What a Girl Wants: The Best Love Triangles in Pop Culture

One of my favourite chick lit authors, Lindsey Kelk, is set to release her latest book What a Girl Wants this July. What a Girl Wants is the sequel to About a Girl, a story about Tess Brookes that ends with a ‘who will she choose?’ cliffhanger. The men in question are her best friend Charlie, the object of her unrequited love for the past decade, and the arrogant and hot Nick Miller, the man she’s known for one thrilling, sexy week.

While we wait to see who Tess will choose (cough, Nick please, cough), it got me thinking about other ‘who will she choose?’ scenarios in pop culture, so here is my completely biased list of the best love triangles (from the ’90s through to today, of course).

Bridget, Mark and Daniel – Bridget Jones’s Diary
Before Lindsey Kelk, there was Helen Fielding – one of the masters of the chick lit genre. As we all know, the film adaptation starred Renee Zellwegger as the title character, Colin Firth as Mark Darcy and Hugh Grant as Darcy’s nemesis Daniel Cleaver. Is it completely wrong for me to go with skirt chaser Daniel here? It goes against my pattern of backing the ‘nice guy’ in these situations (with the exception of About a Girl’s Nick Miller), but Hugh Grant, in my book, trumps the nice guy any day. I still swoon every time I hear him say, ‘That’s an order Jones’. Swoon.



Kelly, Brandon and Dylan – Beverly Hills 90210

Most of you would probably say that the more famous and better love triangle of Beverly Hills 90210 was the one between Kelly, Brenda and Dylan, and I would totally agree with you. After all, that love triangle gave us one of the best lines from the whole ten years of Beverly Hills 90210 put together. Remember when Brenda caught Kelly and Dylan out on a date, and Kelly defended herself when Brenda called her a bimbo? Brenda’s classic comeback went as follows: ‘Well Kelly, I was always taught that if it looks like a duck and walks like a duck…’ Oh. May. Zing.

However, we’re talking about the ‘who will she choose?’ scenario here, so let’s bring it back to Kelly’s love triangle with the other Walsh twin. At first, Kelly did a Samantha Jones and chose herself when faced with an ultimatum between Beverly Hills’s bad boy and nice guy, but the pull of the troubled bad boy was ultimately too strong for Kelly to resist. Alas, Brandon ended up being no match for the ‘mad, bad and dangerous to know’ Dylan.

This love triangle was revisited years later in an advertisement for Old Navy. Dylan and Brandon’s props – a motorcycle and a teddy bear – played into the classic bad boy vs nice guy stereotypes brilliantly, but neither were enough to entice Kelly, who this time ended up choosing jeans. I stick to my choice of Brandon 4EVA. Da-na-na-na, da-na-na-na!

Carrie, Aidan and Big – Sex and the City
I will only launch into a mild rant here about my problem with the last two episodes of Sex and the City and my issue with Carrie ending up with Big (you can read the rant in its entirety here). However, I’d like to take this opportunity to have a mild bitch about the awful Sex and the City 2 and how I felt that, in order to justify Carrie’s choice of Big, they turned Aidan into the bad guy, willing to cheat on his wife with Carrie in Abu Dhabi. Not cool, screenwriters. Not cool.



Joey, Dawson and Pacey – Dawson’s Creek

After pining over Dawson for so many years, Joey ended up choosing his larrikin best friend Pacey. Yes, the love triangle was a lot of verbose, mile-a-minute talk – as was the entire show – but there was still plenty of action too, with Joey losing her V-card to Pacey. The power of Pacey, eh? Poor Dawson.


Felicity, Ben and Noel – Felicity

While my sister remains to this day a Ben Covington devotee, it was Noel’s big lips and teddy bear eyes that, like Brandon Walsh before him, kept me rooting for the good guy. And who remembers Eli? He was cute.


Image credit: The WB


Bella, Edward and Jacob – Twilight
Team Jacob all the way! My stanch allegiance to team Jacob is mainly down to some pretty pictures like this one:


‘Nuff said.

Buffy, Angel and Spike (and Riley, but he doesn’t really count, if we’re being honest) – Buffy, the Vampire Slayer
Angel wasn’t called ‘The One With the Angelic Face’ for nothing. And then there was Spike, who had the rock star charisma. This was definitely one love triangle that divided fans right down the middle. Am I right?

Photo credit: Warner Bros

Photo credit: Warner Bros

Rachel, Ross and Joey – Friends
Okay, so Joey never really, truly had a chance here. Also, does anyone else think that this love triangle only happened because the writers had run out of Ross and Rachel ideas by the time season 8 rolled around?


Image credit NBC


Aussie bonus:

Madge, Harold and Lou – Neighbours
Sorry for the visual with this one, guys, but it’s the best Aussie love triangle I could find that involved two men and one woman. Plus, this one had a backstory that dated back to the ‘50s, so it was pretty hardcore.

However, like the ‘which one will he choose?’ Kelly, Brenda and Dylan love triangle, I also want to declare my love for the Karl, Susan and Sarah triangle. If you were a Neighbours fan in the ’90s, it was awesome.


I am aware that there are so many other great love triangles, such as the ones in Veronica Mars, The Vampire Diaries and True Blood. However, I haven’t watched those shows, so yeah…