We all love the ending of a rom-com when the couple finally gets together despite their differences and setbacks. But how many of those “happy couples” are actually toxic and have no chance at making it after the credits roll?
Here’s what would have really happened to fifteen couples from classic romantic comedies. Spoilers ahead if you haven’t seen these movies!
Josie and Sam from ‘Never Been Kissed’
While going undercover as a high school student, journalist Josie Geller (Drew Barrymore) meets English teacher Sam Coulson (Michael Vartan). She immediately falls in love with him, and he is drawn to her as well. Since Josie is a student, Sam doesn’t handle his feelings well. In the end, she reveals her identity, and he kisses her in front of everyone.
What would happen to Josie and Sam? These two are definitely going strong after the credits–but at a cost. He for sure lost his job because he pursued a relationship with a “student” in his classroom. And yes, she was an adult, but he didn’t know that at first.
Charlie and Kevin from ‘Monster-in-Law’
For Charlie (Jennifer Lopez) and Kevin (Michael Vartan), it’s love at first sight. Then Charlie meets Viola (Jane Fonda), Kevin’s mother. Viola constantly tries to break up the couple and almost succeeds. In the end, she seems to have changed her ways, and Charlie and Kevin make it to the altar.
What happened to them after the credits? If your mother-in-law was anything like Jane Fonda’s character, Viola, you’d run for the hills. Even though the couple loves each other very much, Viola would revert back to her old ways. The marriage wouldn’t make it 10 years with her constantly butting into their lives.
Molly and Neal from ‘Uptown Girls’
Molly (Brittany Murphy) meets Neal (Jesse Spencer) at her birthday party and sparks fly. While working as a nanny for an eight-year-old who is somehow more mature than her, Molly continues to try to make things work Neal. He breaks up with her. In the end, Neal surprises her with a song at the little girl’s recital.
What happens after the happy ending? Molly grows as a person throughout the movie, but Neal doesn’t do much maturing. He would most likely let stardom go to his head, and they would break up shortly after. However, I think after a few years apart, these two could be friendly exes who could meet up for coffee without fighting.
Mary and Steve from ‘The Wedding Planner’
Mary (Jennifer Lopez) is on her way to a job when her heel gets stuck in a manhole cover. Steve (Matthew McConaughey) saves her from being hit by a runaway dumpster. Cute, right? Too bad that Steve is engaged–and Mary is their wedding planner. Eventually, they both leave their partners to be together because true love conquers all.
Let’s be real about what would happen after the movie ends. These two would not work out. Steve basically cheated on his fiancée with Mary, and I could see him doing that to her after a few years. As they say, “Once a cheater, always a cheater.” I give them a maximum of five years before he leaves her for someone younger. Sorry to break your heart!
Cher and Josh from ‘Clueless’
Clueless is a cult classic that follows Cher Horowitz (Alicia Silverstone) growing from a shallow teenager into a confident young woman. She constantly meddles in people’s lives but starts falling for her ex-stepbrother Josh (Paul Rudd) when he shows interest in her new friend, Tai. After seeing how her actions affect others, she tries to be a better person. She and Josh fall hard for each other, and at the end of the movie, everybody lives happily ever after.
So what would happen to these crazy kids after the movie ends? This should not and would not work out for Josh and Cher after the credits. The end of Clueless fakes out a wedding between the high school student and her college-aged former stepbrother, but as Cher herself says, “As if!” She’s only sixteen. These two are at different stages of life, so it wouldn’t work even if they weren’t family at one point.
Vivian and Edward from ‘Pretty Woman’
Vivian (Julia Roberts) is a prostitute Edward (Richard Gere) hires on a whim while driving through Hollywood. The two start falling in love, but their different very different lifestyles cause problems. In the end, he surprises her at her apartment, and they seem to be headed for a happily-ever-after fairy tale.
This couple could go one of two ways in my mind. In the first option, they divorce without a prenup, so Vivian gets half of Edward’s money and lives the rest of her life in a fancy penthouse. Alternately, they stay together despite her past, but the much-older Edward ends up passing away and leaving her to raise their family alone. Sorry, but I just don’t see a happy future for these two.
Cady and Aaron from ‘Mean Girls’
In case you missed all of Mean Girls, Cady (Lindsay Lohan) pretends to befriend Regina (Rachel McAdams), the ex-girlfriend of her crush (Jonathan Bennett). Only her little experiment starts to go wrong as Cady starts acting like a mean girl herself. After Cady betrays Regina, she loses all of her friends. However, she manages to “fix” everything and starts dating Aaron.
Is there a future for Cady and Aaron? They’re a pretty sweet couple at the end of Mean Girls, but it’s a high school relationship. Those rarely work out in the long run. I think once they leave for different colleges, they’d make it a semester or two before breaking up.
Sam and Austin from ‘A Cinderella Story’
Sam (Hilary Duff) and Austin (Chad Michael Murray) are opposites. The only thing they have in common is that they both want to go to Princeton for college. Neither knows they are messaging the other until Sam’s step-sisters reveal it to Austin’s ex. Sam is humiliated in front of the whole school but tells off Austin before his big game. He leaves the game and kisses her.
These two looked so happy driving off into the sunset as the credits rolled. But let’s be honest, like the last high school couple, they’d break up in college. I could see them parting ways amicably but not staying friends. Sam would go back home to run her father’s diner, and Austin would probably marry a coed who has more in common with him.
Lara Jean and Peter from ‘To All the Boys I’ve Loved Before’
In case you didn’t watch the movies: here are the basics. Lara Jean (Lana Condor) wrote a letter to her crush (Noah Centineo) in middle school, but he accidentally receives it when they are in high school. After fake dating, they fall for each other. Other people and prospective colleges keep pushing them apart, but they agree to long-distance in the last movie.
Much like the other high school couples I’ve talked about so far, college would be the downfall of this cute couple. They almost break up in every movie but somehow made it work. However, their communication skills don’t really get better, and that’s what it takes to make long-distance relationships work.
Lara Jean would find her dream guy after graduating college, while Peter would be the stereotypical playboy throughout college.
Troy and Gabriella from ‘High School Musical’
Troy (Zac Efron) and Gabriella (Vanessa Hudgens) meet at a New Year’s Eve party but think that they’ll never see each other again. Then she moves to his town, and it seems like fate is bringing them together. Over the course of the original movies, these two fall in love while starring in a musical, deal with major trust issues, and eventually see their relationship tested to the breaking point as they leave high school behind.
Would they last as a long-distance couple in college? Don’t hate me, but Troy and Gabriella would never work out in the real world. He never even technically asked her to be his girlfriend! I feel they’d try to make it work but eventually break up because of their separate interests. On a happy note, Gabriella would probably meet someone in college who appreciated her more.
Sandy and Danny from ‘Grease’
Sandy (Olivia Newton-John) and Danny (John Travolta) had a summer fling and expected to never see each other again. All that changes when Sandy unknowingly transfers to Danny’s school, Rydell High. Unfortunately, Danny is a totally different person at Rydell High, and it seems like their summer lovin’ is doomed to fizzle out. In the end, Sandy and Danny confess their feelings in front of everyone and fly off into the sunset.
This is the only high school couple on my list that I see making it, if only because of when Grease takes place. Danny would propose soon after graduation, and they would get married within a year. In my headcanon, he works in an automotive shop and she’s a stay-at-home-wife raising their large family.
Elle Woods and Emmett from ‘Legally Blonde’
Elle (Reese Witherspoon) makes it into Harvard with the goal of trying to win back her ex. Throughout the film, though, she grows closer with Emmett (Luke Wilson) after being accepted into an internship. When Elle is hired as the defendant’s lawyer in a high-profile case, he works with her on it. They win the case and start dating.
Would Elle and Emmett’s relationship survive past the credits? If you think these two would be the power couple of the legal world, you’d be right. Emmett is always supportive of Elle and would help her achieve her goals. And from the beginning, Elle brought light and humor into Emmett’s otherwise dull world. I won’t take any arguments on this.
Jenna and Matt from ’13 Going on 30′
In this iconic rom-com, Jenna (Jennifer Garner) goes from being an awkward teenager to an awkward grown-up thanks to a little magic. She tracks down her childhood crush, Matt (Mark Ruffalo), but discovers that he is engaged to someone else. They grow closer, but he stays with his fiancée. When Jenna gets the chance to return to her 13-year-old self, she changes her fate by kissing Matt.
I had to end this list on a happy note! Jenna and Matt were made for each other, and nothing will break these two apart. She fought for him when she was a 13-year-old stuck in a 30-year-old body, and she will fight for him forever. You can’t convince me they aren’t soulmates.