’s exes may overshadow the connection between Scott and Ramona. Redditor u/happyfeet19 suggests that ending up with Knives would have made more sense, as the relationship between Scott and Ramona feels forced and awkward.
Originally, the movie’s ending had Scott choosing Knives over Ramona. However, before release, the ending was changed. In the final version, Knives accepts that Scott’s heart belongs to Ramona and encourages him to pursue her.
Ultimately, Scott learns from his mistakes and apologizes to both Ramona and Knives for his infidelity. This crucial element of the story ensures that viewers can feel satisfied with Ramona ending up with Scott.
4. Bridget Jones’s Diary (Mark v. Daniel)
This 2001 romantic comedy stars Renée Zellweger as Bridget Jones, a perpetually single woman who suddenly finds herself caught between two attractive men: Mark Darcy, a childhood acquaintance, and her charming boss, Daniel Cleaver. Bridget’s encounter with Mark at a New Year’s Eve party leads to some harsh criticisms, prompting her to make some changes in her life and document her progress in a diary.
Initially, Bridget and Daniel begin to flirt at work while Mark is out of the picture. Eventually, they start dating after Bridget learns about Mark’s past involvement with Daniel’s former fiancée (although it later turns out that Daniel had actually been involved with Mark’s wife, not exactly as he had described it). Daniel is undeniably good-looking, makes Bridget laugh, and is satisfying in bed.
Despite their rocky start, Bridget finds herself falling for Mark after discovering Daniel’s infidelity. Mark, although awkwardly charming, apologizes for his rudeness and begins to show his kinder side. He even helps Bridget cook dinner and assists her with a job interview. Unfortunately, he is already in a relationship, but that doesn’t stop Bridget from partially confessing her feelings. Eventually, Mark reveals that he had secretly harbored a crush on Bridget all along.
In the end, Bridget chooses Mark, who leaves his girlfriend to be with her, even after reading Bridget’s less-than-flattering thoughts about him in her diary. While this makes for a satisfying and happy ending, it’s understandable why some viewers feel a strong connection between Bridget and Daniel. The movie holds a sense of nostalgia for many, and it’s hard to forget the iconic “It’s Raining Men” fight scene.
5. Reality Bites (Troy v. Michael)
In this 1994 romantic dramedy, we follow the story of Lelaina Pierce, an aspiring videographer, and her complicated love life. She finds herself torn between her attraction to her roommate, guitarist Troy Dyer, and her unexpected connection with Michael Grates, whom she meets after a minor car crash.
Lelaina’s cigarette toss causes the accident, but surprisingly, Michael is understanding about it. Despite their not-so-perfect first encounter, they decide to give their relationship a shot, mainly because Michael is persistent in pursuing Lelaina. One of the perks of dating Michael is that he can help Lelaina achieve her dreams, as he’s a TV executive willing to air a documentary she made. He’s an emotionally open and established adult who is ready for a committed relationship.
Meanwhile, Lelaina and Troy share a history of an awkward drunken encounter from years ago, which still leaves a lingering chemistry between them. Although Troy may come across as a bit of a slacker, he’s a good friend to Lelaina. However, he becomes jealous when he sees her with Michael. What draws Lelaina to Troy is his irresistible bad-boy persona and sarcastic nature. Surprisingly, Troy starts to get his act together when he realizes he might lose Lelaina for good.
While Troy still has some growing up to do, he returns from his father’s funeral and wholeheartedly chooses Lelaina. She had dumped Michael after he allows her documentary to be poorly edited. As viewers, it’s easy to root for the roommates to finally get together, but Michael also presents a compelling alternative for those who aren’t fully sold on Troy’s personality.
6. Twilight Saga (Edward v. Jacob)
The Twilight Saga took the world by storm with its infamous and supernatural love triangle. Bella Swan, played by Kristen Stewart, finds herself caught in a romantic fantasy as she is pursued by vampire Edward Cullen (Robert Pattinson) and werewolf Jacob Black (Taylor Lautner). In the first movie, Twilight, it seems that Bella only has eyes for Edward. However, the following two installments, New Moon and Eclipse, present a convincing argument for Jacob.
Edward is undoubtedly Bella’s first love. Despite a rocky start due to his secretive nature and struggle to control his vampire instincts around her, they quickly become close once Bella discovers his true identity. Edward falls for her instantly and proves to be a wonderful boyfriend, protecting her and even composing piano pieces for her. He is willing to do anything for Bella, even if it means leaving her behind, as he does in New Moon.
As one Redditor, u/queentitanium, explains, “I think I was more attracted to Edward’s perspective on Bella. He’s been alive for a hundred years and never found someone he wanted to be with until her. Plus, let’s face it, he’s invincible, rich, brilliant – he’s the total package.”
On the other hand, after Edward’s departure, Bella grows closer to Jacob, who doesn’t hide his crush on her. Initially, Bella gently rejects his advances, but as Jacob embraces his werewolf nature and proves himself capable of protecting her, he becomes a more viable love interest than Edward – especially since Jacob has the ability to age like a normal human, unlike Edward.
Another Redditor, u/litchick20, shares their perspective, saying, “I think I gravitate towards Jacob because he effortlessly understood Bella. After a lifetime of feeling misunderstood, I always wished someone could truly get me like that. I also appreciated how he supported her during her darkest moments in New Moon. The part of me that felt broken connected with the fact that he loved her even when she was at her lowest.”
In Eclipse, Bella finally agrees to marry Edward after his proposal in New Moon. Breaking Dawn – Part 1 showcases their wedding, and Part 2 reveals Bella’s happily ever after as a vampire with Edward. While this is a sweet ending for those who support Bella and Edward, there are still many fans who wish she had ended up with Jacob instead.
7. Sabrina (1995) (Linus v. David)
The 1995 remake of the beloved 1954 film Sabrina still captures the essence of the enchanting Cinderella-like love story. The plot revolves around Sabrina Fairchild, the daughter of a chauffeur, who finds herself entangled in a love triangle between the two wealthy Larrabee brothers, David and Linus. Sabrina, played by Julia Ormond, returns from her time in Paris transformed into a new woman, captivating the attention of both brothers.
Even before her journey to Paris, Sabrina had feelings for David, going as far as spying on him from trees. Despite being engaged upon her return, Sabrina immediately catches David’s eye. He is known for his humor, but can also be serious when it truly matters.
On the other hand, there is undeniable chemistry between Sabrina and Linus, which is evident from the moment they meet. Linus, portrayed by Harrison Ford, initially resists acknowledging his feelings for Sabrina. However, as he tries to charm her in an effort to prevent her from reuniting with David and potentially ruining his impending wedding, he gradually discovers his genuine affection for her.
After Linus breaks Sabrina’s heart, she decides to return to Paris. However, Linus realizes his mistake and follows her, leading to a heartwarming reunion between the two, sealed with a loving kiss. It is a joyful ending for this captivating couple, although one can understand why some viewers may have wished for Sabrina to end up with her first love, David.
8. The Favourite (Sarah v. Abigail)
This dark period drama, The Favourite, is not for the faint of heart. It tells the true story of two cousins, Abigail Masham (Emma Stone) and Sarah Churchill (Rachel Weisz), who compete for the attention, desire, and love of a sickly Queen Anne (Olivia Colman).
Throughout the film, Sarah is portrayed as the antagonist, manipulating Anne’s political opinions to match her own. She is not one to sugarcoat her words or treat Anne delicately. Despite this, Anne sees her as a confidant, and their relationship becomes intimate.
One Redditor, u/sounds_badges_101, explains why Sarah is such a compelling character:
“I really liked how Rachel’s portrayal of Sarah does not seek revenge on Emma’s Abigail, even though she had every reason to. Unlike Abigail, Sarah shows grace, care, and genuine love for the queen.”
Abigail, on the other hand, immediately shows kindness and empathy towards Anne. She comes to Great Britain in search of work, and Sarah reluctantly hires her as the Lady of the Bedchamber after Abigail helps soothe Anne’s inflamed legs. Abigail is a survivor, doing whatever she can to earn the Queen’s trust. Eventually, her relationship with Anne becomes sexual.
Another Redditor, u/AegisPlays314, explains Abigail’s approach:
“Abigail offers the queen a sweet understanding, without judgment or criticism, telling her exactly what she wants to hear rather than what she needs to hear.”
Both women commit terrible deeds against each other to maintain Anne’s favor and protect themselves. However, in the end, Abigail emerges as the victor and Sarah is exiled. Nevertheless, it is far from a happy romantic ending. Abigail becomes overconfident and openly engages in relationships with others, while Anne, who is getting weaker, seizes rare opportunities to assert her authority over Abigail. Although neither relationship can be considered healthy or happy in modern terms, both sides of this dark love triangle in The Favourite are equally captivating and complex.
9. To All The Boys I’ve Loved Before (Peter v. John Ambrose)
Jenny Han, the author known for her love triangles, had her book trilogy, To All The Boys I’ve Loved Before, adapted into films. The story revolves around Lara Jean Covey, whose old love letters are accidentally sent to their recipients. She starts fake-dating her former crush, Peter Kavinsky, and eventually they become a real couple. In the second film, another former crush, John Ambrose McClaren, enters the picture and shakes up Lara Jean and Peter’s relationship.
John Ambrose, Lara Jean’s middle school crush, returns and things seem easier with him as Lara Jean doesn’t overthink as much. He is kind-hearted, volunteering at a nursing home and planning the Star Ball with Lara Jean. John even admits he wanted to take Lara Jean to a dance in sixth grade but backed out.
A Redditor, u/Stutsl, argues in favor of John Ambrose, saying that he and Lara Jean have a lot in common. They also appreciate John’s caring nature and his ability to remain a gentleman despite Lara Jean leading him on and hiding her relationship with Peter.
In the first movie, Peter is portrayed as the stereotypical popular jock, but he becomes more vulnerable as the series progresses. He helps Lara Jean come out of her shell and their movie nights and milkshake dates highlight their chemistry. Peter even drives to the Star Ball to reconcile with her.
Another Redditor, u/bigdfootball97, believes that Lara Jean and Peter were perfect for each other because they fell in love during their fake relationship. They argue that any mistakes made by either Peter or Lara Jean were due to Lara Jean’s lack of experience with relationships.
By the end of the second movie, P.S. I Still Love You, Lara Jean and Peter have chosen each other. While there are still complications in the third movie, there are no more love triangles. Those who prefer John Ambrose will have to satisfy themselves by rewatching the second film.
10. Brooklyn (Tony v. Jim)
In the 2015 period drama Brooklyn, Eilis Lacey, played by Saoirse Ronan, finds herself torn between two homes: her hometown of Enniscorthy and Brooklyn. In Enniscorthy, she has the opportunity to be with Jim Farrell, portrayed by Domhnall Gleeson, while in Brooklyn, she meets her husband, Tony Fiorello, played by Emory Cohen.
Upon arriving in New York, Eilis crosses paths with Tony, a hard-working Italian American plumber, at an Irish Dance. Their dating journey allows Eilis to gradually feel more at ease in America, especially as she becomes acquainted with Tony’s warm-hearted family. He supports her studies and accompanies her home from school. Despite her initial hesitations, Eilis decides to marry Tony before returning to Ireland following her sister’s passing.
One Reddit user, u/nerowasframed, explains the appeal of Tony’s character:
“Tony was different and welcoming when she was still scared and homesick… The scene where they first met, the scene on the bus, and the scene where she tells Tony she loves him really showed me that they had better chemistry than she had with Jim… I’m a grown a** man, but I had butterflies in my stomach whenever she had scenes with Tony.”
However, after her sister’s funeral, Eilis remains in Enniscorthy to attend her friend’s wedding. It is there that she encounters Jim, a wealthy and kind bachelor. Jim helps Eilis feel at home again, particularly in coping with the guilt she experiences for moving to America and leaving her family behind.
Another Reddit user, u/styles__p, describes Eilis and Jim’s connection:
“As for Jim, in my opinion, Eilis and Jim seemed much more comfortable with each other. I’m not talking about chemistry, as she also had a lot of it with Tony as well, but it seemed like Jim’s and Eilis’s personalities meshed well. It felt like the kind of relationship where silence wouldn’t be awkward. Also, he seemed like a more confident and secure person.”
After being confronted by a woman in Enniscorthy regarding her husband, Eilis reflects on her time in Brooklyn with Tony. She realizes that in Brooklyn, she can live her own life without feeling stifled by her family and the pressures of a small town. Although the movie concludes with Eilis returning to Tony, it is understandable why some viewers might have wished she had stayed in Ireland with Jim.