For the heroes in the Arrowverse, it’s not just about saving cities and the timestream. A major component of the CW superhero shows is love. And with the winter hiatus upon us, I figured now was a great time to look at the 10 best and 10 worst Arrowverse couples. Prepare to be outraged and the other half of you nod in silent agreement.
Top 10 Best Couples
Honorable Mention: Donna Smoak and Quentin Lance
Admittedly it was kinda charming watching complete opposites hook up. Donna definitely helped liven the Quentin scenes from Season 4 and if anyone on Arrow needed some fun, it was Quentin. Ultimately, Quentin fell off the wagon after Laurel’s death resulting in the end of his fun ride with Donna.
Joe and Cecile
After helping Barry, Iris and Wally through all their romance drama, it’s nice to see Joe enjoy a stable and happy one with Cecile. This relationship is almost too healthy for a CW show so it’s just a matter of waiting for some foolishness to screw it up.
10. The Thinker and The Mechanic
Yes, this villain couple is proving you don’t have to be heroic to grasp true love. The Mechanic does anything necessary from creating an Xavier model hoverchair to a thinking cap to show her love. And The Thinker even decided to provide her with an updated model body so she wouldn’t have to worry about his spare tire. Now that’s true love.
9. Kendra and Ray
Legends of Tomorrow’s first season had a ton of problems. But the unexpected romance between Kendra and Ray was an terrific treat. Trapped in time, Kendra and Ray became close and had years together as a happy couple before the team retrieved them. Kendra never had better chemistry with anyone else be it Cisco or Carter than she had with Ray — the nice guy who deserved happiness. Legends is typically pretty awful with relationships, but this was really well done right down to the breakup.
8. Roy and Thea
Arrow’s first season suffered through a lot of questionable relationships, but it was obvious early on that Thea and Roy was going to be different. Thea helped motivate Roy to do something better with his life and become a hero and he encouraged her to stand out of her family’s shadow. This was that rare Arrowverse relationship where both parties were better for being together. Thea’s had a few flings since Roy, but none have managed to stick. The writers stumbled onto her perfect relationship way too early into the series for it to last.
7. Caitlin and Ronnie
Poor, poor Caitlin. She got with the brilliant version of Ronnie Raymond, who was a scientist and not a football standout. In probably the cruelest romantic twist of the show, Caitlin mourned Ronnie after he was presumed dead in the particle accelerator incident then lost him again as Firestorm saved Central City. But in the brief moments they were together, this was an enjoyable relationship without any of the forced drama that undercuts a lot of these Arrowverse couples.
6. Barry and Patty Spivok
Since The Flash seemed doomed to follow the Smallville pattern of keeping Barry and Iris away as long as possible, Barry needed some time-killing relationships. But if any felt like it ended too soon it was this pairing of two Central City PD members. Patty had just the right amount of quirky awkwardness to play off Barry well and there was an obvious chemistry right from the start. If Patty stayed on for more than one season, there wouldn’t have been any need to rush back to Barry and Iris again as this was a relationship that looked to have serious legs. Barry’s lack of transparency ultimately doomed this relationship, but it helped teach him the importance of making your significant other a part of every aspect of his life.
5. Alex and Maggie
This pairing has a lot of Arrowverse fan love since it was tied to Alex’s coming out. Beyond that, this was a flawed, but realistic relationship. They clearly rushed in to an engagement without knowing major important desires like if the other wants to have kids. But that felt like a real-life problem instead of some of the less credible reasons Arrowverse couples split. Sanvers also benefited tremendously from the always excellent performances by Chyler Leigh and Floriana Lima.
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4. Eddie and Iris
The Flash Season 1 occasionally had Barry in the role of home-wrecker. Iris was happy with her boyfriend/fiancé Eddie and he just wanted to do right by her. Eddie wasn’t the cliché romantic rival. Despite his ominous last name, he was a good guy. Iris recognized that and didn’t dump Eddie the minute Barry expressed interest. She stood by her man and was devastated when he killed himself to save the time stream. Best of all? Iris actually took time to grieve Eddie before she started dating Barry, proving this relationship actually meant something to her.
3. Oliver and Sara
Maybe the biggest irony of Sara’s mild ret-con as the Captain Kirk of Legends is she was actually the best fit for Oliver. They had shared, tragic experiences, which meant their time as vigilantes wasn’t one big lie after another. With Sara, Oliver opened himself up more than anyone else and didn’t have to become a shell of the character who was so much fun in Seasons 1 and 2.
And Sara could match Oliver on the brooding vigilante front with no problem. It was during the Oliver/Sara romance that Arrow felt more like its comic inspiration with Green Arrow and Black Canary united as crime fighters and romantically.
2. Diggle and Lyla
This is one of the more longer tenured relationships in the Arrowverse. They’ve survived a divorce, alien invasion, terrorist attacks, a psychotic brother and a gender-swapped child, but they’re still going strong. Diggle and Lyla act the most like a real couple.
They’re each other’s compass — when they start to veer too far off center like Lyla when ARGUS was getting too shady and Diggle when he started doping to be Diggle Arrow — they get each other back on track. It helps that Diggle and Lyla are a little older than their pals as they can actually be more stable and less emotional.
1. Barry and Iris
Throughout the Arrowverse, only one has captured the best elements of its comic book inspiration while carving out its own sensational lane. Despite Barry’s best efforts to screw things up occasionally, Iris is his lightning rod and he’ll always be drawn back to her. Iris helps make Barry better, not just as a superhero, but a person as well. And Barry has helped Iris have greater confidence in her abilities whether being a daring reporter or leading Team Flash.
Dealing with a speedster has also helped Iris’ patience, which is likely the only reason she didn’t clock Felicity after she hijacked their sweet, impromptu wedding. The Flash writers realized they could stretch the inevitable out, but with this kind of couple, the only recourse was to run with it.