Even before the rise of the modern young adult story, coming-of-age stories have been highly influential on pop culture. After all, almost everyone probably has fond memories of children’s or teens’ books that heavily influenced their childhood and adolescents.
Nowadays, YA books and movies have gotten a bad rap, drawing groans from audience and readers alike. However, they occupy an important spot in modern culture, helping to shape minds– young and old alike.
Hogwarts Houses have gained traction as an indicator of personalities, The Hunger Games series holds a mirror to the real-life inequalities of our world, and Love, Simon marked a milestone for LGBTQ representation in Hollywood.
A staple of YA is the classic love triangle. Of course, rooting for couples in fiction is neither a new phenomenon nor one that’s exclusive to YA fandoms. But Twilight—one of the best known YA franchises— has helped to propel fan investment in couples into the limelight thanks to the great Team Edward vs. Team Jacob debate.
Other fans have taken to supporting less obvious pairings, regardless of their status in canon– that’s what we’ve compiled below.
In order to qualify for the list, the pairing must be non-canonical, and not a canonical option. For example, Jacob and Bella wouldn’t count towards the list, since it’s part of a love triangle where Bella could’ve swung either way. Plus, it’s not exactly an “unexpected” couple either. Keep in mind that there are spoilers for both books and movies.
Here are 25 Wild Fan Redesigns of Unexpected YA Movie Couples.
25 Harry Potter: Ginny And Luna
In the epilogue of Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows, Ginny marries Harry after navigating their tumultuous relationship and fighting Voldemort’s evil forces at the same time. There have even been some hints that Luna and Neville could have been an item.
That said, fans like uppuN are enamored with the idea of Luna and Ginny ditching the boys and getting together instead. Since Rowling has previously voiced some regrets about Ron and Hermione’s relationship, what’s to say that the famed author won’t release another statement saying Ginny actually should’ve been with Luna?
24 The Hunger Games: Gale And Peeta
Step aside, Katniss! While the Mockingjay was trying to make sense of her feelings for these two, Gale and Peeta have decided to run off with each other in this piece by xskiesrbluex.
The piece isn’t particularly romantic—it’s based on a photoshoot for Vanity Fair—but there’s plenty of support for the couple all throughout the Internet.
Gale and Peeta have differing views on how to approach the rebellion against the Capitol, but maybe spending more time together would help them reach an agreement. Maybe Katniss would feel relieved that she’s no longer at the center of a love triangle, especially with the pressure of the war.
23 Love, Simon: Leah And Abby
Okay, if you’ve read Leah on the Offbeat, the sequel to Simon vs. the Homo Sapiens Agenda, you already know that Leah and Abby are a canonical couple and are canonically bi. But since there’s no movie sequel for Love, Simon (yet), we’re including this adorable couple (drawn here by marshcookie) to the list.
Abby and Leah’s relationship gets off to a rocky start, since Leah thinks Abby’s disrupted the friend group ever since she moved from Washington. The teens continue to grow, overcoming the trials and tribulations of high school, and Leah comes to find that maybe Abby isn’t as bad as she thought.
22 Harry Potter: Harry And Draco
Harry and Draco have been at odds ever since they met on the Hogwarts Express way back in Year One, which for some fans is the basis of the classic enemies-to-lovers trope.
Even as a kid, Draco did seem pretty fixated on the Boy Who Lived.
Upthehillart has created a piece depicting the couple as adults, with Harry sporting a truly magnificent beard. Draco’s ties to Voldemort could be a potential deal breaker, of course. Perhaps Draco’s gone through some serious soul-searching after the Battle of Hogwarts, and Harry decides that there is good in him, after all.
21 Twilight: Bella And Alice
One of the things that made Twilight so well-known is the Team Edward and Team Jacob divide. As it turns out, some fans have decided that Bella would be better off with neither of them, especially not with how possessive they can get.
Enter Alice Cullen, who’s been one of the most welcoming and understanding vampires ever since Bella joined their world.
Given how obsessive Edward can be, literally following Bella around and watching her sleep, Alice could potentially be a healthier match for Bella. Itanatsu-chan certainly thinks the girls would be good as a pair.
20 The Mortal Instruments: Jace And Alec
Both Alec and Jace have found the loves of their lives—Magnus Bane and Clary Fray, respectively. But fans like inma like the idea of the two parabatai becoming a romantic couple.
On top of Jace and Alec having a strong basis for a relationship, Clary and Jace’s relationship has had its ups and downs, to say the least. They fall in love, only to learn that they’re siblings, leading to some quality angst. Later on, they find out the sibling story is a complete lie.
Maybe being with Alec would’ve helped to cut down on Jace’s emotional turmoil.
19 Divergent: Tris And Uriah
Tris and Four steal the limelight as they fight their way to a better world, especially in the movies, but Uriah has stolen many hearts. We can’t find the original image on Soniki360’s page, but the picture depicting Uriah and Tris together is sure to resonate with many fans of the couple.
Uriah is a Dauntless-born initiate, which causes a bit of resentment from transfer initiates from other factions.
He’s quick to invite Tris into his friend group.
Since he’s so much more open than Four is, it’s not hard to see how Uriah could win Tris’s heart.
18 The Maze Runner: Thomas And Minho
Even when Thomas was just a newcomer to the Glade—also known as a “Greenie,” in Glader slang—he had no trouble winning Minho’s trust and respect.
In the movie version of The Maze Runner, Minho suggests that Thomas should become a Runner after their encounter with a Griever. In the book, Minho goes even farther, saying that Thomas should replace him as the Keeper of Runners.
Their bond has only strengthened since they got out of the Glade.
Numerous fans like Doku-Aya have expressed their love for this pairing.
17 The Hunger Games: Gale And Johanna
Admittedly, Gale and Johanna don’t share a whole ton of screen time through the Hunger Games movies, but that hasn’t stopped fans from pairing them together.
The couple would’ve had the most time together during the events of Mockingjay, as depicted by C-H-I-Z-U. Gale is part of the team that rescues Johanna, Peeta and Annie from the Capitol.
Gale does spend a lot of time preoccupied with Katniss and the rebellion, but maybe years down the road, he and Johanna have a reunion and bond as they try to move on from the horrors of the past.
16 The Chronicles Of Narnia: Peter And Caspian
Prince Caspian and Susan share a fleeting romantic subplot in the Prince Caspian movie, and Caspian ends up marrying Lilliandil, with whom he has a son named Rilian. But that hasn’t stopped fans like KudohMiyuki from pairing Caspian with Peter, the oldest of the Pevensie siblings.
Peter is known as High King Peter the Magnificent, and shows the traits of a good leader even before he enters Narnia. He’s protective of his younger siblings yet willing to apologize for his mistakes.
Caspian tends to be quiet around him, probably because of his insecurity, but maybe there’s a crush hidden in there as well.
15 Harry Potter: Lily And Snape
Snape is cruel and abusive towards many of his students, especially Harry, since he was bullied by James Potter and Sirius Black. However, he still tries to keep Harry alive because of his love for Lily Potter.
While his immense love for the Muggle-born Lily doesn’t erase his association with pure-blood supremacists, fans like kyla79 still adore the dynamic between Lily and Snape.
If Lily and Snape were to become an item, Snape would definitely have to redeem himself after hanging out with pure-blood supremacists. As kind as she is, maybe Lily would forgive him after all.
14 The Hunger Games: Finnick And Johanna
Winning the Hunger Games may ensure one’s safety and bring some much-needed relief to one’s district, but the Victors are forced to relive the terrors of the arena by becoming mentors. It’s no surprise then that Victors like Finnick and Johanna would become friends, since they both understand the trauma of surviving the Games.
Finnick and Johanna already have a history together when they first appear in Catching Fire.
This has prompted fans to picture them as a romantic couple, like in this piece by finnodair. Finnick is canonically married to Annie, but he’s a sweet man with a big heart, so surely there’s enough space for Johanna as well.
13 Harry Potter: Harry And Luna
Harry marries Ginny in canon and Luna winds up with a minor side character, but fans like AndytheLemon think Harry and Luna would make a good pair.
Luna may be socially shunned for her eccentricities, but she doesn’t care what other people think. Harry carries a lot of responsibility and expectations on his shoulders, so maybe he could learn a thing or two about being comfortable in one’s skin from her.
They’re already good friends.
After surviving the Battle of Hogwarts, they’ve got a solid foundation on which to build a romantic relationship.
12 The Mortal Instruments: Simon And Raphael
Simon is initially a mundane, but is later turned into a vampire by ingesting Raphael’s blood after getting bitten by an unspecified vampire. Raphael isn’t exactly Simon’s biggest fan, but that hasn’t stopped fans from pairing the two up, like in this piece by reat13.
Simon does end up proposing to Isabelle, and she says yes, but maybe Simon and Raphael could’ve had a better relationship if Raphael had helped Simon accept his new vampirism. That, and Raphael would have to stop trying to end Simon’s life.
11 The Maze Runner: Thomas And Newt
Thomas and Teresa may be the central couple of the Maze Runner franchise, with Thomas and Brenda presented as a potential contender in the books, but fans certainly don’t mind the idea of Thomas being with Newt.
They’re a couple that must end in bittersweet heartbreak.
After Newt’s passing, Thomas finds a note from Newt in which he thanks Thomas for his friendship. However, perhaps in this another universe, the two could live happily as a couple, free from the Flare. Plus, the way Newt looks at Thomas in this piece by DafnaWinchester is pretty sweet.
10 The Hunger Games: Katniss And Johanna
Katniss’s heart might be broken after Gale and Peeta prance off together as a couple, but with Johanna by her side, she’s sure to find love again, like in this picture by svenskalovenska.
Katniss and Johanna do start off on the wrong foot, but that makes sense, since they’re thrown into the Hunger Games once again. Even though Johanna is part of a secret plan to help Katniss escape, she still has to maintain the façade of competition.
As their relationship progresses, the two begin to understand each other better.
They support each other through their traumas, so Katniss and Johanna would make a pretty good couple.
9 Divergent: Tris And Christina
Tris and Christina have been friends ever since they left their original factions and joined Dauntless. Christina later starts dating Will, and the three continue to be friends, having their meals together. However, things got really shaky when Tris has no choice but to end Will’s life when he’s stuck in a simulation and attacks her.
Christina is understandably shaken, but eventually forgives Tris and the two reconcile, emerging from the ordeal even stronger than before.
It’s no surprise then than fans would pair Christina and Tris together, like in this piece by chrysalisgrey.
8 The Maze Runner: Brenda And Thomas
Yes, in the original The Death Cure book, they kiss in the end when they arrive in paradise. However, in the movie, they carve the names of the loved ones they’ve lost, and Thomas and Brenda aren’t really implied to be a thing.
They’re yet another pair that get off to a rocky start, especially since Brenda admits that she was only supposed to pretend to be friends with Thomas. Plus, Thomas rejects her kiss because she isn’t’ Teresa.
Since they survive the entire ordeal, it’s not hard to imagine that a romance would spring as they rebuild the world.
Fans like RiTTa1310 do love the pair’s chemistry.
7 Vampire Academy: Lissa And Rose
The movie adaptation of Vampire Academy may have been a flop, but seeing Lissa and Rose on the silver screen has only fuelled the flames of the popular ship, depicted here by LadyAquanine73551.
Since Lissa and Rose are best friends, the girls already have a strong foundation if their relationship were to take a romantic turn.
They have a psychic bond as a result of Lissa healing Rose from some fatal injuries when they were younger. Rose has a strong desire to protect Lissa, and the feeling is clearly mutual.
6 Harry Potter: Sirius And Lupin (and baby Harry)
Sirius and Lupin have been friends for a long time, along with James and Peter, so it’s no surprise that fans love the idea of the pair getting together. In this piece by Maria Euphemia, they’re even taking care of baby Harry!
If they had survived, Lupin and Sirius would 100% be Harry’s fun uncles.
Though there might be a bad-cop/good-cop dynamic, Lupin and Sirius would be able to take care of Harry, providing him with the loving family he deserves.
5 The Hunger Games: Johanna And Haymitch
At first glance, Johanna and Haymitch might not make the healthiest couple on the planet since they’re both super cynical and less than friendly. We can’t track down the original post but this piece by AndytheLemon imagines a more idyllic outcome.
They do have a history with each other, and clearly trust each other enough to be part of the same secret plan to rescue Katniss from her second Hunger Games.
Maybe after the war against the Capitol, they can begin to confront and heal from their respective traumas, building better relationships with themselves and with each other in the process.
4 Jumper: David And Griffin
Jumper has had several book sequels, including one focusing on the character Griffin, but the movie adaptation had a lukewarm reception at beast. Still, fans like tattiOsala have remained steadfast in their love for the franchise, especially when it comes to Griffin and David.
Griffin is a new character added to the movie and doesn’t appear in the original books, but his dynamic with David has captured fans’ aattention.
The two end on a slightly unhappy note, with David trapping Griffin in Chechnya, but their slight antagonism could be the basis for a fantastic reluctant allies-to-lovers arc.
3 The Hunger Games: Madge And Gale
Madge Undersee doesn’t appear in the Hunger Games movies, which is a shame. As the daughter of the mayor of District 12, she would’ve illuminated the wealth gap even within the impoverished district. However, fans like elalendi haven’t forgotten her, and even pair her with Gale.
Gale might resent Madge a bit for not having to work to feed her family like he does, but Madge has proven herself to be an immensely kind person.
The movie has Katniss receive the Mockingjay pin from Greasy Sae, but in the books it’s Madge who gifts her the family heirloom. She also gives Gale some of her mother’s medicine after he’s beaten by Peacekeepers.
2 Harry Potter: Hermione And Draco
If Draco were to attempt a romantic relationship with Hermione like in this piece by Mariyand-R, he’s got some serious amends to make. Not only does he call her a Muggle-born slur during their time at Hogwarts, his siding with Voldemort doesn’t exactly appeal to Hermione, either.
Perhaps after the Battle of Hogwarts, Draco undergoes some deep soul-searching and genuinely tries to make amends.
Plus, we know now from The Cursed Child that alternate timelines do exist.There’s definitely the potential for Draco to realize the error of his ways during his time at Hogwarts in a parallel world.
1 Twilight/Harry Potter: Edward And Harry
Since Robert Pattinson is in both the Twilight and Harry Potter franchises, there have been many memes comparing the two. Plus, Harry and Cedric make up a pretty popular pairing, despite the latter’s tragic ending. Other fans like Flayu have decided to create a crossover, shipping Harry and Edward.
Since vampires and werewolves don’t get along in Twilight, it does make you wonder whether or not Edward would be chill with Lupin, and if Harry’s friendship with Lupin would be a deal breaker for the vampire.
In any case, this is certainly one way to end the Harry and Hermione vs. Ron and Hermione debate.
What’s your favorite unexpected YA couple? Share them in the comments below!