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THN’s Top Third Wheels In Film

In TED, John and Lori are happily nearing their 4th anniversary as a couple. Completely in love and with marriage on the cards, the pair has only one problem – John’s crude live-in childhood bear and best friend, Ted. Magically brought to life when John made a wish as a child, the once cute and innocent bear has now grown up to be a lager-swilling, foul-mouthed layabout with a fondness for prostitutes. After he constantly gets in the way of their relationship and fearing that he is a bad influence, Lori suggests that Ted moves out so that she and John can move forward with their lives. As the only obstacle standing between the couple and lifelong happiness, Ted is the ultimate 3rd Wheel.
To celebrate the release of TED on DVD, Blu-ray and Digital Download on November 26th, we take a look at some other film characters that prove that three is most definitely a crowd!

Cyrus

When lonely and depressed John, meets Molly at his ex-wife’s engagement party, his life seems to be looking up for the first time since his divorce, seven years ago. Things are going brilliantly between the pair until John discovers that there is another man in Molly’s life, her clingy 21-year old son, Cyrus. The overly close relationship between Molly and her son unnerves John especially when Cyrus – jealous that his mother’s attention and affection is elsewhere – begins to manipulate the couple in a bid to destroy their relationship. Attempting to drive a wedge between them, Cyrus plays John and Molly off against each other, telling them both that the other feels they are coming on too strong. Cyrus makes for a manipulative and destructive third wheel with plenty hilariously awkward moments thrown in!

You, Me and Dupree

You, Me and Dupree definitely makes the list of famous film 3rd wheels with its tagline “Two’s company, Dupree’s a crowd!” Dupree is fired from his job and loses his apartment when he takes time of work to be the best man at his friend, Carl’s wedding. Carl invites Dupree to stay with him and his new wife Molly for a few days, but their newlywed bliss is disrupted by their messy, layabout houseguest. Dupree’s anti -social antics include leaving something unspeakable in the couple’s ensuite bathroom and being found in a compromising position with a librarian in the living room, before setting fire to the house with the many candles he had lit to seduce her. Dupree’s presence ensures that Carl and Molly’s honeymoon period is well and truly over!

Harry Potter

He may well be the title character, the famous ‘boy who lived’ and ‘the chosen one’, but when it comes to the budding love story between Ron and Hermione that quietly ran in the background of the Harry Potter series, Harry can be added to our list of awkward third wheels. It wasn’t until the fourth film in the series, Harry Potter and the Goblet of Fire that the affection and tension between Ron and Hermione really started to become obvious. During the further four films, they tiptoed uneasily around their feelings for each other, often leaving Harry to play the go-between or to be present for awkward moments of reserved affection between the pair. It wasn’t until the final film Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows: Part 2, that the couple finally became…well, a couple, and kissed in a dramatic life or death situation. Luckily Harry started a relationship with Ron’s sister, Ginny, sparing him from a lifetime of rolling around as a lonely third wheel.

Me, Myself and Irene

This third wheel may not technically be a separate person, but Charlie Baileygates’ aggressive alter-ego Hank, certainly throws a spanner in the works of his budding romance with love interest, Irene. Police Officer Charlie has been a soft touch his whole life, allowing people to take advantage of his kind – if not a bit spineless – nature. After bottling up his feelings for so many years, his frustrations build up and reveal themselves in the form of his split-personality Hank, who is anything but a push-over. Charlie takes medication for his schizophrenia, which stops Hank from surfacing. But when he loses his tablets while escorting Irene – who has been wrongly accused of committing a hit-and-run – on a long drive to New York, Hank does his best to scupper Charlie’s chances of romance with her. The problem is a third wheel proves hard to cut loose when he shares the same body as you.

Shrek

It’s the typical fairytale set up. A princess, bound by a curse and locked in a tower, is rescued by her true love with the help of his noble steed. Oh, apart from that her true love is a grumpy Ogre who lives in a swamp, and his noble steed is a talking donkey who just decided to tag-along for the journey. The true love part strains the conventions of the fairytale too, with Princess Fiona taking a while to warm to our green hero. But inevitably, the pair fall in love, get married and maintain their relationship for the three sequels that followed, leaving Donkey to take on the role of 3rd wheel. He may be the spare part in Shrek and Fiona’s relationship, but with his witty dialogue and loveable character, he still manages to steal the limelight.

I Love You, Man

Most men struggle to pick a best man from their army of mates, but when Peter Klaven gets engaged to his girlfriend Zooey, he can’t think of a single male friend who he could ask to fill the position. Encouraged by Zooey, he goes on a series of ‘man dates’ in a bid to make friends, which all turn out to be incredibly awkward and disastrous. Just as he’s ready to give up on his search for a buddy, Peter meets charming Sydney at an open house and they strike up a friendship. The men really hit it off and start to spend more and more time together, risking Peter’s relationship when the once enthusiastic Zooey is left wondering if she is about to come the 3rd wheel in his and Sydney’s blossoming bromance.

The Big Lebowski

‘The Dude’ – real name Lebowski – is beaten up by thugs when he is mistaken for the other Lebowski in town – a millionaire whose young wife has been kidnapped. When The Big Lebowski asks The Dude to take the million dollar ransom to the kidnappers, he and his bowling buddies, Walter and Donny, set off to deliver the money. Of course, things are never straightforward, and with the interference of Walter and The Big Lebowski’s daughter, the plan gets out of hand. The third wheel trophy in this film, has to go to Donny, who quietly tags-along and occasionally pipes up with well-meaning input only to be constantly told to “Shut the f*** up, Donny!”

So, there you have it. Our rundown of movie third wheels, always ready to pop up and cause excruciating moments that make us squirm with awkwardness and laugh out loud. He had some stiff competition, but we still think Ted takes the biscuit!

TED IS AVAILABLE ON DVD, BLU-RAY™ AND DIGITAL DOWNLOAD FROM 26TH NOVEMBER 2012
All disc versions feature Ultraviolet? Digital Copy

Paul has been writing for film websites for over ten years. The Hollywood News was born out of love for film and his frustration at not being a very good filmmaker himself. Those who cannot do, write about – or so they say. Aside from the site, Paul has directed a music video (badly), has one credit to his name on the IMDb, enjoys running, driving (now that he has finally passed his test at the age of 33), and of course going to the movies.