It’s easy to get lost in our favorite ‘ships. The will-they-won’t-they stories keep us on our toes, hoping for everything to work out in the end.
The emotions were strong. The tears were real. And the fandom felt it all right down in our hearts.
Plus, the chemistry! It’s so fierce and fiery at times. (The chemistry is what hooks us in.)
No one does it better than a TV couple. The writers know how to play with our emotions when wanting endgame status.
Below, we look at some TV romances that kept us glued to the screen wanting everything to work out.
We rooted for them, against their competition, and rooted for that happy ending. These couples played with all our emotions.
Sometimes the good ones and sometimes the bad.
[Author’s Note: It goes without saying, but there will be some spoilers below. Make sure you catch up by watching TV Fanatic online for any shows you may have missed.]
Rue and Jules (Euphoria)
Euphoria has a bevy of complicated and messy relationships. We could talk about the toxic Maddy/Jake/Cassie love triangle or the implosion of Kat and Ethan, but the original mainstay couple is the one that makes our list.
Jules and Rue’s love story is what defined Euphoria Season 1. Their fairytale-like chemistry hooked us, but just like Rue’s many secrets, their chemistry and lies became more of a habit than a relationship. Neither were at a solid place to make the romance work.
Our hearts broke when Rue left Jules on the train. And when we thought there was a chance of them getting back together, Rue’s drug spiraling and Jules’ new romance tore them apart once again.
There’s always a chance for them to get back together, but it’s been a roller coaster, and it will most likely happen again.
Ryan and Marissa (The OC)
She said, “Who are you?” He said, “Whoever you want me to be.”
Those now-iconic words were just the start of the classic “popular girl dates the new bad boy” storyline. Who wasn’t rooting for Marissa and Ryan to end up together? They were peak The OC.
Whenever we thought there was a chance to bring them together, something would come between them. New romances, Ryan’s surprise baby, family arrivals, and explosive fights were some of the twists that kept us on our toes.
And just when it seemed like they had a happy ending, the car crash ended it all. Marissa dying in Ryan’s arms will always bring on the tears.
Ace and Nancy (Nancy Drew)
Why can’t they be together?!
Nancy Drew Season 3 ended with Ace finally confessing his feelings to Nancy, but a death curse is keeping them apart. We want Ace and Nancy to have their happy ending. However, Nancy taking that risk and acting on her feelings might be too high of a cost to pay.
Their romance grew over time. We’ve been there through the longing looks, the light flirtation, and the bubbling chemistry.
Nancy Drew lifted us with the possibility of them getting together just for another hurdle to get in the way. Mark my words, it’ll feel so satisfying when they get past this curse!
Nick and Charlie (Heartstopper)
Did watching Heartstopper make me cry? Yes.
Did Nick and Charlie give me major FOMO couple goals? Abso-freaking-lutely!
Nick and Charlie are the definitions of pure joy and happiness. Their relationship grew in such a sweet and tender way that you could feel the chemistry burning. It took us on an emotional roller coaster high.
And when it seemed like they might end, that nightmare hit us like a ton of bricks. (Thankfully, they’re still together!) A TV world without Nick and Charlie is too dark to imagine.
Archie, Betty, Veronica, and Jughead (Riverdale)
Betty and Archie? Veronica and Archie? Jughead and Betty? Or were you a Jughead and Veronica person?!
The core four of Riverdale have played the game of relationship roulette to see what works and what doesn’t. Even when it seemed like a pair were endgame status, something would tear them apart and reunite later on.
These four have had many romantic highs, like Veronica/Archie’s steamy shower and Betty/Archie’s first kiss. But, they’ve had many lows, like not discussing their problems or keeping many secrets.
At this point, any possibility is on the table. Riverdale loves to tease futures for these couples without defining who will win out in the end.
Kate and Anthony (Bridgerton)
Let’s talk about chemistry. Kate and Anthony from Bridgerton Season 2 radiate with a fiery passion like the sun.
In the Regency era of England, all they had were longing looks and the constant denial of their attraction. If they ever hooked up, it would be a scandal! One worthy of a Lady Whistledown report.
It was clear that Kate and Anthony were into each other. But the added stress of Anthony courting Kate’s sister Edwina served as an extra layer of scandal.
Every longing look, encounter in the garden, and every fight where they denied their feelings stoked the fires. It was a grand time at the ball waiting for these two to figure out their feelings.
Klaus and Caroline (The Vampire Diaries)
Klaus and Caroline ended before they ever had a chance. This couple is the biggest missed opportunity from The Vampire Diaries universe.
The fans wanted it. The chemistry burned on the screen. The storyline potential was there for them to make it work and explore their feelings.
Whenever Klaus and Caroline were together, their scenes always verged on flirting; it gave us hope. It seemed like they were one step away from getting together, but it wasn’t meant to be.
At least we’ll have their kiss and the many flirting moments of what could’ve been.
Rory and Jess (Gilmore Girls / Gilmore Girls: A Year In The Life)
Rory’s three main boyfriends have been the biggest debate topics for fans of the series. But, it’s her time with bad-boy Jess that hit us the hardest.
Like Ryan and Marissa above, it was the classic case of the good girl dating the bad boy. Jess and Rory tried to make it work, but Jess’ many walls made it hard for them to grow. The temptation to be with him was too strong to resist, and she could change him.
Though, we’ll never forget when Jess left without warning. How could he do that to Rory?!
We hoped time and age could fix things between them in the sequel series, and yet again, we were left hanging. The pair may have given us sadness, but a part of us still hopes for the passion again.
Ross and Rachel (Friends)
Any Friends fan can agree that the Ross and Rachel relationship was the most frustrating and satisfying romance across its ten seasons. They started as a longtime crush Ross had on Rachel since they were kids, but it soon morphed into an on-again, off-again relationship of high highs and low lows.
A drunken wedding in Las Vegas, Rachel crashing Ross’ wedding to Emily, and her getting off the plane were some of their long list of moments that packed the emotional punch.
And regardless of which side you sat on if it was a break or not (it was 100% a break!), their first epic break-up brought on all the uncomfortable feelings of how it felt when a relationship ends.
Ross and Rachel took us on a roller coaster, teasing the many reasons this couple should be together and why they couldn’t make it work. At least their fate of being each other’s lobster worked out in our favor.
Wanda and Vision (WandaVision)
Wanda Maximoff and Vision deserved their happy ending. It’s a shame that it wasn’t meant to be in the grand scheme of the Marvel Cinematic Universe.
Wanda has gone through a lot in her life, especially losing Vision during the war against Thanos. WandaVision Season 1 gave us the chance to live through their peak couple goals in a mysterious and picturesque world.
We knew something shady was going on in Westview, but Wanda and Vision living their dream distracted us from their eventual outcome. You can’t help but feel all the emotions as they get their new house and become new parents.
But as WandaVision Season 1 (and the push into Doctor Strange in the Multiverse of Madness) has shown, it’s that some happy endings are too out of reach to happen.
Meredith and Derek (Grey’s Anatomy)
How could you not root for Meredith to end up with McDreamy? The nickname said it all.
The original crush spiced up the medical drama and teased us with plenty of “Will they? Won’t they?” moments like no other. Both broke our hearts when they found reasons not to be together and then gave us the satisfaction when they finally made it work.
We had dreams of endgame status as this couple built a family and seemed like a sure thing. Yet, we were dealt the biggest blow as Derek’s death broke this couple for the last time.
Curse you, truck! It would be hard for anyone to hold back the tears watching Meredith sit by Derek’s side as he passed away.
Ted and Tracy (How I Met Your Mother)
The series finale of How I Met Your Mother did this couple dirty! Seriously, it’s still one of the worst series finales ever.
Ted spent nine seasons searching for the mythical “Mother” and talking about her to his future kids. We got invested in his journey, waiting to meet Tracy and learn the truth for ourselves. Ultimately, the wait was worth it.
Tracy and Ted’s chemistry was beautiful; they fit so well together, and Tracy was fantastic as the long-awaited character. It finally seemed like the right end to the storybook romance after all the highs and lows of Ted’s dating life.
Instead, the perfect ending was ripped away and left us frustrated. Why spend nine seasons building up a relationship to erase it in the final moments?
Carrie and Big (Sex and the City / And Just Like That)
Carrie Bradshaw and Big’s romance is either a Manhattan fairytale or a toxic mess. It depends on who you ask, but it’s a little of both.
They worked so well together on paper, but they never seemed to be on the same page. Big couldn’t commit, and Carrie kept going back to him, even when it was a bad decision. Break-ups, affairs, and glamorous love were all on the table.
Their eventual wedding during the movies equally had high emotions and dating troubles. And the soapy drama continued right into the sequel series.
Carrie and Big got their happy ending for a time, but the journey to get there was anything but smooth.
Wilhelm & Simon (Young Royals)
Let’s all have a collective sigh of relief that Wilhelm and Simon’s story continued for another day. Their ending on Young Royals Season 1 was too bittersweet to make that their final chapter.
There’s something about two people discovering their attraction for each other that warms our hearts. And in the case of Prince Wilhelm, it was a new side toward living his authentic life.
Unfortunately, his position as a royal kept getting in the way.
Whenever there was a moment of Simon and Wilhelm being happy, there was also the looming threat of someone discovering their secret. It was a delicate balance that pushed us between happiness and worry. Let’s hope these two can eventually make it work.
Veronica and Logan (Veronica Mars)
The “Marshmallows” lived for this pairing. The disgraced rich boy and the sarcastic investigator had the chemistry that radiated heat. And for a long time, it seemed like Veronica and Logan were riding off into the sunset together.
Unfortunately, Veronica Mars Season 4 packed a heavy blow on a final twist no one liked.
Why couldn’t Veronica and Logan be together? They overcame their high school drama, processed most of their past trauma, and both characters grew into (somewhat) mature adults.
Veronica and Logan became the people they needed to be in a healthy couple. Their future was ripped from us in a heartbreaking twist that dangled a happy ending and a long-awaited wedding.
Carla and Samuel (Elite)
Sometimes that high school romance is what it is: a high school romance.
Rich girl Carla and new kid Samuel developed into Elite’s most passionate star-crossed lovers. They shouldn’t work as a pair, but the sexual tension kept bringing them back together. Even the betrayals and secrets couldn’t deny their chemistry.
When we thought they could be together, Samuel would either betray Carla or she couldn’t trust him again. No amount of pleading or stolen kisses could fix the damage done.
Carla might’ve ultimately made the wisest decision to end their romance; they did have a toxic edge. But, all the ups and downs to get there added plenty of fuel to Elite’s fire.
Chuck and Blair (Gossip Girl)
It took three little words to end the back-and-forth in Blair and Chuck’s messy dating life.
Like many couples on this list, there were plenty of break-ups and secrets between them. They worked so well scheming and plotting together, but they’d self-sabotage. Whenever Chuck and Blair blew up, it would be the coldest edge.
Gossip Girl teased plenty of chances for them to get back together. Each time it was more dramatic than the last; a cold goodbye, a teary-eyed heartbreak, or a loving embrace.
We never knew they’d last until those final moments they said, “I do.” The Gossip Girl reboot could still throw us for a loop and mess with their romance.
Willow and Tara (Buffy the Vampire Slayer)
Buffy the Vampire Slayer’s most heartwarming relationship came between Willow and Tara. The iconic couple changed the face of TV and still ranks one of the best TV couples.
Still, their journey wasn’t the picture-perfect path we all thought.
We had the highs of Willow discovering herself and starting a new romance with Tara. We had the lows of Willow’s addiction to magic tearing them apart. But when we thought there was a happy ending, Warren took them away from us.
If Buffy the Vampire Slayer came out today, Willow and Tara would still be together. The loss of Tara and this relationship still hurts after all these years.
Max and Helen (New Amsterdam)
The “Sharpwin” shippers have felt this struggle after many seasons of waiting for the romance to happen.
Max and Helen are the definitions of teasing a potential romance. The pair had lots of chemistry, but they kept it strictly platonic and professional, even when we knew better. The tension felt like it needed a little push to tip them over the edge.
Thankfully, the long-awaited kiss brought them together, but it’s still been many challenges along the way since then.
Will they have their happy ending? WIll another challenge come between them? We can’t handle not knowing!
Now, it’s over to you, TV Fanatics!
Which TV couple played with your emotions the most?
Who would you have added to this list?
Share your thoughts in the comments below.
Justin Carreiro is a staff writer for TV Fanatic. Follow him on Twitter.