10 Worst TV Couples That Should Never Have Happened

10 Worst TV Couples That Should Never Have Happened

Summary

  • Some TV couples should never have been together due to a lack of chemistry or being mismatched from the start.
  • Romantic relationships between characters can be the most compelling plot points, but they need to be timed correctly to maintain tension.
  • Red flags in relationships can be evident from the beginning, and as a show ages, it becomes clear that certain pairings wouldn’t be acceptable today.


Some TV couples are easy to root for, and some shouldn’t have been together at all. When a show runs for many seasons, it’s hard to come up with new pairings for the main cast, and this can lead to romantic relationships between characters that have no chemistry or were not meant to be together. Two characters might have great chemistry and a wonderful friendship, but this doesn’t mean they should be together. Additionally, there can be red flags in these relationships from the start, and as the show ages, it’s clear that these pair-ups wouldn’t be on TV today.

The romantic entanglements between characters can be the most compelling plot points in a series. Viewers will often root for their favorite characters to get together and hold on to the hopes that they will end up happy at the end of the series. However, a series mustn’t put characters together too early, or it will ruin the tension and force the writers to think up ways for the characters to stay apart until it makes sense for the story. This can lead to characters being with the exact opposite of their true love on the show.

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10 Joey & Rachel – Friends (1994 – 2004)

Another obstacle to Rachel & Ross being together

Rachel and Joey sitting on a couch in Friends

Friends

Release Date
September 22, 1994

Seasons
10

Story By
Marta Kauffman

Writers
David Crane , Marta Kauffman

Directors
David Crane , Marta Kauffman

Showrunner
Marta Kauffman

Rachel (Jennifer Aniston) and Ross (David Schwimmer) were meant to be together and were in the series finale. Though their relationship did have its problems, that doesn’t mean Rachel should have been with Joey (Matt LeBlanc). Joey and Rachel were a fun dynamic on the show in terms of friendship and having adventures together, but Rachel and Joey were doomed from the start.

Seeing them grow closer after Rachel had her baby should have been a platonic development of their friendship. Instead, the producers of Friends knew it was still too early for Rachel and Ross to get back together, so they made Joey the obstacle that would keep them apart. The romance between them was short-lived, and they are regarded as one of the worst couples on the show.

9 Jackie & Fez – That ’70s Show (1998 – 2006)

The show was out of pair-up ideasJackie and Fez in That '70s Show

That ’70s Show

Release Date
August 23, 1998

Cast
Topher Grace , Laura Prepon , Mila Kunis , Ashton Kutcher , Wilmer Valderrama , Debra Jo Rupp , Kurtwood Smith , Danny Masterson

Rating
TV-14

Seasons
8

Story By
Mark Brazill, Bonnie Turner, Terry Turner

Writers
Mark Brazill , Bonnie Turner , Terry Turner

Network
FOX

Directors
David Trainer , Terry Hughes

Showrunner
Gregg Mettler

The relationship between Jacke (Mila Kunis) and Fez (Wilmer Valderrama) is an example of a show being in its final season, and wanting to add drama for the sake of drama. Fez had been infatuated with Jackie throughout the show’s run, but Jackie had shown time and again that she was not interested and only saw him as a friend. Despite this, The ’70s Show teased the couple throughout season 8 and had them kiss in the last episode of the series. The creators knew this was a mistake and brought Jackie and Kelso (Ashton Kutcher) back together in the reboot, That ’90s Show.

8 Izzie & George – Grey’s Anatomy (2005 – )

Not even Izzie and George wanted this to happen

Grey’s Anatomy

Release Date
March 27, 2005

Cast
Kelly McCreary , Patrick Dempsey , Kevin McKidd , Chandra Wilson , Jesse Williams , Jake Borelli , camilla luddington , Ellen Pompeo , Chyler Leigh , Eric Dane , Caterina Scorsone , Giacomo Gianniotti , Anthony Hill , Kate Walsh , Justin Chambers , Sarah Drew , Greg Germann , Martin Henderson , Katherine Heigl , T.R. Knight , Sara Ramirez , Jerrika Hinton , Richard Flood , Sandra Oh , Kim Raver , Jason George , Tessa Ferrer , Isaiah Washington , James Pickens Jr. , Gaius Charles , Chris Carmack , Brooke Smith , Jessica Capshaw

Seasons
19

Story By
shonda rhimes

Writers
Shonda Rhimes , Julie Wong , Jen Klein , Tameson Duffy , Meg Marinis

Directors
Rob Corn , Kevin McKidd , Debbie Allen , Chandra Wilson , Allison Liddi-Brown , Jeannot Szwarc , Tony Phelan

Showrunner
Meg Marinis

Izzie (Katherine Heigl) and George (T. R. Knight) have some of the worst romantic luck on Grey’s Anatomy. However, their platonic friendship was one of the best parts of the series, and saw each of them consistently be there when the other person needed them. It makes no sense that the show would put them together, especially because their relationship began with George cheating on Callie (Sara Ramirez) with Izzie. The two sacrificed so much to be together, only to quickly realize they made no sense together, and to call it quits.

7 Cece & Coach – New Girl (2011 – 2018)

Cece was always meant to be with Schmidt

Cece and Coach at a basketball game in New Girl

New Girl

Release Date
September 20, 2011

Cast
Zooey Deschanel , Max Greenfield , Hannah Simone , Damon Wayans Jr. , Lamorne Morris , Jake Johnson

Rating
TV-14

Seasons
7

Distributor
20th Television

Writers
Elizabeth Meriwether

Network
FOX

Showrunner
Elizabeth Meriwether

Coach (Damon Wayans Jr.) was a short-lived character on New Girl, but he had good chemistry with the main cast, except for Cece (Hannah Simone). Unfortunately, because Cece and Schmidt (Max Greenfield) were not together while Coach was on the show, this meant the writers attempted to put the characters together to add tension and make Schmidt jealous. While it did make Schmidt jealous, it also made both Cece and Coach uncomfortable due to their clear lack of chemistry, and the fact that Cece was still in love with Schmidt.

Related

New Girl: 5 Reasons Cece And Schmidt Were Meant To Be (& 5 They Weren’t)

Cece And Schmidt had a rocky road throughout New Girl, but they got a happy ending. In some ways, they were perfect. But in others, not so much.

6 Ann & Tom – Parks And Recreation (2009 – 2015)

Two people with opposite personality types

Tom and Ann laughing together in Parks and Recreation

Parks and Recreation

Release Date
April 9, 2009

Cast
Amy Poehler , Nick Offerman , ​Chris Pratt2 , Aubrey Plaza , Adam Scott , Rashida Jones , Retta , Jim O’Heir , Aziz Ansari , Rob Lowe

Genres
Sitcom , Comedy , Mockumentary

Seasons
7

Story By
Michael Schur, Michael offerman

Writers
Michael Schur , Nick Offerman

Streaming Service(s)
fuboTV , Peacock

Directors
Michael Schur

Showrunner
Michael Schur

Tom (Aziz Ansari) was a notorious flirt on Parks and Recreation and would frequently hit on Ann (Rashida Jones) despite her not reciprocating these feelings. However, in season 4, Leslie (Amy Poehler) attempts to make her friends happy by setting them up. Although the first date doesn’t go as badly as expected, the rest of their relationship is played for comic relief.

They move in together in season 5 because of a bet, but quickly break up and fake the relationship because they hate each other so much. Unfortunately, there was no chance that this fake dating was going to turn into a real romance, Ann and Tom were too different. No one took this relationship seriously, and creators and viewers alike were waiting for the characters to be with people they genuinely liked.

5 Ted & Robin – How I Met Your Mother (2005 – 2014)

Great friends, but not partners

How I Met Your Mother

Release Date
September 19, 2005

Seasons
9

Story By
Carter Bays; Craig Thomas; Rob Greenberg

Writers
Carter Bays , Craig Thomas

Directors
Carter Bays

Showrunner
Craig Thomas

Though Barney (Neil Patrick Harris) and Robin (Cobie Smulders) get married in the final season of How I Met Your Mother, it’s Ted (Josh Radnor) and Robin that end up together in the final episode. In a shocking twist, it’s revealed in Ted’s story that his wife and mother of his children, Tracy (Cristin Milioti), has died and that Barney and Robin got divorced. Ted’s children urge him to go to Robin and get back together with her.

He does, and it seems that Robin is Ted’s final relationship in the show. Despite the entire series being about Ted finding Tracy, the show backpedals on its promise of her being Ted’s one true love by having him be with Robin instead. Ted and Robin worked hard throughout the series to get over each other and grow as friends. They had different goals in life and wanted different things, but they ended up together anyway.

4 Willow & Kennedy – Buffy The Vampire Slayer (1997 – 2003)

Tara was Willow’s soulmate

Willow and Kennedy in Buffy the Vampire Slayer

Buffy The Vampire Slayer

Release Date
March 10, 1997

Cast
Sarah Michelle Gellar , Nicholas Brendon , Alyson Hannigan , Charisma Carpenter , Dan Rubin , David Boreanaz , Seth Green , James Marsters

Seasons
7

Story By
joss whedon

Streaming Service(s)
Hulu , Disney+

Tara (Amber Benson) was Willow’s (Alyson Hannigan) true love on Buffy The Vampire Slayer. Part of Willow’s development as a character is due to her love for Tara and her reaction to Tara’s death. In season 7, when Willow meets Kennedy (Iyari Limon), the wounds of Tara’s death are still too fresh and Willow has a lot of healing to do.

Additionally, their relationship was not as organic as Willow and Tara’s. Kennedy and Willow were trapped in the same house, tensions were high, and both of them were emotionally vulnerable. While it’s understandable that they would take comfort in each other, they did not have the foundation for a lasting relationship.

3 Blair & Dan – Gossip Girl (2007 – 2012)

A love for old movies, not each other

Blair and Dan standing together in Gossip Girl

Blair (Leighton Meester) is one of the characters on Gossip Girl that was the hardest on Dan (Penn Badgley) and makes it the most difficult for him to enter the Upper East Side social circle. Part of the reason Dan wanted to enter at all was because he was in love with Serena (Blake Lively). However, after many years of betrayals and different dating combinations within the group, Dan and Blair end up dating.

No one on the show understood this pair, and both Serena and Chuck (Ed Westwick), Blair’s true love, were left on the sidelines while Dan and Blair tried to make it work. Although Dan and Blair had some of the best quotes on Gossip Girl, their relationship was doomed from the start. No one was sorry when they couldn’t make it work and ended up with other people.

2 Jenny & Shane – The L Word (2004 – 2009)

Roommates to lovers doesn’t work

Jenny and Shane about to kiss in The L Word

The L Word

Release Date
January 1, 2004

Cast
Katherine Moennig , Jennifer Beals

Seasons
6

Jenny (Mia Kirshner) and Shane (Katherine Moennig) are one of the best pairs of friends on The L Word and one of the worst romantic relationships. As friends, they stand by each other even after questionable decisions and help each other grow throughout the series. However, in the final season, the arc of their romantic relationship felt worse than forced. It was a major misstep in the development of both characters. Both prone to unhealthy dynamics in relationships, Jenny and Shane did nothing but hurt each other.

Related

The L Word: 5 Best Couples (And 5 Worst)

The L Word had some couples fans simply couldn’t get enough of, but there were certainly others that everyone would like to forget ever happened.

1 Aria & Ezra – Pretty Little Liars (2010 – 2017)

An inappropriate age difference, and too much betrayal

Pretty Little Liars

Release Date
June 8, 2010

Cast
Troian Bellisario , Ashley Benson , Holly Marie Combs , Lucy Hale , Bianca Lawson , Laura Leighton , Chad Lowe , Shay Mitchell , Nia Peeples , Ian Harding

Rating
TV-14

Seasons
7

Story By
Sara Shepard

Writers
Ina Marlene King

Franchise(s)
Pretty Little Liars

Showrunner
Ina Marlene King

There’s no defense for the relationship between Aria (Lucy Hale) and Ezra (Ian Harding). She was a minor when they started dating, and he was her teacher, which created an immense and inexcusable difference in power and experience. Additionally, in season 4, it’s revealed that Ezra knew who Aria was when they first met, that she was underage, and had sought her and her friends out to finish the book he was writing about Alison (Sasha Pieterse). It’s unbelievable that they still ended up together and got married, but it’s safe to say there won’t be another relationship like this on TV any time soon.

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