When it comes to epic romances, no one does them bigger, grander or more addictively than Once Upon a Time. It's literally the show that launched a thousand ships. And with a rebooted seventh season sans some of the show's most beloved couples, you can bet new pairs are definitely on the horizon.
But which ship is the best? After some long deliberation — we're only counting the ones that are canon for the sake of brevity and sanity — and secret scientific calculations, we can definitively rank these 14.
14. Rumple (Robert Carlyle) and the Evil Queen (Lana Parrilla)
The only thing worse than a kiss no one asked for is one that repulsed everyone. Was anyone into this totally awkward and unnecessary liplock between Regina and a man who's already romanced her mother and sister? Exactly.
13. Dr. Whale (David Anders) and Mary Margaret Blanchard (Ginnifer Goodwin)
This one-night stand was not what the doctor ordered. It was worth it, though, to see Prince Charming (Josh Dallas) sock the greasy womanizing doc in the face later.
12. Zelena (Rebecca Mader) and Hades (Greg Germann)
Villains can find love too. Perhaps the most interesting aspect of Zelena and Hades' brief relationship is that falling in love didn't make them do any heel-face turns; it just led to more baby theft. But sisterly love did triumph over evil, when Zelena killed Hades after he killed Robin Hood.
11. Regina (Lana Parrilla) and Daniel (Noah Bean)
Daniel could've very well been Regina's OTP. Alas, we'll never know since Cora (Barbara Hershey) would not stand for her daughter sleeping with the stable boy and ripped his heart out right in front of her eyes. Their final goodbye — after he's brought back to life via Dr. Whale and tells Regina to forget about him and love again - makes you wonder at what could've been.
10. Aladdin (Deniz Akdeniz) and Jasmine (Karen David)
Once's reimagining of the fan-favorite couple was both lovely and frustrating. These two were adorable together, especially with the backstory of Jasmine telling Aladdin he'd be the savior of Agrabah. But before we could even get comfortable with them, they disappeared back to Agrabah midway through Season 6. We hardly knew ye.
9. Emma (Jennifer Morrison) and Sheriff Graham (Jamie Dornan)
The Storybrooke outsider and the world's most well uniformed sheriff's slow burn was worth waiting for. But then Regina had to go and crush his heart because his fairy-tale memories were coming back to him. He was the show's first major death (just seven episodes in!) and Gremma sadly became another big "what if?"
8. Aurora (Sarah Bolger) and Phillip (Julian Morris)
The Sleeping Beauty characters were cuteness personified, even when Zelena turned them into flying monkeys. Fortunately, they were turned back to humans before Aurora gave birth to Phillip Jr.
7. Henry (Jared Gilmore) and Violet (Olivia Steele-Falconer)
Ah, young love. It's already awkward IRL without your horse from your dead mother going missing and accompanying your boyfriend on his quest to destroy magic. There's a clumsiness to these two that somehow made them more charming (no pun intended). But like most first loves, they're not meant to be. Violet isn't the mother of Henry's daughter Lucy.
6. Dorothy (Teri Reeves) and Ruby (Meghan Ory)
In a bait-and-switch, the show's first LGBT couple did not include Mulan (Jamie Chung), who once pined for Aurora. It turned out to be Ruby and Dorothy, as the former awakened the latter from Zelena's sleeping curse with true love's kiss. It was a big, long-awaited moment that would've better had that not been the first and, so far, last time we've seen Ruby Slippers together.
5. Emma (Jennifer Morrison) and Neal Cassidy (Michael Raymond-James)
These two lived the Bonnie and Clyde lifestyle back in the day and it was fun while it lasted. But like the notorious robbers, they were doomed. They didn't get gunned down by a rain of bullets, but he let her go to jail so she could fulfill her destiny. So thoughtful! As was sacrificing himself to save everyone from Zelena and warning Emma about the Underworld. Although, he is totally lying when he says he doesn't have any unfinished business.
4. Rumple (Robert Carlyle) and Belle (Emilie De Ravin)
Rumbelle's relationship is a tale as old as time: a bad boy seeking to change his ways when a woman sees the good in him. Their sweeping romance was swoon-worthy and hopeful, if repetitive and arguably problematic. Rumple is a damaged, wounded man with deep-seeded abandonment issues, but Belle refused to cast him aside, even with his broken promises. They got a fresh start raising Gideon at the end of Season 6, but with De Ravin not returning for Season7, save for a guest appearance in the fourth episode, let's hope that coda will be just as sweet as Captain Swan's.
3. Regina (Lana Parrilla) and Robin Hood (Sean Maguire)
Outlaw Queen were kindred spirits and according to Tinkerbell, MFEO. He saw the best in her despite her questionable deeds that piqued others' skepticism meters, and she knew he was her second chance. But sadly, Regina, who's seemingly doomed to a life of loss, was robbed of another happy ending, not only because Robin sacrificed himself to save her but because he didn't get an afterlife since he was killed by the Olympian Crystal. Way harsh, Tai. The pair did get an alternate happy ending via the Evil Queen and Wish Realm Robin, so we'll take what we can get.
2. Captain Hook (Colin O'Donoghue) and Emma (Jennifer Morrison)
Perhaps the best thing about the Captain Swan relationship was how hard they had to fight for it. It was an intense will-they-won't-they at first that morphed into genuine feelings and then being put through every spell/wish/curse/death/realm wringer possible to thwart their fairy-tale ending. Unlike Snow and Charming, theirs never felt guaranteed. And with Morrison leaving the show and O'Donoghue staying on after the pair finally tied the knot last season, it again felt like another major speed bump. Thankfully, Season 7's Hook is just a cursed version and Captain Swan is living happily ever after in Storybrooke expecting their first child.
1. Snow White (Ginnifer Goodwin) and Prince Charming (Josh Dallas)
Snowing is the backbone of the show, the ultimate fairy-tale romance — even more so with Goodwin and Dallas falling in love, getting married and having kids in real life. There was far less drama and conflict with Snow and Charming, which might make you write them off as boring, but it's actually kind of refreshing. It's not that they got together and never had problems, but they worked through them like adults instead of over-reacting like a typical TV character trope. They kept a very chaotic show with so many moving parts, worlds, characters and romances grounded. Plus, wasn't it nice and reassuring to know that there was one couple you knew would get their happy ending?
Once Upon a Time airs Fridays at 8/7c on ABC.