Two by two, time and again, members of The Walking Dead’s intrepid troupe of survivors have paired up, either simply as friends, as friends with benefits or as something deeper still. And, inevitably, along the way, we’ve become as attached to a few of the couples as they’ve been to each other. Here are TVLine’s picks for the 25 most dynamic of the duos.
25. Carl and Enid
OK, OK, we know — nobody was really all that crazy about the angst-ridden teens’ puppy love. But c’mon, look at how happy Rick’s son is in this picture. We had to include them, if for that reason alone. We’ll start the actual countdown with the next photo.
Tie: 25. Carol and Tobin
You had to hand it to the guy — mild-mannered as he was, he had game. He even managed to parlay a conversation in which he told Carol that she was a mom to most of Alexandria into their first kiss by adding that she was “something else” entirely to him.
Tie: 25. Aaron and Eric
In the boyfriends’ first scene together — and, come to think of it, one of their few scenes together ever — Eric insisted that his injury was “no big deal.” But Aaron’s reaction to it was so emotional that we understood immediately the depth of the couple’s commitment.
24. Daryl and Leah
You could’ve knocked us over with a feather when Season 10 revealed that, in the years that he spent searching for Rick, our stoic hero had had a slow-burn relationship with Dog’s “Mom” — and that he gave up looking for her far more quickly than he did the friend that he called a brother.
23. Rick and Jessie
What with her being hitched at first to an abusive husband, these two didn’t have much time together. However, we’ll always reflect fondly on their short-lived romance since, if nothing else, it began with the hairdresser giving her shaggy future beau a much-needed trim.
22. Lydia and Henry
Before Ezekiel and Carol’s boy lost his head to the Whisperers in Season 9, he lost it in a far sweeter way to Alpha’s daughter. And this was no mere crush, either. Not only did he stand up and throw down for his girlfriend, he ate a worm for her. Ate. A. Worm.
21. Magna and Yumiko
They may have broken up back in Season 10, but since they fought the same way that they loved — with the intensity of a bonfire — we won’t believe that the exes are really and truly over and done with until the last ember of their relationship is reduced to ash.
20. Abraham and Sasha
This pair’s feelings surfaced so quickly that we’ll admit it — initially, we were skeptical. Nonetheless, by the time he showed up on her doorstep to point out that she had as much of a decision to make as he did, we didn’t have a choice but to root for them. (Sorry, Rosita.)
19. Ezekiel and Shiva
For the former leader of the Kingdom, man’s best friend was his tiger — a point all too painfully driven home by his four-legged sidekick’s heroic death defending her master from a pack of peckish walkers. Sigh. If only cats really did have nine lives.
Dale (Jeffrey DeMunn) and Andrea (Laurie Holden)
18. Dale and Andrea
The fatherly/daughterly bond that these two formed was so strong that, when she decided to end it all by sticking around the CDC as it exploded, he forced her to abort her suicide attempt by refusing to leave the complex unless she did, too.
17. Beth and Noah
Not even the lollipop that Noah left as a pick-me-up for Beth upon her arrival at Grady Memorial could have been any sweeter than the friendship that developed between the stouthearted, ill-fated teenagers.
16. Eugene and Abraham
An odder couple, there has rarely been. Yet can anyone say that the mullet-headed smarty-pants and his hulking protector didn’t go together like brains and brawn? Didn’t think so.
15. Andrea and Michonne
If you want to see real friendship, don’t look at how well these BFFs got along or how bitterly they fought. (Damn you, Governor!) Look at how, in the end, Michonne offered to shoot Andrea before she turned, and Andrea insisted on pulling the trigger herself. That right there is friendship.
14. Daryl and Connie
It doesn’t take much to bring out the softer side of our gruff-but-tender protagonist. Judith does it. Carol does it. Dog does it. But arguably, nobody does it in a cuter way than Connie, for whom he began learning to speak sign language — albeit, as she noted, “with a Southern accent.”
13. Tara and Denise
Crushing as it was that Alexandria’s doc hesitated to say “I love you, too” to her departing girlfriend — whom she most definitely did love, too! — the saddest was yet to come: By the time that Tara returned from her Season 7 mission, Denise had been killed by the Saviors.
12. Carol and Lydia
Relationships don’t come much harder-won than the one that was forged in the wake of Henry’s murder between his mother and his girlfriend (whose mother made a border marker of his severed head). But Carol and Lydia don’t just get each other; now, they’ve got each other.
11. Bob and Sasha
Since Sasha’s snuffed flame was able to see the sunny side of life right up until the moment of his death, we’ll try to be grateful that we got to watch their romance unfold rather than bitter that the ending the couple — and we! — got was anything but happy.
10. Kelly and Connie
Even if these two weren’t actually sisters, we’d consider them such. The bond between them is so warm and so tight, it’s palpable. And did we mention strong? Whether they’re fighting with one another, for one another or both, there’s not a walker semi-alive that stands a chance.
9. Negan and Judith
We never would’ve believed that the show could make us see the Big Bad as anything but Glenn and Abraham’s executioner — until, that is, he began whiling away the hours behind bars forging a friendship with Rick’s daughter that made it, if not OK to like him, at least all right to despise him less.
8. Rick and Lori
Yes, mistakes were made. But, considering that Mrs. Grimes went to her grave beating herself up for them — and her widower was nearly destroyed by her untimely passing — we’re gonna go out on a limb here and say that their love was one of the true variety.
7. Daryl and Dog
The saying “The only person who understands me is my dog” might as well have been coined for taciturn Daryl, who received his canine companion as a souvenir of his romance with lost love Leah — and with the pooch, a relationship that has proven to be more meaningful and enduring.
6. Ezekiel and Carol
Though she balked at being referred to as highness, for a blissful moment there, she and the silver-tongued king were the post-apocalyptic royal couple, in love and in charge… and, sadly, in no way, shape or form prepared for the soul-crushing heartache that lay ahead.
5. Daryl and Beth
A toast — moonshine, never peach schnapps — to Daryl and the little sister he’d only begun to realize that Beth had become to him when she was cruelly taken away. When Dawn accidentally blew the girl’s brains out, Daryl’s poor heart was collateral damage.
4. Negan and Lucille
We thought that we knew Joe Cocker’s “You Are So Beautiful,” but Season 10’s flashback-filled “Here’s Negan” revealed that nope, we did not know it all, not until we’d heard the Saviors’ future leader softly sing it to his beloved wife to help ease her through the side effects of chemo.
3. Rick and Michonne
The miracle of this matchup is that, when the comrades in arms became comrades literally in each other’s arms, it didn’t merely feel good, right, natural, it also felt somehow fated. Only in retrospect did we think to ask, “What took them so long?”
2. Daryl and Carol
She was kidding (we think) when she asked her best bud if he wanted to go screw around in Season 3. But whether they’ve ever actually done the deed is beside the point: Daryl and Carol are as tight as — and arguably tighter than — any lovers.
1. Glenn and Maggie
The beating heart of the series came a long way since Season 2, when Maggie stunned Glenn by blurting out, “I’ll have sex with you.” In fact, we were committed to their cute coupledom even before he made it official by cutting off a walker’s finger to procure an engagement ring.