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Top 10 combinations that shouldn’t work but do


Growing up you must have heard numerous times about what you can and cannot combine. You were warned against water and oil, checks and stripes or ice-cream with your vegetables (what were you thinking?)

Admittedly, some of these warnings do have their merits, like toothpaste and orange juice, socks and flip flops and alcohol and car keys (or alcohol and text messages, or alcohol and exes).

Others simply appear to be made-up rules. Like, who really decided that checks and stripes shouldn’t work together? Who assumed everyone had the same taste buds and should therefore enjoy combining food in traditional ways?

It’s seen as an act of rebellion or ignorance (or insanity) whenever someone dares to break the rules around what should and what shouldn’t work together. But every day there are new examples of people (and animals) that dispel the myths of grouping.

These are the kind of occurrences in life that inspire people to explore and to change their perspectives. Here are 10 combinations that you may have previously assumed wouldn’t work well. Perhaps they will encourage you to be a bit more adventurous and not so rigid and traditional in your approach to life.


Food is a great part of our existence and over time we have come to learn what works and what doesn’t in the art of consumption. There are certain ingredients that we make instinctively choose not to combine because they just don’t seem right. However, if you venture into foreign lands you may just get a culture shock when you realize that what you can’t imagine going together is a delicacy to others.

With the amazing ingredients that can be found in nature, it would be only natural for us to be inclined to taste combinations which are foreign. Except where it comes to things like Diet Coke and mint Mentos, we should always be open to experimenting with ingredients. A dining experience is always exciting when it steers slightly away from tradition. Think about it, there was a time when you would gag at the thought of ice-cream and bacon and now you’re at least tempted to try it, if you haven’t already. Here are two more combinations you’ll be tempted to try:


1. Avocado and Coffee

The avocado and coffee shake is said to have originated in Indonesia, where avocado grows in such abundance that it is often used in desserts. Try the Avocado-Coffee Milkshake. You’ll be pleasantly surprised. This is a simple yet bold combination that is sweet and creamy. Because avocado has a discreet taste it will not overpower the shake but blend into it to create a wonderful exotic fusion.


2. Strawberries and cheese

If you’ve never had strawberry jam and cheese, you’ve been missing out on one of life’s greatest pleasures. We all know that strawberry cheesecake is amazing, but when served as a savory dish the combination of sweet strawberry and tangy cheese is surprisingly delightful.

Instead of the traditional strawberry flavored cheese desserts, try the combination of cheese and strawberry’s in a wrap or sandwich and listen as your taste buds sing your praises.


3. Olive and White chocolate

Who would have thought that? This duo takes the term ‘bittersweet’ to a new level. There are quite a few people who will attest to the pleasant taste of white chocolate and black olives.

Perhaps it’s the combination of sweet and savory or sweet and sour that works so well here. You can try it yourself and decide what the allure of this combination is with a White Chocolate Mousse with black Olives recipe

or the White Chocolate and Olives Panini


There are laws of nature which prevent certain species of animals from interacting with each other. This is mainly because certain animals are naturally inclined to have other certain animals for dinner (or to simply challenge each other to a fight). But stories of interspecies relationships are growing increasingly popular, proving that there are hardly any barriers for bonding when it really comes down to it. We could certainly learn a lot from animals.

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4. Cats and Dogs

The saying “fighting like cats and dogs” comes from the premise that cats and dogs just do not get along.

However, there are many cats and dogs living under one roof that have formed lasting friendships. Just like the relationship between two people from different backgrounds, cats and dogs only speak different languages, which may cause a barrier. Once they learn to overcome this, they quickly become friends.

5. Lions, Tigers and Bears

Years ago during a drug bust, a lion, tiger and bear were rescued in Atlanta, USA. Although this trio would never normally get along in the wild, they live in perfect harmony at the Noah’s Ark Sanctuary in Georgia

They bonded as cubs and were probably brought closer by their ordeal. They are now inseparable, having no idea that out in the wild they may be sworn enemies. Theirs is an inspiring tale about how not knowing your differences can collapse barriers.


6. Cats that love water

We all know what happens when you try to mix cats with water but take a look at these cats who teach us not to stereotype.


Fashion is a perspective. What we choose to adorn ourselves with should be of personal preference. Yet there are so many rules around it that change every so often (depending on who it is that makes or breaks them). We shouldn’t have to be told what to wear. If you think that a combination of brown and blue looks great, or that red and pink are the hottest combinations or that polka dots and triangles are a dashing combination, hey, that’s your prerogative.


7. Black and Navy

There is an argument against matching dark colors. When we really take that into consideration we can all agree that following a fashion rule just because someone was annoyed with dark colors seems unreasonable.

There are many great, defiant examples that prove that black and navy do, in fact, go well together.


8. Mixed Patterns

One of fashions biggest no no’s is mixing patterns. Well, allegedly. It has long been generally accepted that one’s outfits should never be too busy (a rule made by minimalists). But fashion is a personality. Ladies, if your personality is colorful, work it Guys, if your personality is bold and busy, wear it.

There is no limit to how fashionable you can be when you allow yourself to be comfortable and creative with your own sense of style. The only rule of fashion should be: Don’t wear anything you can’t walk, see or breathe in.



We often separate ourselves based on the types of entertainment we enjoy. We allow our music to influence our social status and vice versa. For instance we might mentally place jazz lovers in smoky bars ordering whisky using impeccable English and think of ballet dancers as young females from suburban areas who walk on their toes and use Prancercise as a workout routine. If we opened our minds, we would realize that many of the things that we separate actually do go well together. There is no quicker way to dispel the labels we assign to things than by incorporating them with our own ideas.

Sometimes magic is made, not by just setting aside differences, but by bringing those differences together and fusing them.

9. Fusion Dance: Hip Hop and Jazz

Hip hop and Jazz may seem like they are from opposite sides of the track – one being sophisticated and the other being street. However, these two genres make an amazing collaboration, whether in music or in dance.

The combination is evidence that two seemingly different schools of thought have the ability to become even stronger when melded into one.

10. Musical Mashups: Staying Alive by the Bee Gees meets The Wall by Pink Floyd

This is only one of many songs that have been combined to come up with an even more amazing sound without taking anything away from the original songs.

You can check out the rest of the song mashups here.

Combinations can seem tricky and unappealing when we’ve already dismissed them because of our traditional beliefs. However, when you open yourself up to exploring the taboo and the unusual, you realize just how much there is to know and how many myths out there are worth busting.

- The Jetstream Team


Chitrangada Sharan from New Delhi, India on August 17, 2013:

Very innovative and interesting hub!

I like combining the opposites and I enjoyed going through your hub. The black and white dress looks great.

Thanks for sharing this interesting hub! Voted up!

Chace from Charlotte, NC on August 16, 2013:

This is cool. People think I'm weird because I love chocolate milk and popcorn together. I think tons of these things really DO go together! I love the picture of the cat enjoying his shower. :)

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