Love — it changes everything. It’s clear that, as the subject of countless films, albums, and art pieces, audiences love to watch people falling in love. That is to say, so long as the couple isn’t REALLY irritating. If that’s the case, that love becomes very difficult to watch. Here are some cringe-worthy television romances that almost kill their shows:
1. Buffy and Angel (Buffy the Vampire Slayer, Angel)
Joss Whedon had a number of romantic dynamics on his shows that totally work (Mal and Inara from Firefly, Wesley and Fred on Angel), but this was not one of them. Buffy and Angel’s whole schtick wasn’t steamy, it was annoying. Everyone else on those shows knew these two were absolutely horrible for each other, but Buffy and Angel just wouldn’t listen. Plus, Angel becomes a total dick after he and Buffy finally hook up. A lot of guys do that, though.
2. Jim and Pam (The Office)
I genuinely hate the fact that I have to put these two on this list. Separately, I’m a huge fan of both Jim and Pam, and their fantastic chemistry during the first three seasons of The Office was the show’s driving force. But once they actually got together, they became one of THOSE couples. You know the ones I’m talking about, who judge other people all the time and are all smarmy and uppity about their own happiness. I wish Jim and Pam all the happiness in the world, but that doesn’t mean I’m going to keep tuning in to watch two lovely people loving each other lovingly.
3. Fitz and Simmons (Marvel’s Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D)
The minute you saw Fitz and Simmons onscreen, you just knew they were destined to be a couple. And it wasn’t because of their adorable friendship, but the fact that if they hooked up, they could have the nickname “Fitzsimmons.” I mean IT’S RIGHT THERE. These two have been through a lot, from Fitz confessing his love for Simmons before getting brain damage to Simmons going undercover at Hydra before being sent to an alien planet for a minute. But after going through all that, once they got together, they just became boring. In the most recent episodes, they just talk about buying that perfect house, or who’s going to cook dinner tonight. They’re the most boring secret agent couple ever (Sidney Bristow and Vaughn from Alias are a close second).
4. Ted and Robin (How I Met Your Mother)
Really, this should just be Ted and any of the girls that he dated throughout How I Met Your Mother‘s ten season run. Ted’s romances are all AWFUL, but to see why, we have to go back to the beginning, because it all started by Ted chasing after Robin. They got together at one point early in the show’s run, and mercifully (for us) broke up. But rather than let Ted evolve as a character until he meets the coolest woman ever — the titular mother — the showrunners gave his wife CANCER, killed her off, and freed him up to pursue Robin yet again (this time with permission from the kids who were listening to that never ending dribble for ten years). Talk about doubling down!
5. Ross and Rachel (Friends)
Ultimately, this romance just suffers from a healthy dose of Ross and Rachel being terrible people. In their defense, though, it’s not just them. Monica and Chandler are also terrible people. Joey and Phoebe are a little too innocent to be terrible people, but they certainly do terrible things to other people. Why would I want to see a bunch of attractive terrible people being terrible and hooking up?
6. The Casts of Every Medical Drama Ever Produced
Doctors shouldn’t be f*cking each other — it’s not sterile and it clouds their judgment. How is the woman who’s supposed to handle an extremely delicate operation going to give the patient her full attention if she can’t choose between the hunky sensitive dark-haired doctor or the sensitive hunky light-haired doctor? Just DO YOUR JOBS PEOPLE.
Just like real love, television love takes a lot of work to get right. What other television romances deserve to be on this list? Let us know on Twitter @Smosh!