Why Abby Should Have Ended Up With Riley In Happiest Season (Not Harper)



  • Harper’s actions throughout “Happiest Season” reveal her inability to take responsibility for her decisions and she consistently prioritizes herself over Abby’s feelings.
  • Abby forms a strong bond with Riley, Harper’s ex-girlfriend, and it’s clear that they could have had a healthier and more honest relationship than Abby and Harper.
  • Instead of forgiving Harper and staying in an unhealthy relationship, it would have been more empowering for Abby to end up single or with her supportive best friend John. She deserves better than Harper’s behavior.



Happiest Season is a Christmas movie that follows the relationship of Abby and Harper through a lot of ups and downs—mostly downs—but, somehow, they still end up together in the end, even though they should not have. A Hulu streaming movie, Happiest Seasons was released in 2020, becoming one of not many mainstream movies to feature an LGBTQ+ couple as the lead. This romantic comedy movie, which stars Kristen Stewart and Mackenzie Davis, follows Abby and Harper as they travel to Harper’s family home to celebrate the holidays. Their relationship is tumultuous, to say the least, for most of the film due to Harper’s actions.

A lot of the problems surround the fact that Harper is not out to her family, but chooses to bring Abby anyway. The problem is not that she’s not out, as that is a personal journey that no one should be rushed on. However, she also forces Abby to do things that make her uncomfortable just to keep it a secret. This is what changes their relationship and forces it to go through unnecessary drama. All of this may make Harper the worst character in Happiest Season.

Related: 15 Best Christmas Movies Of All Time

Abby Should Have Left Harper

Abby and Harper in Happiest Season

Harper has a run of bad choices in Happiest Season. When Abby and Harper traveled to Harper’s family home, she revealed to her that she hadn’t come out to anyone in her family. This in and of itself is not a bad thing, and Harper has every right to take her time when learning about her sexuality, but Harper also asks Abby not to mention the fact that she’s also a lesbian. Not only does she ask Abby to hide herself, but she also proceeds to ignore her. Harper flirts with her old high school boyfriend and blows Abby off every time she wants to confront her about it.

Harper chooses to blame her decisions on anyone else in her vicinity whenever she can. She can’t seem to take responsibility for her actions. Harper even blames the fact that Abby’s upset about being forced to hide her sexuality. The blaming and the hiding of her partner are two really upsetting things to witness in the film, especially because Abby tries so hard to remain positive about the situation. The family is an interesting set cast of characters in Happiest Season, so Harper’s apprehension is more than fair, but it does not excuse her actions. She doesn’t consider Abby’s feelings, and one speech doesn’t change that pattern of behavior.

Who Abby Could Have Ended Up With Instead

Aubrey Plaza with co-star Kristen Stewart in Happiest Season

Harper ignores Abby for most of the movie, and while this is happening, Abby makes friends with Riley. She is Harper’s ex-girlfriend from high school, who suffered a similar fate to Abby at Harper’s hands. The two bond over this and form a solid friendship in between the drama of Harper’s family. Riley and Abby could have easily had a stronger relationship than Harper and Abby within the brief time that they knew each other. They had similar personalities, shared a sense of humor, and had more honest conversations in the five scenes that Riley was in than the actual couple shared in the whole movie.

While it’s not a favorite ending to a romantic comedy, Abby also could have ended the movie single and hanging out with her best friend, John—played by the brilliant Dan Levy from Schitt’s Creek. Harper’s behavior was inexcusable, and it was almost sad to watch Abby forgive Harper at the end of the film. It would have been perfectly acceptable for her to take time and evaluate the fact that she deserves better. It would have been an unexpected ending for a Christmas movie, but it would have done justice to Happiest Season’s main character.