tv couples best worst

A Definitive Ranking Of Fictional Couples On Teen TV Shows

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Anyone else get more invested in fictional couples on teen TV shows than in their own love lives? Just me? Never mind.

I love watching TV and rooting for a couple. The kind of couple like Seth and Summer, who constantly break up but you know they belong together. However, not every TV couple should make it work. For every Pacey and Joey or Chuck and Blair, there’s a Dean and Rory or Riley and Buffy. While some TV couples are made for each other, there are plenty that just straight-up sucked.

It’s time to rank the fictional couples from teen TV shows from worst to absolute best:

#42. Dean & Rory, Gilmore Girls

Dean and Rory are the worst. He was a terrible boyfriend to Rory, she was a terrible girlfriend to Dean. They were not remotely compatible and she was always going to dump his ass for Jess.

#41. Jaime & Cersei, Game Of Thrones

THEY WERE BROTHER AND SISTER. Yes, I’m aware that I placed Dean and Rory lower than two actual sexed-up siblings but I stand by it.

#40. Chris & Angie, Skins

WTAF. This was so wrong on so many levels, mainly that an adult teacher shouldn’t be sleeping with a teenager. Also, Chris was always meant to be with Jal.

#39. Dawson & Joey, Dawson’s Creek

Yuck! These two had zero sexual chemistry and despite Dawson’s straight-up obsession with Joey, she was always destined to end up with Pacey.

#38. Riley & Buffy, Buffy The Vampire Slayer

BORING. Riley was the worst of Buffy’s boyfriends, not just because he’s extremely dull and lacked any sex appeal, but he was threatened by Buffy’s abilities and that’s no way to treat the slayer.

#37. Lucas & Peyton, One Tree Hill

These two were just a mess. The fact that they got together when Lucas was supposed to be dating Peyton’s bestie Brooke is just one of the many reasons that I never rooted for this couple.

#36. Dan & Serena, Gossip Girl

Dan and Serena are two of the worst characters on Gossip Girl, so while they probably deserved each other, they just didn’t make sense as a couple. Dan resented everything Serena represented and their constant will they/won’t they storylines got tiresome beyond season one.

#35. Ryan & Marissa, The O.C.

Another couple we were supposed to be rooting for but were actually deeply problematic. Marissa’s dependency on Ryan was too much, and he was constantly having to rescue her from all sorts of messy situations. That’s not a healthy relationship dynamic.

#34. Ted & Robin, How I Met Your Mother

Not only did Ted never deserve anyone as good as Robin, he pursued her nonstop while she showed zero interest and when they were together they were extremely smug and annoying.

#33. Derek & Meredith, Grey’s Anatomy

We’ve already established that Derek was the worst, and the way he treated Meredith was absolutely disgusting. He slut-shamed her, he took her for granted, oh and he got with her while still married to Addison.

#32. Christopher & Lorelai, Gilmore Girls

While the early seasons of Gilmore Girls made it seem like Christopher and Lorelai might have been endgame, they lacked sexual chemistry. As friends they were great, but I never felt the same romantic vibe as what Lorelai had with Luke.

#31. Angel & Buffy, Buffy The Vampire Slayer

Angel sucks. Figuratively and literally. The vampire with a soul brings nothing but heartbreak to Buffy’s life. After losing her virginity to him, he turned evil and that’s just not a good time for any young girl. These two had way more lows than highs throughout the three seasons Angel was on the show.

#30. Adam & Hannah, Girls

Hannah is hard to tolerate at the best of times and while Adam could handle her better than most, they never seemed to bring out the best in each other.

#29. J.D. & Elliot, Scrubs

I do not understand these two. In season one they were great together, but as the seasons ticked by the two of them didn’t seem to be romantically connected at all. They even had a conversation confirming they had no interest in one another, so it just didn’t make sense at all when they ended up together in the season eight finale.

#28. Ross & Rachel, Friends

I love the idea of Ross and Rachel together much more than the reality of when they were together on the show, which shockingly was only for one season across the series’ ten years on air. However, I will acknowledge that they have a lot of chemistry — definitely much more than Rachel and Joey ever had *shivers*.

#27. Jughead & Betty, Riverdale

Jughead and Betty are the glue that holds the entire Riverdale shitshow together. Sure, they are cute together but I also kind of feel like their relationship has run its course…kind of like Cole Sprouse and Lili Reinhart, who are rumoured to have recently split.

#26. Brittany & Santana, Glee

This is the only couple from Glee to make it on the list because honestly, who TF cares about anyone other than Brittany and Santana. The cheerleader besties-turned-girlfriends started dating in high school and ended up getting married in the series’ final season.

#25. Sid & Cassie, Skins

Every couple on Skins is fucked up in some way, but Sid and Cassie are the closest we ever got to a genuine connection. While constantly off/on again, they were extremely sweet when they were together — but that wasn’t often.

#24. Jess & Rory, Gilmore Girls

Ooft. Where do I begin? I love the idea of Jess and Rory together on paper. They both love reading, they look cute-as-hell as a pairing, and their union brings Lorelai and Luke even closer together. But Jess did not treat Rory like his girlfriend or, well, like a decent human being.

#23. Logan & Rory, Gilmore Girls

I’m not saying that Logan and Rory had a perfect relationship, but it was better than Jess and Rory’s. Rory was at her happiest when she was with Logan and he was the only Gilmore Girls boyfriend to stay in her life until the series’ revival. That being said, Logan could be self-entitled and arrogant at times, oh and he low-key cheated on Rory.

#22. Spike & Buffy, Buffy The Vampire Slayer

Hot, hot, hot!! What Angel and Buffy lacked in sexual chemistry, Spike and Buffy more than filled that gap. These two were so sexy together and Spike proved how much he loved Buffy time and time again — even getting his soul back to win her over. Sadly, she didn’t feel the same. Is she blind?!?

#21. Jim & Pam, The Office

While The Office’s cutest couple were extremely adorable in the early days, as each season rolled on Jim and Pam as a couple got kind of boring and predictable. Still, the moment when they first got together was beyond cute.

#20. Marshall & Lily, How I Met Your Mother

Marshall and Lily are the OG couple on HIMYM and were made for each other. They’re not the most exciting couple to watch but the show wouldn’t be the same without them.

#19. Maya & Emily, Pretty Little Liars

Not only was Maya supportive of Emily and helped her come out, she was the one girlfriend who didn’t try to manipulate Emily, lie to her, or drown her (*cough*, Paige, *cough*). Let’s all agree Maya deserved better and if A didn’t get her, it would’ve been Maya and Emily at the end, not Emily and Alison.

#18. Jake & Santiago, Brooklyn Nine-Nine

Whether Jake and Santiago would realise they’re perfect for each other and finally get together was the question that loomed over every episode of Brooklyn Nine-Nine. This eventually culminated in their wedding in season five which was sweet and hilarious.

#17. Captain Holt & Kevin, Brooklyn Nine-Nine

I’ve always been much more invested in Captain Holt and his husband Kevin, the series’ longterm relationship running in the background of all the messy antics of NYPD’s 99th precinct. Their old married couple banter and bickering is always endlessly entertaining.

#16. Andy & April, Parks & Recreation

Andy met his match in April in the first season of Parks and Recreation and the two were inseparable ever since. They are equally bonkers and obviously made for each other.

#15. Schmidt & Cece, New Girl

Schmidt and Cece perfectly balance each other out and Cece appreciates all (and I mean ALL) of Schmidt’s eccentricities. I just LOVE them.

#14. Turk & Carla, Scrubs

The only couple on Scrubs worth watching imho. Turk and Carla are a hilarious team and we don’t deserve them.

#13. Barney & Robin, How I Met Your Mother

This might be controversial but JUST HEAR ME OUT. Barney and Robin were perfect together. They complimented each other and should have been endgame. Barney having a daughter in the finale rather than finding a romantic connection (you can’t have both?) made no sense. Neither did Ted ending up with Robin, after she had rejected him several times for Barney. Robin loved Barney. Barney loved Robin. THEY SHOULD HAVE ENDED UP TOGETHER, OK!!

#12. Nathan & Hayley, One Tree Hill

The sweetest and most wholesome couple ever. Naley forever.

#11. Coach Eric & Tami, Friday Night Lights

It was hard to pick any couple from Friday Night Lights to go on this list as the series is so upsetting and traumatic, but I just couldn’t get past Coach Eric and Tami. These two made me believe in love and provided a pillar of strength for the entire community of Dillon, Texas.

#10. Ben & Leslie, Parks & Recreation

There isn’t a more perfect match than Ben and Leslie. No one deserves true love more than Leslie Knope and Ben was the perfect supportive boyfriend. Every strong woman deserves a partner who gives them head massages while they give a speech.

#9. Jon & Ygritte, Game Of Thrones

When it comes to Game of Thrones, the series doesn’t showcase many healthy relationships. But Jon and Ygritte were the closest the series’ ever got to true love. And please don’t come back at me with Khal Drogo and Daenerys, a union that began with rape. Absolutely not.

#8. Patrick & David, Schitt’s Creek

I would die for Patrick and David. The Schitt’s Creek scene where David sings Tina Turner’s ‘The Best’ to Patrick at open mic night is the only time I’ve felt human emotion.

#7. Chandler & Monica, Friends

Some of the best relationships are ones that start between two best friends, which is exactly why Chandler and Monica work so well together. Also, the fact that they started dating after randomly hooking up at a wedding is super relatable.

#6. Nick & Jess, New Girl

Despite dating other people for most of the series, Nick and Jess always gravitated back to each other. When they’re together, they’re a bit of a mess but you can’t help but hope they eventually get their shit together and commit to one another.

And that first kiss moment? Earth-shattering!

#5. Luke & Lorelai, Gilmore Girls

THESE TWO. While Rory might have struggled finding the right guy for her, Lorelai’s was always standing right in front of her, well, behind the bench at Luke’s Diner. Lorelai and Luke’s banter — his grumpy disposition contrasted with her eternally upbeat attitude — is what makes TV gold.

#4. Chuck & Blair, Gossip Girl

Chuck and Blair’s on/off relationship was the only thing that kept me watching Gossip Girl past season three. I’m not saying that either of them are good people, but they’re equally dysfunctional which makes them a perfect match.

#3. Willow & Tara, Buffy The Vampire Slayer

Willow and Tara were one of the first same-sex love stories ever shown on mainstream television and I still can’t get over their short-lived relationship. While Willow’s behaviour during their relationship was far from perfect, when they were good, they were an unstoppable force and I will NEVER move past Tara’s untimely death.

#2. Pacey & Joey, Dawson’s Creek

I’ve never wanted a couple to get together more than Pacey and Joey. They make a perfect couple and they bring out the best in each other. I like to think they’re still together, married, named their firstborn daughter Jen (*sobs*), and have long forgotten Dawson ever existed.

#1. Seth & Summer, The O.C.

When I think of the perfect TV couple, there’s only one pair that comes to mind and that’s Seth and Summer. It’s the classic premise of a popular girl getting with the school dork but it became so much more than that because of Adam Brody and Rachel Bilson’s electric chemistry — which made sense as the two dated for three years while The O.C. aired. From the scene where Seth tells Summer she’s “undeniable” to the Spider-Man kiss in the rain sequence, I just couldn’t get enough of them together.

Seriously, watch Seth’s speech to Summer in front of their whole class and try not to audibly weep.