"Clark, things always get messy when you start throwing around the Clark-Lana triangle, and I'm speaking from experience when I say the third point always hurts." - Chloe Sullivan to Clark Kent, Bulletproof
Clark Kent, Lana Lang, and Chloe Sullivan have known each other since their youth in Smallville. At Smallville High School, the three became closer friends and began a relationship that has lasted throughout the series, though it has changed dramatically as the characters have aged.
During their freshman year in high school, Clark, Lana, and Chloe were all friends with one another. Although initially Lana seemed to be in a different social crowd than Clark and Chloe, and Chloe seems to be a little condescending towards the cheerleader, by the end of the year, they all knew each other fairly well.
Because of their work on the Torch, Clark and Chloe were initially closer to each other than Clark and Lana were. Chloe treasured this working relationship with Clark, as Chloe thought the paper was the only thing that she and Clark had in common. Therefore, when Lana was asked by Principal Kwan to take over as editor, Chloe reacted angrily at Lana. Lana assured her that she wasn't trying to take Clark away from her, as they were just friends. Chloe said that she and Clark were just friends, too, but neither was convinced by these claims. Chloe knew that Lana was the girl of Clark's dreams, and initially she didn't have any problems being just friends with Clark. By the end of their freshman year, however, Chloe began to express romantic feelings for Clark, which led to some minor conflicts between Chloe and Lana, but the two remained civil and friendly.
When Clark realized he forgot to register places for Chloe and himself for a convention in Metropolis, Chloe was extremely upset and blamed his relationship with Lana. She felt that he was spending too much time building new relationships and completely neglecting his other friends. Clark didn't understand why she was so upset until Pete Ross explained to him that she had a crush on him, much to Clark's surprise. Nevertheless, this argument led Chloe to begin a relationship with Justin Gaines. Clark confided in Lana about his confused feelings for Chloe and admitted that he felt jealous of her relationship with Justin. Chloe eventually forgave Clark and relied on his help when she discovered that Justin was using his telekinetic meteor power to kill people. Lana was supportive of Clark's feelings for Chloe, despite her growing feelings for Clark.
When Clark asked Chloe to the Formal, she spent the week terrified that he will break the date and run off with Lana. Later at the Spring Formal when news of the tornado broke, Clark believed Lana was in the heart of it and although Chloe tried to convince him that Lana would be alright, Clark sped off to find her, just as her truck was sucked up by a tornado.
"News flash! You've always been in love with Lana. I tried to deny it, thinking that maybe we could work something out, but...It's like fate, Clark. Inevitable, but always surprising when it actually happens." – Chloe Sullivan, Exodus.
Realizing Clark's priorities lay with Lana, Chloe despondently let go of her romantic notions between her and Clark. The two agreed to have a mutual friendship. Having rescued Lana, she recovered in hospital, confused by her memories of seeing Clark during the tornado.
Clark pursued a closer relationship with Lana, although, when he became infected with Red kryptonite, and treated Lana badly, making her have second thoughts about their relationship. Nevertheless, Clark persists with his relationship with Lana but constantly disappoints her with his secretive nature and often let her down. When Clark disappointed Lana again by canceling their study date, she arranged to meet with Ian Randall instead. Unbeknownst to her, Ian had also arranged a date with Chloe and was able to date both of them by duplicating himself. Clark worked out that he was two timing them and tried to warn them. Trusting Ian and each other over Clark, both Chloe and Lana concluded that Clark was jealous and chose to disbelieve him, until they are confronted with both Ians. Clark managed to save Chloe and Lana before Ian threw them off of the dam and later expressed his disappointment that neither of them had trusted him. Clark affirmed that he didn't think he should be treated like the jealous boyfriend, and would rather be treated like a friend, which marked the first time that he took a truly proactive and decisive role in defining the relationships between all of them. Lana and Chloe agreed not to keep secrets from each other again.
Lana and Chloe began to confide in each other about their feelings for Clark when Lana moved in with Chloe. Lana confided in Chloe that she was attracted to Clark. Chloe confided that she lied to Clark about meeting a boy in Metropolis to try to get a reaction from him. Together they lamented over Clark's new love interest. Despite their mutual attraction to Clark, their relationship became much more sister-like.
When Chloe started to interfere with Clark's past, he became angry with her, but Lana tried to help Chloe patch things up with Clark. She also tried to help their relationship after Clark failed to meet a Torch deadline. Likewise, Chloe helped Clark and Lana's relationship by defending Lana's decision to fight and advising Lana to hire Clark when he applied to work at the Talon.
Despite Clark's attempts to get closer to Lana by working together, Lana had to sack him for being unreliable. Nevertheless, as the year progressed, Clark and Lana began a more intense relationship. They began dating towards the end of the year, but were nervous about telling Chloe. Before Clark and Lana told her, Chloe walked in on them kissing in the loft. Chloe later confronted Clark about this and expressed her disappointment that Clark had broken their pact to be honest with each other. She drove away in tears, while Clark put his mind to making sure that he could maintain his human lifestyle by destroying his only Kryptonian connection; his ship.
After Clark found out that destroying the ship had caused Martha's miscarriage and having just fought with Chloe again, he felt that he was hurting those he loved by staying in Smallville so decided to leave. After taking a red kryptonite ring and saying goodbye to Lana, he rode off towards Metropolis, leaving both Lana and Chloe upset with him.
During the summer between their sophomore and junior year at Smallville High, Chloe accidentally bumped into Clark while in Metropolis on a summer internship. She noticed his behavior was unusual and that he was going by the name "Kal." She promised to keep his location secret after he threatened her. Chloe held up her end of the bargain, though she was still working with Lionel Luthor to research his background and uncover his secret. Lana was furious when Chloe told her that she knew where Clark was most of the summer. Chloe admitted that she liked being the person that Clark confided in after Lana noted that Clark always felt more comfortable talking to Chloe. Nevertheless, Chloe explained that was because he wasn't in love with her and that he loved Lana instead.
After his return to Smallville, when he was no longer under the influence of Red kryptonite, he felt bad that he had treated all of those who cared about him so poorly, especially Chloe and Lana. Clark tried to go back to his normal life in Smallville, and while he was able to resume his relationship with Chloe by re-joining the Torch, Lana decided that she had waited long enough for Clark and "officially" moved on by starting to date Seth Nelson, after Chloe's encouragement. This made Clark jealous and he enlisted Chloe's help to uncover Lana's strange connection to Seth. Chloe was initially disappointed that Clark didn't seem to be able to let Lana move on but quickly changed her mind when she discovered that he was a meteor freak. Clark saved Lana again and quickly developed a hero attitude regarding Lana; any time she was in danger, he felt that it was his responsibility to save her. He continued to struggle with his feelings for Lana, but decided that it was best not to get too close to her, because he was still concerned that he was responsible for causing her pain.
"Who is that?"
"That... is Lana Lang. The love of your life."
--Clark Kent and Chloe Sullivan, Blank.
Lana started a relationship with Jason Teague, who became Clark's football coach when he started his new role as star quarterback for the Crows. Clark still harbored feelings for Lana, but was unaware of her relationship with Jason. She even kept this secret from Chloe, despite confiding in her a lot previously. Clark's relationship with Chloe was strained because he couldn't keep up with his normal Torch assignments due to his football practice schedule. Chloe's feelings for Clark remained and became obvious when she was infected with the Love molecule and professed her romantic intentions towards Clark once again. She also clearly harbored resentment towards Lana when she thought Lois was also after Clark. This caused her to attack Lois, saying that she had already been through this with Lana and did not want to go through it again with her cousin. Once the infection burnt out, Clark and Chloe agreed to remain friends.
As Jason and Lana's relationship had problems, she grew closer to Clark again and they danced together at their senior prom. As Chloe watched this, she confided in Lois that it still hurt that Clark had abandoned her at the Spring Formal for Lana.
When Chloe eventually discovered Clark's secret, she began dropping subtle hints and covering for Clark's quick exits and late arrivals. After Clark lost his memory, Chloe helped him rediscover his powers and how to control them, which became most challenging when Lana triggered his Heat vision. Deducing that sexual thoughts of the love of his life had caused this, Chloe seemed disappointed that even an amnesiac Clark had deep feelings for Lana. Lana seemed to return these feelings, as she was optimistic about their relationship following his amnesia and they made arrangements for a date. Nevertheless, after his memories returned, Clark forgot all about Chloe's loyalty and help and his date with Lana never happened.
When Clark saved Lana and Chloe from Brendan Nash's collection of the most successful students in school, the experience helped them come to terms with the fact that they were moving on to new ventures. However, Lana decided to stay in Smallville rather than go to college. Chloe seemed disappointed that she was leaving but Clark and Lana would still be together.
Their plans for the future were disrupted by the second meteor shower, the threat of which caused Lana to confront her feelings for Clark and she kissed him, fearing it would be the last time they saw each other.
"I know you can run faster than a speeding bullet, Clark... Take me along for the ride." - Chloe Sullivan, Arrival.
After the meteor shower, Clark was depowered by Jor-El when he chose to check Lana was ok rather than confront his destiny. Having become mortal, he was able to become closer to both Chloe and Lana. Lex claimed that Chloe was a third wheel to Clark and Lana's relationship, but she insisted that she was happy for them.
Having followed Clark to the Fortress of Solitude, Chloe confessed that she knew Clark's secret, when her life was at risk after she was caught in a snow storm in the arctic. Clark then began to confide in Chloe about his relationship with Lana as well as his Kryptonian heritage. Meanwhile, his relationship with Lana was able to progress now he did not have to worry about hurting her with his powers. However, Chloe reasoned that Clark could not have a close relationship with Lana without telling her the truth about himself. Nervous that Lana would not react the same way that Chloe did, he chose to keep his secret from her.
Once his powers returned, Clark's relationship with Lana suffered. Lana decided to attend Metropolis University with Chloe and they remained roommates, but Lana knew that Chloe was covering a secret for Clark, and as a result Lana confided less in Chloe, despite remaining friends.
Clark confided in Chloe a lot about his Kryptonian heritage, as well as his relationship with Lana. Chloe remained supportive, although she was uncomfortable when Clark brought up his sexual relationship with Lana. When Clark had paranoid delusions from Silver kryptonite, he suspected Chloe of revealing his secret and Lana having an affair with Lex. This resulted in Clark hurting Lana and she ended up in hospital. After his recovery, he apologized to both of them and Chloe said that for once she was glad that she wasn't the object of his desire. This indicated that Chloe's romantic feelings for Clark still remained but settled for being his confidant and assured him that she would die before betraying him.
Chloe was happy, although a little surprised, when Clark announced he had told Lana his secret and proposed. Clark changed time, however, when he realized how dangerous it was for Lana to know his secret. In the new time-line, he chose not to propose or reveal his secret, which strained his relationship with Lana. Wanting the best for both of her friends, Chloe often gave Clark advice about his relationship. When Clark was hypnotized into cheating on Lana, Chloe told him to tell Lana the truth and warned him that if he didn't that would be the end of their relationship for good. Clark decided to ignore Chloe's advice, as he felt he kept hurting Lana and the only way to stop that was for them to separate.
Heartbroken, Lana looked for consolation firstly from a Limbo drug, which gave her near-death experiences to be close to her dead parents. Concerned for her safety, Clark and Chloe both tried to help her but she ultimately relied on Lex, as she needed his money to fund her habit. After recovering from her habit, she then sought consolation from Lex, as she realized that he was more reliable. Chloe became concerned after she discovered their budding relationship.
Clark still cared for Lana and inquired with Chloe how she was. Nervous about Clark's reaction to Lana's relationship with Lex, Chloe became defensive and told him that if he wanted to know how she was doing, he had better ask her himself because she wanted to stay out of it. This outburst surprised Clark but it made sense when he discovered Lana and Lex's relationship. Clark confronted Chloe about keeping Lana's secret but Chloe defended Lana and reminded Clark that the separation was his decision. Regretting his decision, he apologized to Chloe.
Clark and Chloe both remained concerned about Lana's dangerous involvement with Lex, especially when they discovered that he was the vessel for General Zod. Lana overheard their plans to kill Lex and not realizing the danger that he posed, Lana assumed that Clark was jealous of her new relationship. With the threat of Zod destroying Earth, Chloe kissed Clark passionately, just as Lana had done the year before when she was scared of the threat of the second meteor shower. Chloe's loyalty to Lana had prevented her from making a move on Clark before, but now Clark was single and with the risk of never seeing him again, Chloe took her chance to take their relationship to the next level.
"The one time saving Lana means putting your heart on the line, the Man of Steel is nowhere to be found." -Chloe Sullivan to Clark Kent, Promise.
Once Lana realized Lex had been possessed by Zod, she finally understood Chloe and Clark's plan to kill him, although she was confused by how they knew this would happen. This made Lana increasingly curious about Clark's secret and she continued to quiz Chloe for clues throughout the year.
Once Clark had defeated Zod, he approached Chloe to discuss their kiss. Seeing how Lana had moved on with Lex, Clark was clearly considering a relationship with Chloe. However, with the re-emergence of Jimmy Olsen, her old flame, Chloe brushed off their kiss and Chloe and Clark remained friends, although both of them grew further apart from Lana as Lex and Lana's relationship became more serious.
When a phantom infected Clark's mind, a hallucination of Lana was used to convince Clark to succumb to the phantom. After he recovered, Clark told Chloe how he was willing to give up everything and everyone he loved for Lana. This made him realize that even though she was with Lex, he was still in love with her.
Lana eventually confided in Chloe about her continuing feelings for Clark, when she became pregnant and Lex proposed to her. Lana admitted that if Clark had asked her, she would have said yes immediately. Chloe encouraged Lana to talk to Clark about this in order to help her move on. However, Linda Lake overheard this conversation and printed it in the news before Lana had a chance to talk to Clark. This strained her relationship with Chloe, as she suspected that Chloe had been gossiping about her. To spare him the pain of reading it in the Daily Planet, Chloe told Clark about Lex's proposal, which upset him, although he seemed optimistic of a reunion with Lana, when he read about her ongoing feelings for him. Clark went to talk to Lana about this but Lex stopped him and revealed that Lana was pregnant.
Realizing that Chloe knew about the pregnancy, Clark was upset that both Lana and Chloe had been keeping secrets from him. He angrily confronted Chloe, but she retorted that she keeps Clark's secret everyday and that it isn't fair that everyone trusts her with their secrets but gets angry when she keeps someone else's. Clearly upset about being caught in the middle of their difficult relationship, Chloe began to cry, which made Clark feel guilty and he apologized.
To prove her innocence, Chloe set up a webcam in Linda Lake's office with Lana watching on her laptop. While there, Chloe discovered Linda's next headline exposing Clark's secret. When Linda entered she almost revealed the truth to Lana via the webcam but Chloe protected Clark by smashing the computer. Lana later confronted Chloe about covering up for Clark but was then able to use Chloe to set a trap to make Clark expose his secret on the day of her wedding to Lex.
Lana tricked Chloe into going down into the wine cellar to retrieve the gift she had bought for Lex and then locked her in. Because of Clark's close friendship with Chloe, Lana knew that Chloe would rely on Clark to save her. As he rescued Chloe from the wine cellar, Lana witnessed his super strength, speed, and heat vision and also heard them talk about how he still loved her. Finally discovering Clark's secret helped Lana reaffirm her feelings for him, but Lionel forced her to marry Lex by threatening to kill Clark.
Lana reacted similarly to Chloe when she discovered Clark's secret, as her feelings for Clark didn't change and she helped and protected Clark in secret. She even kept this secret from Chloe, despite confiding in her about most things. Chloe eventually suspected that Lana had discovered Clark's secret when Lana confessed to Chloe that she had married Lex to protect Clark. Lana, once again, put her trust in Chloe to keep this a secret, but ultimately Lana revealed the truth to Clark before she faked her death to frame Lex and get her revenge on the Luthors.
"[Isis] marched to the ends of the earth to help jump-start the man she loved. I want Clark to have that kind of loyalty in his life, but I'm just not sure it's from you." - Chloe Sullivan to Lana Lang, Wrath.
Clark and Chloe were devastated by the news that Lana had died and consoled each other. Unbeknownst to them, Lana was in hiding in China and when she returned to Smallville, Clark was simultaneously shocked and happy. They immediately reignited their relationship, which cast Chloe aside a little, as she was no longer Clark's only confidant. Chloe did, however, remain Lana's confidant when she discovered Lana's involvement with the Isis Foundation and was asked to keep it a secret from Clark by Lana. Although Clark had been secretive with Lana in the past, he was now completely open and, conversely, she was the one being secretive.
A freak accident transferred some of Clark's powers to Lana via electricity. She enjoyed the fact that they were equals and took advantage of this by having sex, causing minor earthquakes across Smallville. Concerned by the earthquakes, Chloe went to see Clark and discovered the true origin of the seismic tremors, which embarrassed and surprised her. Clark was surprised that Lana talks about their sex life with Chloe when Chloe whispered to Lana that she thought they couldn't have sex. Although her use of powers started harmlessly, it soon went to her head and she started to act irresponsibly. She violently attacked Grant Gabriel, Lois Lane and Lex Luthor and while Chloe saw Lana's changing personality and the danger that she posed, Clark initially defended her. Nevertheless, he ultimately put an end to her careless actions and once her powers were revoked, Chloe stressed to Lana that she wanted Clark to have love and loyalty in his life, but she was not sure that it should be from Lana. Lana replied saying that she would do anything for Clark and, while Chloe believed her, she felt that Lana would often go too far and could end up killing for him. Chloe believed Lana was capable of unintentionally bringing Clark to his knees and warned her that she would not let that happen. This strained Chloe relationship with Lana a little, but Clark put Lana's actions down to her powers rather than her increasingly dark nature.
When Clark returned after disappearing, Lana apologized for her previous actions and agreed to start anew. They became closer than ever before, but Chloe was able to identify Clark's slightly unusual behavior, indicating that she knew him better than Lana did. When she confronted Lana about this, there was minor tension between the two of them, as Lana felt that she knew Clark better. It was then revealed that it was in fact Bizarro and when the real Clark returned, Lana initially disbelieved that she had been having a relationship with someone else. After coming to terms with this, she chose to save her relationship with Clark and turn her back on Bizarro, despite admitting that she had never felt closer to anyone. She destroyed Bizarro with blue kryptonite but her confession caused tension in her relationship with Clark. Chloe remained a confidant to both friends about this and Lana even decided to stay with Chloe for a short time to give her and Clark some space.
When Clark was kidnapped, Chloe and Lana investigated and discovered that one of the Luthors was responsible. Realizing that they needed a superhero to save Clark, they took an amnesiac Kara Kent from the Luthor Mansion to retrieve her abilities and memories at the Fortress. Chloe and Lana both showed a strong commitment to saving Clark and worked well as a team. If not for Chloe and Lana's teamwork, Clark would have died at the hands of his captor Pierce.
Shortly afterwards, Lana was attacked by Brainiac and put into a coma, which devastated both Clark and Chloe. When Chloe was also put in coma by Brainiac, Clark was more determined than ever to destroy him. Once Brainiac was destroyed, both Lana and Chloe were saved, yet Lana then decided to leave Smallville, despite working hard to mend her relationships with both Chloe and Clark over the year.
It was not until much later in the year that Lana visited Chloe, who walked into the Isis Foundation to find Lana crouched next to a radiator. They briefly discussed Clark, with Lana admitting how proud she was of him to embrace his destiny. However, Lana insisted that her reappearance be kept secret from him. Lana was actively trying to avoid Clark but after Oliver discussed Clark with her, she decided to attend Jimmy and Chloe's wedding and Clark was soon reunited with her.
Chloe's jealousy of Clark's love for Lana had clearly gone by this point in her life as she actively encouraged Clark to re-address his feelings for Lana, which he did after they were able to be on a level playing field when Lana got superpowers from the Prometheus suit stolen from Lex. Lana and Clark's reconciliation was short-lived when Lana's suit absorbed a huge amount of Kryptonite from a bomb that Lex set up on the roof of the Daily Planet. Chloe consoled Lana as she could now never be near Clark again without hurting him. Nevertheless, Clark kissed her one last time, despite causing him severe pain. Lana then left forever, losing contact with both Chloe and Clark.
Chloe offered support to Clark after Lana left, however, he seemed to get over his loss fairly quickly instead turning his attention to Lois.