Who’s Your Valentine? Black Nerd Problems Staff’s Favorite Couples In The Nerd World

It’s our favorite completely made up day of the year, Valentine’s Day! To celebrate, we’re letting you know some of our favorite couples or pairings in all of nerdom. Don’t just us on our one true pairings. Not everyone’s ship comes in…

Alana and Marko (Saga)

If ever there were two poster children for contemporary nerd love, it would have to be Alana and Marko, the central characters in Brian K. Vaughan’s unconventional space epic, Saga. Born of different races, they met on the business ends of a centuries-old war between their respective peoples. Alana, a hard case apparently from the get-go and Marko, an unexpectedly soulful product of militant parents, even madly in love with one another, the only thing they seem to agree on is wanting what’s best for their infant daughter Hazel. Constantly on the run from bounty hunters, ex lovers and members of their own factions who see Hazel as heresy, they seem to always find a way to stand by one another when any other couple would have killed each other (if you’ve ever watched The Amazing Race, you know I’m right). The kicker is that according to Hazel (the grown up, unseen narrator), it’s not even a guarantee that these two misfits will end up together happily ever after at the end of this tale and yet I’m more invested in these two than any of my friends’ real life ratchet relationships. –Oz


Number Six and Dr. Gaius Baltar (Battlestar Galactica)

Ok, so things are a bit rocky at first, considering that they conspired (Gaius unwittingly) to almost wipe out humanity. You could probably say that Number Six, the first contact for Cylons that now looked like humans, is the most “successful” femme fatale in history considering she carried out a plan to obliterate the 12 Colonies and every networked ship in the Human fleet. All of this is made possible because of the genius of Dr. Baltar for building such an elaborate defense system and the idiocy of Dr. Baltar for giving his Cylon girlfriend access to all of it. But that was, literally, just the beginning. Dr. Baltar joins the Human resistance and tries to keep his involvement in the genocide secret while Number Six becomes a voice in his head, helping him reason through every pitfall.

The roles are reversed when a new Number Six with some empathy for the humans becomes their prisoner and Dr. Baltar becomes a voice in HER head. It’s never clear if these two are just crazy or if these visions of the other are something more complex. As the story moves towards it’s conclusion, Dr. Baltar and (now referred to as) Caprica Six are central to saving Hera, the first Cylon and human baby. It is revealed that the “inner” Baltar and Six we’re in fact guardian angels sent from the most high themselves to ensure the new civilization would survive. Baltar and Six survived a genocide, threesomes, treason, Dr. Baltar’s puppet presidency and torture. Not many relationships have those kind of stakes. – William

River Song and the 11th Doctor (Doctor Who)

There’s no match for the Doctor. Sure, you could make an argument for the companions, but still, the Doctor’s functioning on a whole different level. But with a curly mop of hair and a coy “Hello Sweetie,” in saunters River Song—a badass time-traveler who’s just about as brilliant and mad as the Doctor. But what else could you expect? She’s a child of the Tardis, after all. She’s independent and autonomous, having her own adventures and dropping in on the Doctor when she pleases. As for the eleventh Doctor and Ms. Song, the pairing of the young Matt Smith and the more mature Alex Kingston worked well, emphasizing the fact that they’re on different time lines. But Kingston’s River could always keep up with the youthful, frenetic energy of Smith’s Doctor, and the flirting—usually while in the midst of danger, guns and sonic screwdrivers blazing—really made this couple. Plus, what other couple do you know has such a crazy, intense love that it’s caused time to break? –Maya

Frodo Baggins and Samwise Gamgee (The Lord of the Rings Books, not movies. Don’t get me started on the movie.)

This one is old school, but that doesn’t make it any less real. Frodo and Sam are a love for all lifetimes. In a book that is 99.9% male relationships — Legolas and Gimli, Gandalf and Elrond, Aragon and himself — these two are best friends at a level that makes “friend” sound like a cheap word. I mean, when Frodo tries to sneak away from the Fellowship and cross into the Land of Shadow alone, Sam knows him well enough to figure out the trick. Sam catches Frodo and almost drowns trying to get him. Frodo says: “I’m glad, Sam. I cannot tell you how glad. Come along! It is plain we were meant to go together.” Sam grabs his pack of food, hops in the boat with Frodo and off they go. If that ain’t love, what is? In the end of the trilogy, both being Ringbearers, they go off into The Grey Havens together like an old married couple that dies asleep in bed. I get sniffly just thinking about it. –Leslie

Sam and Frodo

Zoe and Wash (Firefly)

The OTP for us alpha women who feel more warrior than delicate flower (and our partners, who probably couldn’t beat us in hand to hand combat but can crack the jokes that make us put our fists down). Zoe and Hoban Washburne’s cannon marriage has always been the stuff dreams are made of. They were equals; her the badass soldier and him the uber-capable pilot who zipped the Firefly’s crew through space like a leaf on the wind. *sobs* They were complex, they were passionate, and they were downright comfortable, just like a good relationship should be. Throw in how refreshing it was to see such a lovingly nuanced portrayal of an interracial relationship and we’ve got one of the greatest SciFi relationships of all time. – Whitney


Frank and Claire Underwood (House of Cards)

Including House of Cards into nerd territory is a stretch, but rules don’t apply to the Underwoods. Part of what makes them so perfect is their resistance to typical television husband-wife character dynamics. Frank is a cold-blooded, manipulative political shark, and Claire is just as callous. They are perfect complements to each other’s evils, and it is done with such subtle charm that you find yourself actually rooting for them even though they’re terrible, horrible people. Claire is not a coy woman-behind-the-man, but rather stands toe-to-toe with Frank, challenging him and planning her own manipulations with such grace that one might begin to wonder if her immoral cunning can outweigh his. They’re open in their marriage with unwavering honesty, and their only guiding principle seems to be the trust they have in each other.

Their greatest weakness—possibly their only weakness—is each other, which is a vulnerability that is beautiful in its own right. Either person could absolutely crush the other with the closet full of skeletons they hold, but the thought never crosses your mind. Their relationship is the equivalent of the best friend who has the key to your house, password to your e-mail, and PIN to your debit card—it’s an irrational trust in a person that on some level we all want to have. There is a moment in Season 2 where they realize they’ve been undermined by another piece in a political game of chess. “Let’s make him suffer,” Claire says. Frank, whose character regularly breaks the fourth wall, looks at his audience and says, “I don’t know whether to be proud or terrified. Perhaps both.” But they will never turn on one another. Never in a million years. Or that’s what we hope. –Jordan

Fox McCloud and Krystal (Star Fox Adevntures)

These two met in the game Star Fox Adventures. Krystal was told her home planet (Cerinia) was destroyed along with her parents. Seeking answers, she journey’s to Dinosaur Planet. To make a long story short, she was imprisoned in a crystal cell. Fox is then instructed to save Dinosaur Planet and in doing so, he learns about Krystal’s capture. Fox frees Krystal and they begin their new relationship. 2 years later, they get married and move to a place where they think they can have peace. They get called on a random mission and Krystal becomes scared of separating from Fox. He assures her that nothing is going to happen while they are together. They’ve always had each other’s back and I respect that. Krystal then discovers she’s pregnant with their future son, Marcus McCloud and they live happily ever after. Still better than a Twilight story. – Anissa

Conner Kent(Kon-El)/Cassandra Cain (DC Comics)

As mostly a connoisseur of crack ships, it’s very rarely that I get to say this and mean it 100%: there’s actually no reason not to ship this couple (I mean, it’s literally called “The World’s Finest Romance,” there’s nothing to argue). While not necessarily each other’s first crush, Conner and Cass’ love story to me epitomizes teenage romance: sugary sweet naivete, nervous fumbling, defying stubborn father figures who just don’t understand (gawd, Bruce), basically every good part of a Taylor Swift song with some super power action tossed in for good measure. What’s more, it’s not just a tale of two opposites attracting, but rather people from separate worlds really getting know and appreciate each other’s differences. While there’s several stories where these two appear together, I suggest checking out Scans Daily’s summary of the issue this cover was taken from for more. – Lauren


Yukiteru Amano and Yuno Gasai (Mirai Nikki)

Yukiteru Amano and Yuno Gasai  are an anime power couple. Yuno has become the benchmark for the Yandere character type because her love for him allows her to do violent and sometimes borderline insane things for him. Yukiteru was your run of the mill shy guy until Yuno came around and freaked him out with all her love. Yuki was scared at first once she showed her true self but come on we’ve all had those moments where we thought “Uh oh” after we realized that fine dime piece had a few cents that weren’t adding up. Yuki realized Yuno was the epitome of a D.A.B. (by Ja Rule), and instead allowed her to help him change into someone he truly wanted to be. Yukiteru and Yuno ended up being Dangerously in Love and this Valentines day goes out to them. –Willie 

Agent 355/Yorrick (Y:The Last Man)

There was one man left in the entire world. Even through a probable 500 million to one woman:man ratio, Yorrick Brown still managed to fall in love with one. Throughout the entirety of Y: The Last Man, a secret agent known only as “Agent 355” protects Yorrick Brown as he looks to restore Earth’s future and re-connect with the “half-fiancée.” However, after an entire series of romantic/sexual tension build-up and so many instances of accidental flirting that I can’t count them, Yorrick realized what everyone else did. He loved Agent 355. The moment when the two finally came together for a long awaited embrace was one of the most heartwarming moments in comics I’ve ever come across. What happened after is a completely different story though. –Keith 

Hyūga Hinata & Uzumaki (Naruto)

The relationship that launched a thousand ships and is officially Cannon (Cannon![beat drops]). This is my favored relationship as it’s two under dogs from different parts of their village that came into their own and came together. You thought Naruto was going to be all hung up on Sakura but he knew that wasn’t happening. Then came Hinata Hyuga finally confessing her love as she dove into a fight against Pain (the most dangerous man on Earth at the time) to protect Naruto. Ayebody else was on the sidelines watching Naruto get the hands and then the most soft spoken character in the game balled the fuck out to help him. Come on. Since that moment she was at the forefront being Bruh’s reality check during the 4th Great Ninja War. They’ve had the most awkward interactions for years and it wasn’t until the some time after the time skip that we got to see the awkward turn into soft spoken appreciation and recognition of one another. It don’t get much cuter. –Omar

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KORRASAMI Korra/Asami (Avatar: The Legend Of Korra)

Come on fam, you knew this was coming. The great shipping wars started and OTP’s were launched in every direction the wind blew and I simply sat down like Manifold from The Marvel Universe and found my center. It really should come to no surprise that this a shipped couple of mine. I mean, both Avatar animated series both the original series and Korra’s entry: featured several great female characters which included women of color, disabled women, women in positions of power and women in all stages of life. Korra and Asami are special to me. Korra is my favorite avatar. Headstrong, muscular, brown skinned and a character to so much depth that the racists and dudebros (and Nick for their treatment of the show the last season) tried their hardest to derail her but I personally believe she won in the end. Asami? Asami “THE BAE” Sato with the hair flipping, the on point hand to hand combat skill, and the magical hands that make anything mechanical come to life? It’s a thrilling thing to see your favorite characters win the end, isn’t? To not be sidelined (side eyes Sleepy Hollow). To not morph into people you don’t recognize at the very end. To be in the hands of talented writers who see your faves through much work: much character development and much sweat, blood and tears to deliver a finished product where you just lose your ish. – Carrie

What are some of your favorite pairings? Let us know in the comments!

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  • Show Comments

  • Shaka Jamal (@FaceOfYo)

    I gotta put Lisa Hays & Rick Hunter from Robotech. Their love triangle with Minmai was epic for 10 year old me, and I always love that Rick and Lisa got together in the end 🙂 P.S. if you have not watched Robotech don’t read this…

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