10 Couples That Got Together And Ruined Their TV Shows

Liz Lemon and Jack Donaghy bad kiss on 30 Rock GIF


Not all relationships are destined to work out, as I’m sure you’ve noticed in your personal lives. I know I have. Even with the best intentions and the greatest people, sometimes there’s just no chemistry. Or maybe there even is chemistry, but the two people are just not supposed to be together and everyone knows it.

Well as it turns out, that happens in TV shows too. Sometimes a writers room gets their heart set on a relationship (pun intended) and they’re gonna push it through, no matter how many signs there are that they shouldn’t. You’d think that the more brains there are working on something, the more likely it is to be a smart idea, but that isn’t always how it works out. And that especially true with romantic plot lines, as you’ll see from this list of 10 Couples That Got Together And Ruined Their TV Shows.

1. Jim and Pam, The Office

The original gangsters of show-ruining. The whole point of The Office (after the absurd, unbelievable brilliance of Steve Carell as Michael Scott), was that the timing was never right for Jim and Pam. And then it…was. And there was nothing to do but get them married and give them kids and make them boring. It was a true tragedy.

2. Nick and Jess, New Girl

Why can’t anyone just be friends anymore? Sure, the first kiss between these two was exciting and surprising, but that only means the only way they can go from there is down. Making them hook up destroyed one of the most fun aspects of the show, which was their pseudo-flirty banter. UGH I HATE LOVE.

3. Robin and Ted, HIMYM

When I mentioned this couple during the making of this list, multiple people in my office said, “Ugh, Ted and anyone.” And it’s true, Josh Radnor does have a remarkable ability to make me dislike a character just by him liking them. Magic.

4. Ross and Rachel, Friends

Trust me, neither one of those two characters was more annoyed than I was by the phrase, “We were on a break.” I DON’T CARE. The will-they-won’t-they stuff only worked for like a season, and then I was over it. We know you’re gonna get back together eventually, so just quit jerking us around by being immature idiots and just make something happen. Jeez.

5. Mary and Matthew, Downton Abbey

Okay hear me out, because I don’t blame the show for this one at all, I blame Dan Stevens, and he knows it. There was absolutely nothing wrong with this relationship, and I was happily prepared to watch it for the rest of my life, but NO. And I blame it partially on them getting together at all, because if he’d just gone away without ever getting tangled up with Mary and my emotions, I would have cared a lot less.

6. Izzie and George, Grey’s Anatomy

Okay I never watched this one, so I need some backup here, but I’m told that these two were just completely infeasible. Absolutely no chemistry — they were best friends, and there was no reason whatsoever that they should’ve been together. Like everyone from the actors to the characters to the writers to the audience was like ‘um no they are working too hard, please stop it’. Not worth derailing a show for, methinks.

7. Aria and Mr. Fitz, Pretty Little Liars

Again, this is a show I don’t watch, but…heeeee’s a teacher, right? And she’s a student? Yeah, just wanted to check on that. Let’s not do that in a place where younger kids can see it, yeah?

8. Kourtney Kardashian and Scott Disick, KUWTK

Yes, I know this isn’t technically a scripted show – don’t you think that I know that?? – but Kourtney and Scott are the worst. THE WORST. Someone should find a way to write him off the show so I don’t have to lie awake at night anymore thinking of poor Mason and Penelope learning how to start brawls in Vegas clubs.

9. Andy and Ann, Parks and Rec

Please never go back and watch the earlier episodes of this show, because it will give you nothing but a greasy scornful feeling in your stomach about both Andy and Ann. They both ended up being great on their own in future endeavors, but they really put a bad taste in my mouth in those early episodes. Glad I kept watching on spec and that they started being written like actual humans.

10. Olivia and Fitz, Scandal

And finally, these two…I don’t even know how to talk about them. He is THE PRESIDENT OF THE UNITED STATES. Every moment he’s spending with Olivia is distracting him from all manner of things including running the country, being in a marriage, parenting his children, and not being a complete and utter idiot. PULL IT TOGETHER, BOTH OF YOU. This will never work, it can never work, please stop trying to pretend like it works.

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    • Lindsey Conklin

      i agree. except for ross and rachel. I love them.

      • Alexis Rhiannon

        That’s fair. I just thought they lost their mojo by the end, because we’d seen every possible iteration.

    • Erin

      I loved Mary and Matthew together, but totally agree with your explanation.
      And Nick and Jess are horrible together. I’ve stopped watching New Girl it’s been so unbelievably bad this season.

      • Alexis Rhiannon

        I will mourn Mary and Matthew for the rest of my television days.

      • elle

        Yes! Nick and Jess make zero sense as a couple and this season is awful. I watched last weeks because Linda Cardellini was on it and I love her but it was so terrible that even she and Damon Wayans Jr can’t convince me to go back.

      • Alexis Rhiannon

        How very star-studded of them. Wasn’t Prince on too? They’re totally grasping at straws.

    • nashville33

      Jim and Pam? Are you kidding me? They are like the quintessential example of a show handling a relationship correctly.

      • Alexis Rhiannon

        I don’t know how I could have made this mistake.

      • aky1ify

        Whaaa? NO. I think The Office should have ended after, like, season 3. That’s just my opinion though…(I am right, though)

      • Alexis Rhiannon

        I tend to agree.

    • Jess

      While I agree George and Izzy from Grey’s was an awful, uncomfortable mess, it’s worth mentioning that their lack of chemistry was something that was adressed by the show IMMEDIATELY after. The entire arch of that romantic subplot was “we’re best friends, maybe we should….?” followed by “okay we did it the do and it was terrible. Let’s go back to the friends thing.” So if anything, Izzy/George is a subversion of the “destined-to-but-shouldn’t-be” trope.

      (But! You did preface by saying you’d never watched the show, so I wouldn’t expect that to have been a consideration for this list. And I’m not sure it would make a difference…. the few episodes where it WAS a thing were unbearably awkward.)

      • Alexis Rhiannon

        This is what I hear! Really glad I missed it!

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    • Kathy

      Moonlighting, a show from the 80′s that started out great with Cybill Shepherd and Bruce Willis as 2 private eyes. Totally awesome romantic comedy, but then they GOT TOGETHER and ruined the show. It was never the same after that. Cancelled after the third year.

      • Brianti Downing

        Yes! That’s why the call it the “Moonlighting Curse” when shows are ruined by not being able to survive without the tension of a will-they-won’t-they romance. As soon as they get together, most writers can’t keep the show on track.

    • Rachel

      No, you’re definitely watching The Office wrong. I’ll agree with the rest, but I’m sad for you that you think them getting together ruined the show. Yes, not chasing after each other for 7 seasons is “boring” in tv, but the point of The Office is that there is fun and love and family in the boring things. It’s literally a show about working in an office.

      • coffeeandshoes

        But it swiftly became a show about what people in the office do regarding Jim and Pam’s home life. I can buy the co-workers attending the wedding, but CeCe’s christening? Nope. Rapid decline once those two and their entitlement took over.

      • nashville33

        Totally agree, 100%.

      • aky1ify

        For the first few seasons of the show, I liked it because I thought it was funny and actually weirdly realistic. I know lots of shows do the talking head/mocumentary thing now but I had never seen that back in the day. After Jim and Pam got together I feel like it just went downhill. I don’t know if the show got new writers or what.. I don’t even necessarily blame it on Jim and Pam getting together; I just feel like it went from something really cool/interesting/funny to just another cheesy sitcom. That’s my opinion though and it doesn’t mean anything except that I take television wayyy too seriously.

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    • Richard Maidu

      How can Niles Crane and Daphne Moon from “Frasier” not be on this list? That show was brilliant, and it jumped the shark the moment they became a couple.

      • Alexis Rhiannon

        Oh I never watched Frasier! That’s why!

    • Oliver

      WHAT!? I understand some but some of the relationships (e.g. Aria and Mr. Fitz) are integral to the storyline. Yeah it’s on ABC Family but the shows story has been taken from the books and changing the story just to suit a less mature audience is stupid.

      • alice_in_blunderland82

        In the books he gets arrested fairly early on and has to leave town…

      • Alexis Rhiannon

        So romantic.