Who doesn’t love a good love story? Girl falls in love with boy, then falls in love with his best friend too, for example.
The love triangle has been a frequent plot point in TV and film for years, but there is maybe no more iconic angsty trio than the one between Dawson (James Van Der Beek), Joey (Katie Holmes) and Pacey (Joshua Jackson) on Dawson’s Creek. When the series launched in 1998, Joey was in love with her best friend, Dawson. By the end of season 1, the pair were kissing in his bedroom and had an on-off relationship throughout season 2. By season 3, however, he’d moved on — and asked his other childhood pal Pacey to look after her. Cue the drama.
The on-off relationship between Dawson and Joey and Pacey, as well as the messy friendship and fallout between Dawson and Pacey, carried through the show for the remaining seasons and, ultimately, became the biggest question ahead of the 2003 finale: Which one would Joey choose? (Pacey, of course. The answer is always Pacey.)
In films, the ingredients for a successful love triangle are a little different since there is much less time to create two separate stories. Unless of course it’s spread over multiple films, e.g. Twilight.
Over the course of five movies, Bella (Kristen Stewart) was torn between Edward, (Robert Pattinson), the guy who wasn’t good for her — and had a hankering for human blood — her close (werewolf) friend Jacob (Taylor Lautner), who had been crazy about her since they were kids.
Scroll through the gallery below to relive some of the most memorable love triangles in TV and movie history: