It seems that we now live in a golden age of canon lesbian pairings on TV (rejoice!) and while there are many favorites (Clexa forever!), here are some that aren’t currently in the spotlight, either because the show ended years ago, or is in its final season, (or just because we’re waiting for a new season or OITNB…) and who may not have been given their fair share of screen time back in the day.
Some of the pairings on this list are fairly new, while some were on shows that aired in the 1990’s. Some have stood the test of time and some have met the all too common Dead Lesbian trope, but they are all important in their own way, so let’s remember them.
As I’ll be discussing storylines (and story endings), please consider this your SPOILER WARNING.
Carol and Susan – Friends
These two ladies may have been side characters in Friends, but they were the first lesbian pairing that I (and a lot of 90’s kids) saw on television.
The pair got married (by Candace Gingrich, a gay-rights activist and sister to ‘family values’ politician Newt Gingrich) in the second season of the mammoth show (when it was illegal everywhere in the world!) and as far as we know, they’re still together.
According to one popular fan theory, Carol and Susan may even have sole custody of Ben (Ross and Carol’s son) because they provided a much more stable family environment than Ross did, which isn’t that surprising when you consider Ross’ angry outbursts and erratic behavior.
Friends has many flaws, but they showed a happy lesbian couple getting married in 1996 – and didn’t separate them. That was something special.
Maia and Amy – The Good Fight
So, this show and this pairing are brand new, but they’ve already stolen hearts across the nation.
To say that Maia is going through hell in the series is a little bit of an understatement but Amy is there for her; even when the Feds raid their apartment, even when Maia loses her job, even when a fake sex tape of the pair is leaked by TMZ. Amy is her rock.
Unlike some other shows with lesbian main characters, the drama doesn’t stem from Maia’s sexuality; in the first episode, the pair are asked when they’re getting married because they don’t have the excuse that marriage equality isn’t legal across the USA anymore.
Want to catch up on the show? Check out our recaps.
Piper and Alex- Orange is the New Black
Piper and Alex’s relationship is tumultuous and unpredictable, in the best (and sometimes the worst) ways possible.
It’s the catalyst for the whole series: Alex convinced Piper to smuggle $50,000 in drug money in order to sustain their luxury lifestyle and then Alex named her then-ex-girlfriend at her trial, which turns Piper’s life upside down and lands her in prison. That’s gotta be the worst way to reconnect with an ex, right?
As of the season 4 finale (and the season 5 promo), they are back together, after being rocked by Poussey’s untimely death, but how long will this last?
Ellen and Laurie – Ellen
I couldn’t leave out our site’s namesake, could I?
This pair began dating in 1998, shortly after Ellen (both the character and the actress) came out as a lesbian.
Their first date was in a noisy bar, where neither could hear the other properly and Ellen comments that she wants to take Laurie ‘like a wild animal’, assuming that the brunette can’t hear. Later when they move to a quieter area, Ellen asks if it is an official date and Laurie replies that she hopes so because she wants Ellen to take her ‘like a wild animal’.
At the end of the season, Ellen and Laurie have a commitment ceremony and promise to make it official as soon as same-sex marriage is legal, which was only 17 years later…
This relationship was cute and quirky (much like the pair themselves) and gave many younger lesbians in the late nineties a hope for a brighter tomorrow.
Pippy and TMI – Rosewood
When the show started, Pippy and Tara Milly Izikoff (TMI…sigh) were planning their wedding and having to jump over so many hurdles to get there (TMI’s unsupportive parents, Pippy’s ex-girlfriend, TMI kissing a male co-worker).
Even though the nickname TMI really bugs me, this couple is hella cute; especially when TMI tells Pippy that she doesn’t care what her parents think: she will marry Pippy.
At the end of the first season, the couple were broken up and it looked like the end; Pippy even leaves her job to become a singer (which is weird). Although their storyline was massively cut back in season two, the couple now appears to be back together…fingers crossed.