I don’t know about you, but I’m a sucker for a workplace romance. A slow burn, enemies to lovers storyline that takes several seasons to come to fruition? Uh…yes. A friendship full of witty banter from two people who are opposites, which ultimately leads to a heartwarming union full of feels? Give it to me. Yeah, yeah, I know these are the most common romance tropes BUT I STILL LOVE IT. Which is why my debut novel The Devil Drinks Mocha is pretty much all of the above and more. *wink* Shameless self-promotion aside, here is my list of my favorite workplace proximity couplings that make my heart feel full.
Please note there are a bunch of spoilers in this post!
Number 5 - Amy Santiago and Jake Peralta (Brooklyn Nine-Nine)
We start the list with a classic opposites attract dynamic: Amy the fresh-binder-sniffing, organizational loving, rule abiding, neat freak, paired with Jake the…well, the opposite of all that. Despite the inevitability of their romance, the onscreen chemistry between Andy Samberg and Melissa Fumero makes the cliché of their relationship worth watching. The best thing about this couple is their quirks are part of what make them attracted to the other rather than a cause to argue. However they have one thing in common, their competitiveness, so when Jake pops the question at the end of their annual Halloween heist my heart couldn’t handle the perfection.
Number 4 - Sun-woo & Soon-ae/ Bong-sun (Oh My Ghost!)
“Wait, how come there are 3 people listed in this one?” If I told you that this is a K-drama would that explain anything? If you’ve never seen a K-drama, then I’d highly recommend dipping your toes into this wonderful world of unashamed bat-shit craziness. Personally, I’ll always recommend Crash Landing on You, but this is a list about workplace romances, dammit! This is where Oh My Ghost swoops in, this nutso story is about a shy girl (Bong-sun) who can see ghosts, she’s also got feelings for her harsh boss, (Sun-woo) and can never seem to impress him. One day she is possessed by a ghost (Soon-ae) who believes that in order to pass on to the afterlife she needs to have sex because she died a virgin, so she decides to use Bong-sun’s body to do the deed. I know how it sounds, and that’s not even the end of it, but trust me when I say it’s a fun ride. The romance in this is bizarre to say the least, with Sun-woo essentially dating 2 women at the same time without even realizing it, but somehow it manages to work? I don’t know, y’all, you just have to see it to believe it.
Number 3 - Dawn & Tim / Pam & Jim (The Office UK & US)
People seem to skip on the UK office and the romance between Dawn and Tim in these lists, so I felt the original Office couple needed a shout out. Not only was this relationship heart-wrenchingly realistic (complete with all the awkwardness), but who can forget that moment in the Christmas Special? It’s a scene that has been replaying in my head since 2003 and I’m not mad about it. Just like dogs and cats, you can like BOTH the UK and the US Office for different reasons, so it’s only fair that I drop a mention to Pam and Jim. Although their relationship as a whole is pretty so-so once it starts, their development made for some of the best scenes in TV, such as when Jim asks Pam out for dinner for the first time. On paper it sounds so dull, yet after an agonizing three seasons of wanting them together, it manages to be an incredibly moving moment with some amazing acting by Jenna Fischer, who goes from mature resignation to tearing up with unbridled joy in a blink of an eye. Ugh, it’s so good!
Number Two - David & Patrick (Schitt's Creek)
David and Patrick’s relationship developed so effortlessly, so beautifully, that it’s impossible not to feel moved by this couple. Spoiled city boy David with down to earth small town Patrick, they are the ultimate opposites attract couple, who not only belong together but make each other a better person because of their relationship. Yes, I’m talking about them like they’re real people, because that’s what great TV does, makes you forget reality. My favorite moment is when Patrick decides to host an open mic night in their co-owned apothecary (see, it’s kind of a workplace romance!) and David is terrified of being embarrassed by his boyfriend, only when Patrick steps up to the mic and plays a gorgeous rendition of Tina Turner’s “Simply the Best” it’s like you’re watching David fall in love with Patrick all over again.
Number One - Leslie Knope & Ben Wyatt (Parks & Recreation)
Every time I watch Parks & Recreation, Leslie and Ben’s relationship manages to grip my heart like it’s the first time I’m experiencing it. This one has it all: enemies to lovers, a heart wrenching breakup and reunion, a forbidden love, and ends up with marital bliss. Even though I’ve rewatched this show an embarrassing amount of times, I still feel it in my bones when Leslie tries to bulldoze her way into Ben’s life after they break up because she’s not over him. Ben stepping up to Leslie to kiss her after her proclamations that can’t live without him… oh my days it’s probably one of my favorite on-screen kiss moments. Leslie and Ben are a true delight and easily my number one spot on this workplace romance list.