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Sometimes romantic, sometimes contentious, but always memorable, these TV pairings made us swoon. What makes a great TV couple? Is it two actors having great chemistry? The characters making one another better people? Or honestly just looking really, really good together? More often than not, it's a combination of factors that makes a fictional twosome so captivating—something between them just clicks!
And that's certainly the case with these 50 beloved TV couples. We went through the annals of pop culture history to choose pairings that broke ground on television, and gave viewers something to cheer for each and every week. Because that's what episodic love is all about, right? The multiethnic couple broke ground on television, but it wasn't an easy road. Boy, were they wrong. Lucy and Ricky quickly won audiences' hearts. In fact, more than 70 percent of TV viewers in the country tuned in to see them welcome their fictional son in The series not only changed the course of television, but it made audiences laugh week after week for six years.
There are three versions of Friday Night Lights : the nonfiction book by Buzz Bissinger , the film adaptation by Peter Berg , and the television series also by Berg inspired by the film. But the couple at the center of the third iteration—Coach Eric Taylor Kyle Chandler and Tami Taylor Connie Britton —is what really stuck with fans, thanks to their love as big as the great state of Texas. These two, whose story was set in the late '60s and early '70s, exemplified everything pure and magical about coming-of-age romance.
Kevin and Winnie were two kids who grew up as neighbors and, despite naively promising to be together no matter what, ended up going their separate ways, challenging viewers to live with that reality. For nearly the entirety of the s , audiences were entertained by the antics of Archie and Edith Bunker on the Norman Lear series All in the Family.
Archie Carroll O'Connor was frequently referred to as a "lovable bigot" who was struggling to handle the constantly changing world around him. Edith Jean Stapleton , on the other hand, had a huge heart and—despite being a bit ditzy—often delivered nuggets of wisdom. These two were the definition of the mantra "opposites attract. This spin-off of All in the Family centered on George Sherman Hemsley and Louise Jefferson Isabel Sanford , once neighbors of Archie and Edith, who we saw "movin' on up" from a working class neighborhood in Queens to a "de-luxe apartment" in Manhattan.
The Jeffersons was the first series to depict a successful black family, paving the way for others like it. George and Louise had a similar relationship to that of Archie and Edith. While both women were kind counterparts to their loud-mouthed husbands, Louise stood her ground and proved that she could go toe-to-toe more so than Edith did. At the end of the day, though, George and Louise loved each other, and they made history on one of the longest-running American series with a primarily black cast. Many Friends fans champion the on-again, off-again relationship between Ross and Rachel.
But we'd say the show's truly iconic relationship is the far more reliable pairing of Monica Courteney Cox and Chandler Matthew Perry. Type-A Monica and irrepressible goof Chandler couldn't have been more different. But after a seasons-long slow build, they ended up getting together and in rare sitcom form staying together.
Their relationship continued to challenge expectations: Monica was the one who proposed to Chandler a welcome reversal of gender stereotypes , and they adopted kids twins, in this case. This TV couple showed us that sometimes the love of your life can actually be your best friend.
The Simpsons is the longest-running scripted primetime series in U. Plus, the show is still going strong, and shows no s of stopping any time soon! Homer and Marge have always been there for their three kids—Bart Nancy Cartwright , Lisa Yeardley Smith , and Maggie—proving to be a dysfunctional-yet-caring nuclear family unit.
Homer can be a bit of a crude buffoon, while Marge is often the voice of reason even though she can be flawed at times, too. Their bond shows that no marriage is perfect but, given time and patience, bumps along the way can be smoothed out. Fun fact: These two lovebirds were named after series creator Matt Groening 's own parents, making this decades-long TV bond that much more special.
When it comes to tried-and-true lessons in television, look no further than Moonlighting. The s series notoriously proved that there's nowhere for a show to go after its will-they-or-won't-they pairing decides that they, in fact, will. That's what happened with the private detectives of Blue Moon Detective Agency, Maddie Cybill Shepherd and David Bruce Willis , whose sexual tension had fans on the edge of their seats for years. When they decided to finally start dating in Season 4, audience interest faded.
But they'd be a safe pick. Calzona—as fans call Callie and Arizona's romance—is far more compelling. Their storylines included Callie's later-in-life coming out, Arizona becoming an amputee after a tragic plane crash, becoming moms, and figuring out how to co-parent post-divorce. With adorable nicknames for each other like Marshmallow and Lilypad, what's not to love? While the whole show was ostensibly focused on Ted Josh Radnor telling the story of how he met the mother of his children, these side characters were where the real romance was at. College sweethearts Marshall and Lily got engaged in the pilot episode, married at the end of Season 2—after some time apart—and welcomed their son, Marvin, in Season 7, and daughter, Daisy, in Season 9.
The series finale mentioned an unnamed third child, too. Though they certainly had their contentious moments, their adorable behavior with each other always won us over. One of the best things about perky and energetic public servant Leslie Knope Amy Poehler is that—when she finally met the love of her life, Ben Wyatt Adam Scott —she didn't let it dull her shine.
In fact, Ben supported Leslie, helping her chase her dreams and explore what she was most passionate about. It was a switching up of old-fashioned gender roles that doesn't happen often enough on television. For these two Parks and Recreation characters, it was never about drama, which is why they were able to thrive after the show's creators let the audience know there would be no will-they-or-won't-they tension.
Their relationship was about challenging each other, nurturing each other, and helping each other thrive. It was the purest kind of love we've ever seen on TV. Anyone who caught an episode of ER's first five seasons could tell you that Carol Julianna Margulies was going to fall in love with Doug George Clooney.
Even though Margulies still had a year left in her contract, Clooney left the show after Season 5—but not for good. The actor pulled off one of the biggest, most unforgettable surprises in television history. You know the one: when Doug shows up in a Seattle home with Carol at the tail end of Season 6, Margulies' last season.
And then, of course, the couple showed up again years later in the series finale, giving fans closure and assuring them this match made in heaven stood strong. But there's one obvious difference: Cory and Topanga wound up together at the end of the series, and even returned years later in a spin-off— Girl Meets World —along with a family of their own. Like Kevin and Winnie, though, these two were each other's first kiss and first crush.
They came of age together—from middle school to high school, from college to adulthood—winning the hearts of the audience along the way. Through their ups and downs, Cory and Topanga showed us that true love is meant to be fought for. But they lived across the country in the L. But they also learned about class differences and racism from their nephew, who was—as you may recall—born and raised in West Philadelphia. Just to reinforce how connected these characters were to the Jeffersons, George and Louise showed up to buy the Banks mansion in the series finale.
Even though the show featured a plane crash, a smoke monster, mind-bending time skips, a cadre of crazy scientists, and, oh, 46 other main characters, these two lovebirds stood out to fans. Despite mounting tension, we couldn't help but be touched when Sun gave Jin a phrasebook and their walls came down at the end of the first season.
Then, in the final season, they tragically died together in a sinking submarine, choosing one another even though it meant a certain death. The other couples on Lost don't even come close to this pair. Willow began as a shy and timid high schooler, but we saw the character blossom into a powerful witch after coupling up with Tara in college. Though Tara met her tragic end in Season 6, witnessing Willow go evil as a result was one of the most expertly-crafted dramatic turns of the entire series.
Randall Sterling K. The show's unique structure has assured fans that the duo will make it no matter what, as they're still happily together in flash-forwards. Knowing that allows viewers to watch them without any feelings of foreboding doom. But while we may know where Randall and Beth end up, the joy is in watching them get there. Fans of Gilmore Girls often focus on the numerous love interests of Rory Alexis Bledel , but it was really Lorelai Lauren Graham who had the truly iconic romance.
The mother-daughter duo's relationship is the cornerstone of the series—no one in their right mind would deny that—but it's impossible to ignore the spark that existed between Lorelai and Luke Scott Patterson. Sorry, Rory! These two were admirable sparring partners, with the coffee-loving and fast-talking Lorelai acting as a grounding force for the curmudgeonly Luke, best known for wearing flannel, a backwards baseball cap, and a permanent scowl.
Luke was originally only supposed to be in the pilot episode—and was going to be a woman! What started out as a mutual crush and flirtation blossomed into a beautiful romance by the end of The Office. Jim John Krasinski and Pam Jenna Fischer had countless cute moments—from every time Jim came over to Pam's reception desk, to when Pam drunkenly kissed Jim after the Dundies at Chili's, to how Jim proposed to Pam at a gas station in the pouring rain, to getting married on the Maid of the Mist boat in Niagara Falls.
There's definitely a reason why online dating bios to this day say things like, "Looking for a Jim to my Pam. Sure, the married couple slept in separate beds, but the series was somehow able to convey that this was a vibrant young couple who absolutely adored each other. On top of that, you had two of the biggest names in show business playing love interests, keeping fans tuning in week after week to see the Petries take on whatever life threw at them as a team—something that wasn't necessarily the norm in the s.
They even had the honor of being called "TV's most glamorous and stylish sitcom couple" by Vulture. Seeing these characters living their lives has been nothing short of groundbreaking. And to top it off, they are portrayed as parents after adopting a daughter, Lily Aubrey Anderson-Emmons. Here's the story of a lovely couple who blended their families and, most importantly, grew together.
We are, of course, talking about Mike Robert Reed and Carol Brady Florence Henderson , the man with three sons and the woman with three daughters who—along with their maid, Alice Ann B. Davis —tackled life's many growing pains. Most of all, this was the family that the latchkey kids came home to every day after school, the family we could always count on.
I mean, she ordered Chinese food so often, the restaurant knew her name and order by heart.Looking for the best couples ever
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The 50 Best TV Couples of All Time That *Truly* Define Relationship Goals