Cowboy Bebop: Spike & Faye Valentine’s Canon Relationship, Explained

Since the rise and unfortunate fall of Cowboy Bebop's live-action adaptation, longtime fans of the original anime have been revisiting the beloved source material. First airing in 1998, this space western neo noir is considered a classic as futuristic bounty hunters Spike Spiegel, Jet Black and Faye Valentine scour the cosmos together on the Bebop.

One of the hottest debates about Cowboy Bebop is the nature of Spike and Faye's relationship. Many fans were surprised they didn't end up together considering their strong chemistry throughout the story. Their relationship is complicated to say the least, so here is what the original anime says about their feelings for each other.

How Spike and Faye Met

Faye is first seen in Episode 3, "Honky Tonk Women," in Gordon's casino. In order to pay off her debt, Faye poses as a dealer and mistakes Spike for her intended target. After Spike steals the chip meant for Gordon from Faye, she attempts to steal it back -- only to be captured and brought onto the Bebop. The crew finds out her bounty is six million woolongs and set course to turn her in. They proceed to exchange the chip to Gordon himself, and in exchange they receive a suitcase filled with 30 million woolongs. After Faye's eventual escape from the the Bebop, she steals the suitcase back and gets away.

Spike was aware the entire time that Faye was conning him back at the casino, but he decides to play along for fun. It's clear that he is initially very intrigued by Faye, but this abruptly changes once they develop something of a rival-like dynamic.

Spike and Faye's Friendship

Spike's stoic personality and cool demeanor in Cowboy Bebop is often humbled by Faye's cocky attitude, and they are often seen arguing and bickering like siblings. Their feelings toward each other are especially obvious in the finale, as Faye shoots her gun in Spike's direction in a desperate attempt to get him to stay with them on the Bebop.

The exact type of feeling, whether it be platonic or romantic, is unclear. They've been through so much together and the Bebop crew had become a family to Faye, something she was desperate to find since losing her memory. As for Spike, he found a reason to keep going after his past life was ripped out from underneath him. Did they harbor any romantic feelings for each other?

Do Spike and Faye Like Each Other Romantically?

Faye absolutely might have had romantic feelings, but Spike was too caught up in his past to see anything but a hindrance in his longing for Julia. In fact, a major reason why he was so harsh to Faye was because she reminded him so much of her. There is a stark contrast in how he treats Julia and Faye, as they are the women in his life who take care of him. Faye not only reminds him of Julia, but also of the bitter reality of their separation.

A common theme in Cowboy Bebop is hiding one's true self, and Spike and Faye are no exception. Even if they did have any feelings for each other, they would take them to their grave. Besides, both were aware that their individual life paths would eventually lead them out of the Bebop, and anything that might prevent them from achieving what they've been working for would be a waste. Although it ended in the death of Spike and Julia, Spike received the closure he always wanted, setting Faye free to pursue the truth of her past that she'd long desired.

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