12 Great TV Couples That Were Ruined By One Terrible Storyline

This article contains mentions of rape and sexual assault

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Nothing is worse as a television watcher than to fall in love with a TV couple only for one ill-advised plot or storyline to ruin it all. Great TV couples going wrong can kill the entire television-watching experience and encourage people to turn it off. If the experience is bad enough, a TV couple going wrong can even negatively impact audiences’ fond memories of their favorite show.

Unfortunately, despite years of actors’ chemistry and good writing for a great romance, it can all be undone with just one storyline. Whether it’s out-of-character behavior, bad dialogue, or a nonsensical plot, good TV couples can be instantly ruined by one plot. Even worse, insufferable relationships that have overstayed their welcome can ruin even the best series.

12 When Ross Slept With Someone Else In Friends

Rachel and Ross holding onto one another at the airport in the Friends series finale

In the episode “The One With The Morning After,” Ross immediately sleeps with another woman before he can even fully process his breakup with Rachel. Although they had fought and broken up only just the night prior, he wakes up next to another woman named Chloe. He immediately checks his answering machine to find a message from Rachel apologizing. When Rachel turns up at his apartment, he has to hide Chloe in the bathroom.

Although Ross and Rachel have a complicated timeline, this is one of the worst things Ross does to Rachel. This is the episode where Ross shows how selfish he is. He had no interest in her feelings and didn’t want to have more clarity on the situation before moving on to a one-night stand. Rachel dumps him when she finds out what he did, and some fans believe it should have stayed this way.

11 When Michael Came Back From The Dead With Memory Loss In Jane The Virgin

Michael in Jane the Virgin

Although Jane the Virgin was based on a telenovela, Michael’s resurrection was perhaps a dramatic storyline too far. After five seasons, Jane and Rafael tied the knot, but the last season was dampened by the resurrection of Jane’s presumed dead first husband, Michael. Jane spent episodes trying to choose between Rafael and Michael before finally marrying Michael.

Jane the Virgin had a three-year time jump where Michael died and left Jane a widow. The off-screen death meant audiences didn’t feel the emotional impact at the same level. His death lost even more impact when he reappeared at the end of season 4 with amnesia. This plot not only ruined Jane’s entire romance with Michael, but also her romance with Rafael.

10 When Schmidt Cheated On Cece In New Girl

New Girl Cece Schmidt

Schmidt did many terrible things on New Girl, but cheating on Cece may be the worst. An important part of their relationship was that Schmidt never felt he deserved Cece. It’s a constant theme that people do not understand how someone like Cece could fall for someone like Schmidt. The two-timing devalues this entire theme and ruins their whole romance.

Toward the end of New Girl season 2, while Schmidt and Cece were on a break, Schmidt started seeing a woman he had dated in college named Elizabeth. When Cece and Schmidt get back together, he decides to try to see both of them simultaneously. Considering he was supposed to be so in love with Cece, it made Schmidt an extremely dislikable character.

9 When Fitz Declared War On Scandal

Olivia and Fitz taking a walk in Scandal.

Audiences were split when Fitz went to war in Scandal to try and save his mistress. In the episode “Where is the Black Lady?” Fitz declares war with West Angola to try and save a captured Olivia. It felt like a storyline that went a stop too far for this will they/won’t they couple. Beyond the ethical implications, it was over the top to think that Olivia Pope would really be kidnapped and auctioned for a billion dollars.

Fitz showed little remorse for these violent actions and didn’t seem to care about the needless deaths it caused. Olivia also seemed unbothered that people died in her name because of her lover’s choices. After this dramatic plot, Scandal struggled to know where to take Fitz and Olivia’s relationship. There are few places writers can take a romance once they’ve written that a character goes to war for their lover.

8 When Amy Pressured Jake Into Having Children In Brooklyn Nine-Nine

Amy looking at Jake while he talks in Brooklyn Nine-Nine

When the question of children arose in Brooklyn Nine-Nine season 7, it caused a rift between the normally solid Amy and Jake. Amy was desperate to start a family, while Jake was worried he would follow his deadbeat father’s steps. The way Amy pressures Jake into having children is uncomfortable to watch, and feels like the writers were trying too hard to inject some drama into their relationship.

Even a casual Brooklyn Nine-Nine viewer could see this was a plothole. Amy was a compulsive planner, so it’s unlikely that she wouldn’t have discussed her future family plans with Jake. Also, Jake frequently talks about his excitement at the prospect of becoming a father, especially when spending time with Terry’s daughters. In the end, it wasn’t true to their characters and felt like unnecessarily shoehorned-in drama for the sake of drama.

7 When Meredith Pressured Derek To Pick Her in Grey’s Anatomy

An image of Derek and Meredith working together in the operating room in Grey's Anatomy

This cringey scene is one of Grey’s Anatomy’s most infamous and meme’d. In season 2, Meredith Grey confesses her love to Derek Shepherd in a monologue that climaxes with the phrase, “Pick me, choose me, love me.” Even the actress who plays Meredith, Ellen Pompeo, found this monologue cringeworthy.

Although this is the big moment when Meredith realizes she loves Derek, it feels out of character for her to beg a male character for affection. There isn’t a lot of romance in pleading with a man to leave his current partner and pick her instead. Subsequently, it was hard to forget these words throughout their romance. Grey’s Anatomy eventually turned this awkward scene on its head, when, in season 19, she decides to choose herself over Nick.

6 When Dean Slept With Rory Despite Being Married In Gilmore Girls

Rory and Dean in Gilmore Girls

One of the more polarizing moments of Gilmore Girls revolves around the reunion of Rory and Dean. In the episode “Raincoats and Recipes,” Rory and Dean rekindle their love for each other and have sex. Rory losing her virginity to her first love would have been much sweeter had Dean not been married to Lindsay, however.

Dean’s behavior as a married man ruined his character for many fans, especially as it felt like he was using Rory. Dean’s marriage to Lindsay is a disaster from the start, and it only gets worse when he reconnects with Rory. It’s clear throughout Gilmore Girls season 4 that the pair would hook up, but many hoped he wouldn’t cheat on his wife. For a character so beloved, Rory deserved to lose her virginity in a much nicer and more emotionally honest way.

5 When Veronica Told Archie They Were End Game In Riverdale

Intimate Camila Mendes as Veronica and KJ Apa as Archie in Riverdale

The term “endgame” is commonly used by online fandoms to describe couples they believe will stay together. As flippant and specifically dated as internet slang is, it’s always a bit tacky when fandom terms are used in a serious conversation between characters. But in Riverdale, Veronica quotes, “Because we’re endgame, Archie,” to her boyfriend over the phone, which comes across as both snotty and cringe at the same time.

There are plenty of debates about whether Archie should romantically be with Veronica or Betty. Veronica takes the debate into her own hands and declares to Archie that he was meant to be with her. The odd choice of words and bad writing ruined this romance for many. Ultimately, Archie ends up dating both as the finale reveals their polycule.

4 When Blaine Cheated On Kurt And Gaslights Him in Glee

Blaine and Kurt talking in the hallway in Glee

Glee‘s relationship between Blaine and Kurt, or Klaine, was one of the biggest ships on TV in the 2010s. So it was understandable that so many people were upset when Blaine cheated on Kurt. Blaine appeared so in love with Kurt that it was a total shock that he would even consider cheating, and it came out of left field.

In hindsight, Blaine’s behavior was incredibly toxic and unpleasant to Kurt. Blaine showed early signs of being an untrusting boyfriend when he went through Kurt’s phone. After he accused Kurt of cheating, it was actually Blaine who cheated first. When Blaine came clean to his boyfriend about his cheating, he blamed Kurt for not coming to New York with him, making a bad storyline even worse.

3 When Chuck Traded Blair For A Hotel In Gossip Girl

Chuck and Blair in Gossip Girl

Chuck did terrible things to Blair throughout Gossip Girl. In season 3, Chuck Bass reached peak slimeball when he traded a night with his on/off girlfriend to his creepy uncle Jack in exchange for ownership in a hotel. Blair had no say in this toxic and manipulative behavior, and the situation got worse when the motivations behind it were revealed.

It turned out that Uncle Jack was just testing Chuck and Blair’s relationship and his nephew’s values. When Blair found out, she was obviously upset, but Chuck managed to spin it to make it appear as though she were the one in the wrong. Chuck and Blair were a toxic couple that audiences couldn’t get enough of, but this felt a step too far from their romance.

2 When Daphne Tried To Get Simon To Impregnate Her In Bridgerton

Simon looking at Daphne in Bridgerton

Bridgerton‘s Simon and Daphne had one of the steamiest romances in recent TV memory. They could do no wrong with their smoldering gazes and lingering touches, but then came a scene where Daphne crosses a boundary. It’s a shocking moment in a show filled with sex-positive moments and representation of female pleasure.

The scene, which shows Daphne Bridgerton initiating sex with her husband Simon, appears to be consensual at first. Daphne then gets on top and tries to encourage Simon to impregnate her, stopping him from using the pull-out method, knowing full well that Simon is deeply unsure about having children and is not yet ready to be a father. This moment in the Netflix show started debates arguing if this should be considered sexual assault. It was a disappointing ending to one of television’s sexiest couples.

1 When Spike Tried To Rape Buffy in Buffy The Vampire Slayer

Buffy is on top of Spike in Buffy the Vampire Slayer

Buffy The Vampire Slayer’s “Seeing Red” is one of the most controversial episodes in TV history. Buffy and Spike had an enemies-to-lovers relationship that left fans obsessed. They were never a standard TV romance, despite his devotion to the slayer. It all changed when he attacked her in her own home, however.

In season 6’s “Seeing Red,” Spike goes to Buffy’s home looking for forgiveness after having sex with Anya. When Buffy tells him she would never trust him enough to love him and turns him away, he attacks her. What follows is a long and uncomfortable graphic scene that forever changed the show and tainted how audiences viewed the relationship between Buffy and Spike, as well as Spike’s character. The attack leads Spike on a quest for forgiveness but the damage is already done, showing viewers that their romance is more toxic than sexy.

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