Top 10 LGBTQ+ Love Triangles in Movies & TV

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Top 10 LGBTQ+ Love Triangles in Movies & TV

VOICE OVER: Phoebe de Jeu WRITTEN BY: Sammie Purcell
These LGBTQ+ love triangles in movies and television explored the many sides of love. Our countdown includes "Call Me by Your Name," "Sex Education," "Buffy the Vampire Slayer," and more!
Transcript

Top 10 LGBTQ+ Love Triangles in Movies and Television


Welcome to MsMojo, and today we’re counting down our picks for the Top 10 LGBTQ+ Love Triangles in Movies and Television.

For this list, we’ll be looking at the queer on-screen romances we love that got a little … complicated.

Look out for spoilers, and leave your favorite trio down below in the comments!

#10: Elio, Oliver & Marzia
“Call Me by Your Name” (2017)


A summer romance set in the Italian countryside? Sign me up! We remember the connection between Elio and Oliver the most from “Call Me By Your Name,” but Elio’s relationship with Marzia makes up a large chunk of the story. As Elio comes to terms with his attraction to Oliver, he sort of leaves poor Marzia in the dust. But, these two prove that friendship can endure – when Oliver leaves for the summer, Elio and Marzia reconcile. They may not rekindle that romantic flame, but their connection is beautiful nonetheless.

#9: Liz Taylor, Tristan Duffy & The Countess
“American Horror Story: Hotel” (2015-16)


This entry is sexy and scary! In Ryan Murphy and Brad Falchuk’s horror anthology, Tristan Duffy is one of the many lovers of the mysterious Countess. He starts off as your resident bad boy, but when he begins a love affair with Liz Taylor, a transgender woman, he becomes something more. Liz doesn’t see Tristan as just a pretty face – or, you know, a blood-drinking monster. Unfortunately, their affair doesn’t sit right with The Countess, and she murders Tristan in revenge. While Liz and Tristan’s story doesn’t end with a happily ever after (when does “American Horror Story” ever?), we’ll always appreciate the tender connection between the two.

#8: Piper Chapman, Alex Vause & Larry Bloom
“Orange Is the New Black” (2013-19)


Larry and Piper may have started out in almost-wedded bliss at the beginning of this Netflix original, but – as it’s wont to do – prison threw a wrench in their happiness. Add in a drug dealing ex-girlfriend, and you’ve got a love triangle for the ages! When Alex shows up at Litchfield, old feelings between her and Piper resurface, causing Piper to question her relationship with Larry. In the first couple seasons, fans went wild speculating who Piper would choose. If we’re being honest, we don’t think anyone hoped she would end up with Larry. Sorry, Jason Biggs – Vauseman forever!

#7: Ian Gallagher, Mickey Milkovich & Trevor
“Shameless” (2011-)


Ian and Mickey are one of the best “Shameless” couples, but BOY, they definitely didn’t start off that way. Family, crime, and random marriages to Russian women kept getting in their way, keeping the boys in relationship limbo for quite awhile. Enter Trevor – the sensitive social worker who catches Ian’s eye. Trevor was there for Ian when Mickey couldn’t be, supporting him through his mother’s death. But, you can’t stop true love – Mickey always found his way back into Ian’s life, and Ian could never say no.

#6: Korra, Asami Sato & Mako
“The Legend of Korra” (2012-14)


As love triangles go, the end game relationship in this one didn’t actually get a ton of screentime. For most of this beloved animated series, Mako was either with Asami or he was with Korra – the back and forth was enough to give you whiplash. But, towards the end of the series, the romance between Asami and Korra eventually took centerstage. It was so touching to watch them go from foes, to fast friends, to lovers. And that final shot of them walking off into the spirit world together? Cue the waterworks.

#5: Willow Rosenberg, Tara Maclay & Daniel "Oz" Osbourne
“Buffy the Vampire Slayer” (1997-2003)


The spark between Willow and Oz was bright from the start. But, relationships with werewolves are always tricky business. Afraid he wouldn’t be able to control his transformations and might endanger Willow, Oz skips town. This left Willow and audiences heartbroken. But, it also left space for Willow to grow her relationship with Tara, eventually leading to the duo being one of the most iconic lesbian couples on television. Even when Oz came back, Willow couldn’t leave Tara behind. And while we love that cute werewolf, we think Willow made the right decision here.

#4: Ellie Chu, Paul Munsky & Aster Flores
“The Half of It” (2020)


Bear with us: there are a lot of moving parts in this one. In this coming-of-age film, Paul has a giant crush on popular girl Aster, but isn’t very good at expressing himself. So, he enlists shy Ellie Chu to write love letters to Aster while pretending that she’s Paul. But, unbeknownst to Paul, Ellie ALSO harbors secret feelings for Aster. As Paul and Ellie become closer, PAUL develops feelings for ELLIE - but also ASTER has feelings for PAUL, who’s really ELLIE… this is getting confusing. Anyway, eventually the truth comes out. No one really “gets the girl” in this one, but Ellie does share a romantic kiss with Aster and saves her friendship with Paul. A win/win!

#3: Alice Pieszecki, Natalie “Nat” Bailey & Gigi Ghorbani
“The L Word: Generation Q” (2019-)


The beginning of the relationships between these three was anything but peachy. Alice and Nat are together at the start of the series, but Alice has trouble dealing with Nat’s ex-wife Gigi – who also happens to be the mother of Nat’s kids. Not exactly someone you can ignore. But, one night when Nat admits she still has feelings for Gigi, things get ... interesting. The three women end up trying to have a “throuple.” While it doesn’t quite work out for the threesome, this is a type of relationship we rarely get to see on television. Watching these three women navigate it in real time was something special to behold.

#2: Adam Groff, Eric Effiong & Rahim
“Sex Education” (2019-)


Adam and Eric have ... a rough start, to say the least. In season one of this Netflix original, Adam bullies Eric constantly, culminating in a sexual encounter that falls into a harmful trope – the bully only being homophobic becuase he himself is gay. But the show corrected that choice brilliantly in season two. The onus of helping Adam come to terms with his sexuality is never put on Eric. Instead, the audience gets to see Eric in a healthy relationship with Rahim, and Adam is given the space to deal with his rehabilitation on his own. This choice makes the moments where Eric and Adam do come together – along with that final scene at the school play – all the more moving.

Before we unveil our top pick, here are a few honorable mentions.

Tia Clayton, Kat Edison & Adena El-Amin, “The Bold Type” (2017-)
Kat’s Got a Bold Choice to Make – Tia or Adena?

Patrick Murray, Kevin Matheson & Ricardo “Richie” Donado Ventura, “Looking” (2014-16)
Patrick’s Just Looking for Love

Queen Anne, Abigail & Lady Sarah, “The Favourite” (2018)
A Royal Mess If We Ever Saw One!

Sydney Novak, Dina & Brad Lewis, “I Am Not Okay with This” (2020)
Best Friends Become Girlfriends!

#1: Ennis Del Mar, Jack Twist & Alma Beers Del Mar
“Brokeback Mountain” (2005)


We’re ending on a heartbreaker, folks! Jack and Ennis took the world by storm in this heartbreaking country song of a movie. The two men sleep together during their time herding sheep, and begin a secretive romance that continues even as they both marry and move on with their lives. Ennis’s wife Alma eventually finds out about her husband’s affair, and the two come to blows. But, what stings about this particular entry is that even when Ennis and Alma divorce, Ennis can’t bring himself to be with Jack. Alma was never the one standing in his way – it was just Ennis himself. The story ends in tragic fashion – we’ll never stop thinking about “I wish I knew how to quit you.”
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It%u2019s interesting to see Legend of Korra and Brokeback Mountain on this list