Scott Pilgrim is one of the most successful romance comics of the 21st century, reinvigorating the romantic comedy genre in the indie comics scene. The series famously ends with Scott finally finding a place of love with Ramona Flowers, the pair happily hand-in-hand. However, a romance with Ramona may not have been the best possible ending for the series.
Scott Pilgrim could have ended up with characters other than Ramona — and he maybe shouldn’t have ended up with anyone at all.
Most of the Scott Pilgrim series is focused on Scott’s courtship of Ramona, but there are actually three other women who appear in Scott’s life with whom he could strike up a romantic relationship.
Knives is a high school student who begins a largely chaste romance with Scott shortly before the series begins. Although Knives is head over heels for Scott, Scott ends up distancing himself from her when he meets Ramona — even asking her out before ending things with Knives. Knives eventually come terms with the fact that Scott technically cheated on her, opening her eyes to his actions. Although the film version of Scott Pilgrim vs. the World suggests Scott and Knives may be more compatible than they realize, the comic ends with Knives in a much healthier place — leaving for college and accepting that Scott is part of her past, growing from her experiences with him.
Two of Scott’s older friends also prove to be potential love interests. Kim Pines is the drummer in Scott’s band and something of a vitriolic buddy to Scott. The pair dated in high school before having a sudden and awkward breakup. Kim’s lingering (and complicated) feelings for Scott are hinted at throughout the series, Scott eventually making a move on Kim after his brief breakup with Ramona. The two end up finding a healthier place by validating their friendship.
Meanwhile, another old friend named Lisa Miller returns briefly in Vol. 4: Scott Pilgrim Gets It Together. Lisa reveals she has a crush on Scott that persists to this day and even offers Scott the chance to start something while he’s fighting with Ramona. Scott resists the temptation, realizing he’s actually in love with Ramona. Lisa leaves soon after.
The majority of the Scott Pilgrim series is centered around the titular Scott trying to earn the ability to date Ramona Flowers. This mainly consists of regular romantic drama along with confronting her seven evil exes. As he does, Scott starts to find out more about the casually crueler person Ramona used to be (and is trying to shift away from), while also being forced to confront his own faults and personal failings.
As the series progresses, Scott and Ramona end up hitting rough patches where they just bring out the more vindictive and selfish sides of each other. It takes them breaking up and Scott coming to terms with his own mistakes for them to ever reach a place where the pair could ever potentially foster a healthy relationship.
The series ends with the pair coming together to defeat Ramona’s ultimate evil ex Gideon and seemingly going off into the sunset together. There are still things to be worked out in their relationship, however. It’s not even Ramona that’s the problem, but Scott. The character hasn’t aged well in some regards: He’s the eternal slacker who has to be forced into work and a person who quickly devolves into being a shady jerk when confronted on anything. Scott’s quick temper and constant self-defense of his own shifty actions don’t read as charming in 2020 as they may have when the series was first released over 10 years ago, but that speaks to the overall story — and the reason Scott maybe should have ended up alone.
The overarching story of the Scott Pilgrim series is about how growing up requiring self-reflection. Scott ends up white-washing his own misdeeds, convincing the audience of his innocence in his life’s dramas (particularly when it comes to his romantic relationships). His relationship problems with Kim and Envy are revealed in the final volume, Scott Pilgrim’s Finest, to have been just as much his fault as theirs — in some cases even moreso.
It’s why Scott’s battle with Nega-Scott ends with him not outright defeating the shadowy dark version of himself, but coming to terms with that being a part of him he has to be overcome internally. It takes six volumes and a lot of fighting, but Scott finally comes to the realization of just how badly he needs to grow up. In fact, that should be his primary focus. While the series could have allowed there to be some teasing a potential reconciliation between Scott and Ramona down the line, the comics should have ended with Scott not romantically tied to anyone and instead focusing more on himself and the improvements he wants to see in himself.
Ending up single is a healthier decision for Scott, especially when it comes to how romance and mental health intersect. Scott and Ramona don’t need a relationship to validate their growth; they just need to change themselves to reflect the people they aspire to be. They need to actually grow. While the ending of the series suggests they’ll do it together, it would have been more fitting for Scott to become Ramona’s first non-evil ex and for them to focus on themselves first before they ever got back together.
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Scott Pilgrim ends up with Ramona Flowers in the original comic series — but it would have been better if he'd ended up with no one at all.