10 Toxic TV Romances That Should Have Never Happened
26th May, 2022
Warner Bros. Television Distribution
Disclaimer: This article was first published on our sister site Successaga.com. TV romances aren’t always rainbows and butterflies. But, a few TV couples take it too far. Toxicity, manipulation, and lies abound. Thanks to the current diverse and inclusive pop culture, we do get to see a wide range of relationships develop on TV. Some of them are fun and loving, while some are disastrous and destructive. When it comes to the latter, we know how damaging and unhealthy they can be. Sometimes, even with a laughter track, we can see the underlying toxic traits of the relationship. Let’s take a look at 10 fictional ""One True Pairings"" who personify “toxic” on screen.
Roger and Brianna – Outlander
Fans of the hit historical drama Outlander consider Roger and Brianna to be among the best secondary couples in TV history. But are they really? Let’s take a closer look. The two first met in the 1960s. Their friendship blooms as they bond over the loss of their loved ones and work together to find Jamie, our very hot main character. Their relationship continues to progress to something romantic but soon rears its ugly head. Some of the highlights of this toxic love story include Roger hiding Brianna’s parent’s obituaries, asking her to be obedient to him, and thinking about leaving her after she was assaulted.
Ross and Rachel – Friends
Let’s start at the beginning. Ross has been in love with Rachel forever. But, as soon as he gets her attention, he starts by making a list of her pros and cons. As their relationship progresses, he gets insecure and constantly doubts Rachel. He guilt-trips her for loving and enjoying her dream job. Let’s not forget that he cheats on her and does everything in his power to prevent her from finding out. He also lies about getting a divorce after their drunk Vegas wedding. The list is endless, and maybe them getting back together at the end should have been left on the floor of the writer’s room.
Aria and Ezra – Pretty Little Liars
Okay, where do we begin with this one? For starters, Ezra is Aria’s teacher. He is an adult while she is just a teenage girl in high school. The relationship soon takes a turn to “creepy” when it is revealed that Ezra actually knew that Aria was in high school when the two met. Not to forget, he only approached her because he wanted to use their story to write a bestselling book. The show definitely played off their relationship as forbidden and misunderstood to their target audience of young girls. But, let’s be real, all that is there to see is a giant walking red flag.
Lucas and Peyton – One Tree Hill
This couple may not be “toxic” per se, but there are many elements that make them “not perfect for each other.” Throughout the show, the basis of their relationship shifted between “right person at the wrong time” and “save me.” Through the show’s early seasons, we see that Lucas and Peyton are constantly drawn to each other. But, it’s never the right time. By seasons 3 and 4, independent Peyton becomes a damsel in distress. Lucas, of course, is always ready to save her from whatever danger has befallen her. Beyond this, there really isn’t much to the relationship. Their chemistry seems to fizzle as the show progresses.
Nate and Cassie – Euphoria
Oh boy! There aren’t enough words in the dictionary to describe what’s wrong with this relationship. Let’s start with Cassie. She betrays her best friend Maddy by getting together with her ex-boyfriend. She also breaks her relationships and friendships with everyone to stay with Nate and then ruins her sister’s play. On the other hand, Nate is definitely one of the worst characters in TV history. He is controlling, abusive, violent, and everything you do not seek in a partner. When with Cassie, he constantly dresses her up like his ex-girlfriend Maddy. Not to forget, Nate also hopes to get back together with Maddy while he's with Cassie. Nuff’ said!
Chuck and Blair – Gossip Girl
Gossip Girl gave us a lot of good pairings and on-screen romances. But, this one was definitely not one of them. Their relationship begins with a pile of deception. They got together when Blair was still sort of dating Nate. Not to mention the constant mind games, lies, manipulations, and power plays they do with each other. Their relationship is simply based on dominance and who has the most power. One thing that makes them different from the others on this list, though, is that they’re aware of how toxic they are. So, good on them for that, right?
Ryan and Kelly – The Office
Ryan and Kelly were a source of many laughs in the hit mockumentary sitcom The Office. But, their relationship was nothing but toxic. Their on-off relationship is stuck in a vicious cycle that goes on for seven years. Kelly wants a real romantic relationship but ends up being clingy and has some unrealistic expectations. Ryan, on the other hand, is a playboy. He only wants Kelly when she is with someone else and even proposes to her with no intentions of keeping the promise. The two do have some character development as the show progresses. But, all is thrown out the window as the two run away together in the series finale.
Kurt and Blaine – Glee
It felt great to have some LGBT representation with Kurt and Blaine in Glee. But, looking back, this couple was not in a healthy relationship. Many fans even think they were one of the most toxic couples on the show. Blaine literally transfers schools to be with Kurt. Blaine even cheats on Kurt with Eli. The couple then breaks up only to get back together and then break up again. They also realize that their love works better when they are living apart. The show did decide to give them a happy ending, and we see them getting married in a double wedding ceremony.
Haley and Dylan – Modern Family
Modern Family ran for a whopping 11 seasons and gave us a lot of romances, family troubles, and love. But, we believe that the show's writers did not give Haley the ending that she deserved. We were first introduced to Haley and Dylan in season 1, and throughout the show, we get to see their on-off relationship. But, what we do not get to see is them growing together. At the show's end, both of them are the very same as they began. Not to mention, Dylan did not bring out the best in Haley. She should have stayed with Andy. That’s all we have to say about that!