Joanna Gaines Almost Went Out With Husband Chip's Roommate Instead

Former HGTV stars Chip and Joanna Gaines have been married since 2003 and share five adorable children. Over the course of their relationship, the celebrity couple has made big moves in the home renovation industry. It all started with "Fixer Upper," the hit reality show that catapulted them to stardom and made the Gaines a household name. 

After that, the couple's Magnolia empire expanded to include a market, a Waco-based bed and breakfast called Magnolia House, and a Target line, to name just a few, furthering their meteoric rise. Throughout it all, they've made fans laugh, cry, and smile along with their delightful antics, tender flirtations, and unscripted look at family life. 

So it may come as a surprise that Chip and Joanna, and their adorable brood, almost weren't to be. In fact, at one point early in their relationship, Joanna faced a tough choice between Chip and his roommate. Thankfully, everything worked out.

Joanna and 'Hot John' had a brief dalliance

Joanna Gaines regaled host Jimmy Fallon on "The Tonight Show Starring Jimmy Fallon" with the story of how she initially had her sights set on Chip Gaines' roommate, a mysterious man referred to as "Hot John," before her now-husband was in the picture. While working at her father's Waco-based tire shop (one of the Gaines' many odd jobs before they found fame), "Hot John" was deemed the most attractive customer. As such, he was someone Joanna's co-workers wanted to set her up with. But, naturally, even her matchmaking associates couldn't disrupt fate. 

As Joanna recalled, "I walk towards the waiting room and John and I make eye contact. But I'm not really gifted in any conversation. And so, instead of going to the waiting room, I walk straight outside, like I was going to take a smoke break or something." She walked right out those doors and straight into Chip, "Hot John's" roommate, who quipped, "Unlike her, I'm incredible at eye contact. I always have a one-liner planned for any occasion where you might meet one of the most beautiful women on the planet." 

Whatever he said or did must have persuaded Chip's future wife to move away from the quintessentially "tall, dark, and handsome" John, and into his "shorter, redder and frumpier," but loving embrace. Nearly two decades later, the lovebirds are still head over heels for each other.

There was another bump in the road

Apparently, Chip Gaines' good-looking roommate wasn't the only thing that almost derailed his and Joanna Gaines' iconic relationship. Shortly after they met at the tire shop and began dating, Chip was embroiled in three different businesses, as he wrote in his memoir "Capital Gaines: Smart Things I Learned Doing Stupid Stuff." To be able to better converse with his crew, who were mostly Hispanic, Chip booked a trip to Mexico for a three-month intensive Spanish language program. 

Joanna, a loving girlfriend, was totally on board and even offered to help run things while he was away — that is until checks started bouncing and employees were angrily banging on her door looking to be paid. It turned out Joanna was way better at bookkeeping than Chip. She found herself in a position where, with the help of her father, she was forced to bail out Chip by paying his employees properly, and on time. 

Her kindness came with an ultimatum though; he had three days to return to Waco, or it was over. The industrious Chip met the deadline and then some, apologizing to Joanna and her dad with a heartbreaking look and a "mission to prove to Jo, my parents, her parents, and myself that I could do this — that I was the real deal and I wouldn't stop until I made this entrepreneurial dream of mine a reality," (via Today). We'd say he did a pretty good job, all things considered.