Valentine's Day is the perfect day to sit your special someone down, look deep into their eyes, and coo, "Why the hell did Rory ever go out with Dean?" Love is all over television, but sometimes television gets love W-R-O-N-G.
We're looking at 10 instances of bad love from some of our favorite television shows. Some of these scarred us in the past, some are still going, but all of them are relationships that were doomed from the beginning despite the shows' best efforts to make us swoon and ship. Nice try, TV!
Ross and Rachel, Friends
Many sitcoms condition you to believe a couple belongs together just because they've been in each other's orbit for so long. Ross' (David Schwimmer) long-term devotion to Rachel (Jennifer Aniston) is supposed to make you overlook the fact he was creepishly obsessed with her in his younger years and his jealous, insecurities led to their first downfall early in the series. Honestly, he basically wanted Rachel to give up her job because he was intimidated that she had an attractive male boss. It was so demeaning to her, but Ross was awful even when they weren't romantically involved. Remember when he attacked two random women in the park to try and teach Rachel and Phoebe "a lesson" about always being prepared? He physically attacked two unsuspecting women to try and prove Rachel and Phoebe didn't really know how to defend themselves. Boy bye, and take this terrible relationship with you. — Megan Vick
Veronica and Duncan, Veronica Mars
When Veronica Mars premiered, fans were led to believe Veronica's (Kristen Bell) relationship with Duncan Kane (Teddy Dunn) was going to be the central love story of the show. But Duncan sucked, y'all. And not just because there was an extended period of time in which Duncan believed Veronica was his sister. LOL. He was bland and boring and his relationship with Veronica was actually quite sister-y and paled in comparison to the fire and passion evident in her on-again/off-again relationship with the one and only Logan Echolls (Jason Dohring). If you weren't doing a happy dance when Donut ran away in Season 2, you really need to reevaluate your life choices. — Kaitlin Thomas
Damon and Elena, The Vampire Diaries
If we had to pinpoint the exact moment things went south on The Vampire Diaries, it's probably when Damon (Ian Somerhalder) and Elena (Nina Dobrev) finally got together in Season 4. Sure, the buildup was exciting and the idea of Elena falling for her boyfriend's bad-boy older brother made for compelling drama, but making them official turned both characters into the worst versions of themselves and that was not fun to watch. Between Damon constantly disregarding her wishes and Elena's infuriating amnesia about the terrible things he'd done in the past, their rocky relationship, wrought with constant breakups and extreme co-dependency --remember that time Elena took a bunch of herbs to hallucinate Damon after she thought he died? — proved that Delena was far better in theory. Once the nightmarish relationship became the central focus of the show, all other characters were forced to the sidelines, resulting in head-scratching storylines like Stefan (Paul Wesley) and Caroline (Candice King) being shoehorned together when they had nothing better to do. Epic love? More like epic letdown. — Keisha Hatchett
Jon and Dany, Game of Thrones
It was fairly obvious — too obvious — that once Jon Snow (Kit Harington) and Danaerys Targaryen (Emilia Clarke) laid eyes on each other they would soon be laying other things on each other in fits of passion. They're hot, we get it. But Game of Thrones rushed the relationship so fast that their attraction felt too storybook and unnatural. Sorry, a date in a cave full of old rock drawings didn't sell it. And if the point of getting them together was just to throw another incestuous mess into the story once they realize they're related, that's just a poor, forced plot point. I mean, the incest of it all is almost an afterthought here. Is it too late to squeeze in another season to build their relationship so it all matters when it inevitably comes tumbling down? — Tim Surette
Rory and Dean, Gilmore Girls
When it comes to the question of Rory Gilmore's (Alexis Bledel) best boyfriend, there are two good answers (Logan or Jess) but one unacceptable choice (Dean). Although it's easy to romanticize Rory's first love, Dean (Jared Padalecki) turned out to be a total dud. Sure, he built her a car, but he also had an extramarital affair, was super clingy and never really seemed to have any ambitions other than getting Rory back or keeping her away from Jess. Also, the Gilmores are filled with such wit and whimsy, but Dean was just a giant wet blanket with a bad haircut. — Sadie Gennis
Ted and Robin, How I Met Your Mother
Listen, Ted (Josh Radnor) and Robin (Cobie Smulders) were a perfectly fine couple when How I Met Your Mother premiered, and if the CBS comedy had ended after Season 3 or so, they would not be on this list. But the show did not end then; it ended after nine seasons. The characters had changed over the course of the show, and the idea that Ted and Robin were somehow still meant to be together was ridiculous and an example of the writers not accepting the series and characters they had created had changed. Also, if you're going to force Ted and Robin together again after killing off the amazing Mother (Cristin Milioti), do not spend an entire series building her up and do not spend an entire season at Robin's wedding to another man (Neil Patrick Harris' Barney)! Seriously, we could write a book on why the series finale was so bad... but we won't. — KT
Sayid and Shannon, Lost
There are lots of things to complain about when thinking of Lost (relax, there are way more good things about the show), but right up there with Aaron, the temple and the ending, should be the forced romance between Sayid (Naveen Andrews) and Shannon (Maggie Grace), a perfect example of wheel-spinning to give a couple characters something to do (each other, it turned out). Sayid already had a better romantic backstory with Nadia, and Shannon was a better character when she was a spoiled brat, so put together, they became worse versions of themselves. Shannon would die less than a season's worth of episodes later, fueling the worst of Sayid's rage and making us wonder what the point was. - TS
Olivia and Fitz, Scandal
Making jam in Vermont sounds like an idyllic existence for a TV couple, but is it when one half of an OTP is a controlling man-baby? Scandal tried to paint Fitz (Tony Goldwyn) and Olivia (Kerry Washington) as a meant-to-be couple who were consumed with passion and driven apart by circumstance. Even though Olivia was always the smartest person in the room, Fitz constantly tried to control her and keep her in line with what he imagined her to be. When she dared to move off the pedestal he held her on, he threw epic temper tantrums and used his influence as president of the United States to show her who wore the pants in their relationship. Let's not forget he also almost started a war to save her from being kidnapped. That might sound romantic to some people, but it was the absolute opposite of anything that Olivia would want. You can't have a great relationship with that kind of power struggle. And if you think Shonda Rhimes saw them together long-term, remember that Olivia is standing alone in her portrait in the National Gallery at the end of the show. Enough said. — MV
Rosita and Father Gabriel, The Walking Dead
This duo is far from the most iconic couple on this list (which is part of why it's on here), but it's inarguably the most current. Rosita (Christian Serratos) and Father Gabriel (Seth Gilliam) just got together in Season 9 of The Walking Dead, and we just learned in the midseason premiere that Rosita is pregnant from a fling with Siddiq (Avi Nash) before she linked up with Gabe. And honestly, it makes more sense that Alexandria's most eligible bachelorette would be with Siddiq than Gabriel. Siddiq is a young doctor with sexy eyes, while Father Gabriel is a middle-aged priest with a single eye. They have a world to repopulate, and Gabe's not getting any younger! — Liam Mathews
Dawson and Joey, Dawson's Creek
If you're Team Dawson... who hurt you? Follow-up: Are you blind? Dawson (James Van Der Beek) is maybe the worst lead character of all time, and although he and Joey (Katie Holmes) may have been best friends and soulmates, they were not each other's one true loves. This was painfully obvious from the moment Pacey Witter (Joshua Jackson) evolved from the sidekick into a thoughtful and romantic young man. And Pacey's growth and honesty made Dawson's selfishness and annoying faults even more obvious. Thankfully, unlike the creators of How I Met Your Mother, Dawson's Creek creator Kevin Williamson realized his characters had grown and changed over six seasons and that forcing a relationship that didn't make sense any longer was a mistake and Joey and Pacey ended up together. However, we'll be forever grateful that this love triangle gave us the greatest GIF of all time. — KT
Happy Valentine's Day, everybody!
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