There are some ships that are wild roller coasters of angst that keep us on the edge of our seats and rip out our little shipper hearts. Then, there are the ships that make just us go awww. Take Last Man Standing’s Mandy Baxter and her beau Kyle Anderson for example. For me, this ditzy duo are prove that a television relationship can be sweet and still be a serious OTP. They fill us with seriously warm and fuzzy feelings, and we know, no matter what, we can always count on them to work it out. The only tears they make us cry are rom laughing way too hard. In a world where everyone seems to focus on the negative, these ships give us something smile about even if it’s only for the duration of one weekly episode.
Here are a few reasons Mandy and Kyle are one of the sweetest ships in primetime.
They speak the same language.
Neither Kyle nor Mandy would ever be mistaken for being geniuses. When the Baxter family tries to have serious discussion, Kyle and Mandy are always quick to bring a little levity with an out-of-left-field remark, leaving other characters and viewers alike wondering how these two manage to function in everyday life. However, things that sound crazy to everyone else make perfect sense to them. They know they can each say anything a little wacky, and the other will understand exactly what they mean. Mandy and Kyle have also forged a serious ability to communicate openly with each other. There have been many times when an issue came up, and they were able to talk through it, like when Mandy got an internship in New York or thought about donating her eggs. Sure they fight like every couple does, but cooler heads are usually able to prevail. Where others are on one frequency, Mandy and Kyle have a wavelength that’s all their own.
They know it’s about the little moments.
Some people need big romantic gestures from their partner to affirm their relationship. Not Kyle and Mandy. These two know it’s the little, heartfelt acts that are the most meaningful parts of their partnership. From dancing in the Outdoor Man store to warm up to play an arcade game to Kyle making a doughnut number eight for their eighth month anniversary, not a day goes by where these two don’t show how much they care, even when things don’t always come together like they planned. Despite Kyle’s carved soap bird was turned to bubbles by the rain, Mandy still thought it was the best Valentine gift she ever received, because he made it just for her. Even their first date, an after-hours picnic at Outdoor Man, was a simple, unplanned affair. Sure, big moments like their wedding are memorable, but their foundation of little moments is why they continue to remain rock-solid.
Kyle helped Mandy become a better person.
Before Kyle and her became a thing, Mandy was pretty much a shallow, self-centered brat, only concerned with looking good, finding the right guy, and getting by with doing as little as possible. Things all changed when she fell for Kyle. Committing to a guy who thought of everyone else first and went the extra mile for others, Mandy found Kyle’s sweet nature rubbing off on herself. When Kyle tried to help a homeless man living on the warehouse docks, Mandy got involved in a charity that helped homeless women dress for job interviews and helped bring a solder home to surprise a military family at Christmas. Kyle was also the driving force behind helping Mandy realize she was more than just her body, encouraging her to table sex in favor of developing their emotional connection first. Sure, Mandy did the work, but she wouldn’t be the sting kind woman she is today without Kyle’s presence in her life.
Mandy gave Kyle a home.
Even though he only addresses it with humor and ditzy comments for the most part, Kyle has hinted many times that he’s had a rough life. Unlike Mandy who had a relatively stable home with two loving parents, Kyle’s family seems to consist of a neglectful mother, cruel brothers, an absent father, and a grandmother with dementia. All he had were his bosses at Outdoor Man and his never-seen roommates. Things changed when Mandy came into the picture. Not only did she give him all the love and stability he’d been craving, she brought him further into the Baxter fold, solidifying his status as an honorary member of her family. He found a place he could call his own with people he knew would always be there for him no matter what. In turn, Kyle brought Mandy and the rest of the Baxter clan much closer together.
They were meant to be.
From the pilot episode of the series, Kyle and Mandy have always been endgame. Mandy dad Mike, sick of the usual guys she goes out with, asks his new employee Kyle to take her out on a date. Sure, Kyle ended up dating older sister Kristen for a season, but it was clear he was with the wrong Baxter daughter. Mandy and Kyle were written in the stars. It was only a matter of time before they saw it too.
When it comes to Mandy and Kyle, father really does know best.