Ships. In entertainment, and especially, in fandom, we live and die by them. Which is why every Friday, we’ll be focusing on a couple, analyzing why we ship them, and overall, just proclaiming our eternal love for those couples that make us say:
I will go down with this ship.
And if there’s a couple that epitomizes that, it’s Dawson’s Creek‘s Joey and Pacey.
One of my first ships remains one of my favorite ships. There was so much to love about Joey and Pacey, from their organic romance to their undeniable chemistry to the witty banter that made them look like an old married couple.
Even 20 years later, there’s something about them that just resonates with loyal viewers of the past and new viewers getting to discover the magic that is letting your characters guide a story…and producing one hell of a love story.
So let’s dive into the reasons why I will FOREVER go down with this ship:
THEY HAPPENED ORGANICALLY
Some of the most epic ships haven’t been the ones that showrunners had intended. They also happen to be some of the best ships that the entertainment world has known. Look no further than Dawson Creek‘s Joey and Pacey.
We all know that it was supposed to be Dawson and Joey. That’s what Dawson’s Creek told us from the start. That’s what we always believed would happen.
That is, until Dawson’s Creek found lightning in a bottle with Joey and Pacey.
Their natural chemistry gave way to one of entertainment’s best ships — before ships were even a thing. Not even history could stop them.
But perhaps most importantly, the showrunners embraced the change of direction. They embraced the ultimate endgame for this show. It would’ve been easy to force Dawson and Joey together in the end — that was the plan from the beginning. But instead, they let the characters guide the story instead of forcing the characters into an assigned narrative. And it was refreshing.
THEY WERE SORT-OF-ENEMIES, THEN FRIENDS, THEN LOVERS
Joey and Pacey’s journey was an entertaining one to say the least. But from the beginning, there was always something about the two of them that stood apart from everything else. Even when they started off as sort-of-enemies.
Who would’ve thought that two people that absolutely despised each other would wind up falling head over heels in love with each other?
The early years laid the groundwork. All the bickering — whether it was when they were rivals or cultivating a friendship — turned looking out for each other as feelings started to develop. You knew you were watching something special. You didn’t necessarily know where it was headed — especially with history against them — but you enjoyed every second.
It was so beautiful, so wonderful, and oh so magical to behold. Watching their journey unfold — especially re-watching now, knowing how it all unfolds — makes you really appreciate the uniqueness of their journey.
A journey where, in the end, it led to each other.
THEIR CHEMISTRY WAS FIRE
Let’s be honest, there was never really anyone that stood a chance against Joey and Pacey because of their chemistry. You really can’t compete with chemistry that Joshua Jackson and Katie Holmes had. You can try, but you’re going to fail. You can try to stop it, but it’ll ultimately win out.
Their connection was undeniable from the start, which should’ve been the first hint. Sure, the make-out sessions were stuff of legend (OH-MY), but it was their chemistry in the episodes before they were together that was some of my favorite.
I’ve always been a sucker for the moments leading up to a couple getting together. The times where they don’t even realize that they’re developing a bond so special that nothing can compete. The times when they do realize they have feelings that run deeper than friendship and it scares and excites the hell out of them.
We got all of that with Joey and Pacey.
And then they kissed and everything changed.
Everything that we’d been missing in a love story, we found it with Joey and Pacey. It felt like it was meant to be, even if it did happen unexpectedly. With a chemistry like that, how could you ever deny it?
THEIR BANTER WAS LEGENDARY
There was something so infectious about Joey and Pacey’s interactions. Their witty retorts and adorable bickering remains one of my favorite things about their effortless connection.
The definition of an old married couple…before they were ever married.
THEY CHALLENGED EACH OTHER
Nothing worthwhile ever comes easy. Especially when it comes to love. While we got to experience our share of happy Joey/Pacey, there were some times when things got dark (the disaster that was Homecoming springs immediately to mind).
Who wants easy anyway? It’s boring. Not to mention stationary. If there aren’t struggles, there’s no room to grow — as individuals and as a couple.
So for all of the challenges thrown their way — whether it was before they were a couple, while they were a couple, or after they were a couple — they pushed each other to try things they wouldn’t try, to open up in a way they hadn’t before.
Joey and Pace’s love wasn’t easy, but it was pure. And it won out in the end.
THEY WAITED FOR EACH OTHER
Joey and Pacey were always competing against history. So, in the moment, it was easy to believe that their romance in seasons 3 and 4 was merely a pitstop en route to the end game that was Dawson and Joey.
While Joey and Pacey had to spend some time apart to discover who they were as individuals, eventually that was what was best for them. It allowed them find each other again years later — when they could really give their future a fair shot.
And it worked out. They ended up together in the end — happily married!
I don’t care what the showrunners say, Joey and Pacey are still happily married and have a family of their own. So suck it, Dawson.