The 100 best TV romances of all time

Let's talk about love, baby.

More than 70 years ago, audiences fell head over heels for Lucille Ball and Desi Arnaz's depiction of a zany-yet-heartwarming marriage on I Love Lucy. In the decades since, TV relationships have evolved beyond our wildest dreams with a wide variety of love stories portrayed onscreen — even inspiring passionate fans to "ship" couples into existence in new ways by harnessing the power of social media in truly impressive (and, well, sometimes terrifying) ways.

From perfect first kisses and sinfully sexy triangles to the devastating power of a well-done will-they-won't-they arc, we just love to see love. Here, EW ranks the 100 best small-screen romances of all time. (To be eligible: Characters must have had a romantic, sexual, or, at the very least, flirtatious connection — so no "bromances" allowed; shows must have aired in primetime or streaming — sorry, daytime soap fans! — and we picked only one couple per show.) Swoon with us as we celebrate the pairings that made us laugh, cry, sigh, and seethe with jealousy. And please don't break up with us if your favorite isn't on our list — we can always still be friends.

Best TV Romances of All TIme
Credit: Scandal: ABC; Teen Wolf: MTV Networks; SNL: Dana Edelson/NBC; Game of Thrones: HBO; All in the Family: CBS-TV/Kobal/REX/Shutterstock; Gossip Girl: The CW

100. Stefon and Seth Meyers

Saturday Night Live

Sure, the chemistry between Seth Meyers and Weekend Update's resident party monster Stefon (Bill Hader) may have been played for laughs, but there was also a surprising tenderness to their relationship. Every time Stefon would stop by the Update desk to introduce his latest club and explain the nuances of a human suitcase, the pair would share a flirty moment — culminating with Meyers crashing Stefon's wedding in Hader's final SNL episode(Better luck next time, Anderson Cooper.) Hader and Meyers have long since left the show, but their love affair endures: Meyers still keeps a tiny Stefon nesting doll on his Late Night desk—Devan Coggan

99. Chuck and Blair

Gossip Girl

Three words. Eight letters. Eventually, they'd both say them. By the end of Gossip Girl's run, everyone had dated everyone, but there was one couple that stood out among the rest, mostly because they were so unexpected. Chuck Bass (Ed Westwick) was the Upper East Side jerk, and Blair Waldorf (Leighton Meester) was madly in love with Nate Archibald (Chace Crawford) and his terrible bangs. But, after a lot of elaborate parties and relationship drama, somehow, Chuck and Blair ended up in the back of a limousine together, and from that point on, they couldn't deny their connection. Although the relationship went through its fair share of ups and downs, Chuck and Blair were one of two couples — alongside Serena (Blake Lively) and Dan (Penn Badgley) — who tied the knot in the series finale. Sometimes, happily ever after does exist for the richest of the rich (and even for Gossip Girl himself). —Samantha Highfill

98. Tig and Venus

Sons of Anarchy

On Kurt Sutter's brutal motorcycle gang drama Sons of Anarchy, which was known for its sudden deaths and shocking twists, there was nothing more surprising than the unexpected pairing of violent MC member Tig (Kim Coates) and charming transgender prostitute Venus Van Dam (Walton Goggins) — but not for the reasons you may think. What was most intriguing and subversive about their long-term romance was how subtly sweet their connection grew to be as Venus helped Tig embrace his softer side, humanizing a character who started out as one of the most depraved in the club. "It's not a gender thing, it's a heart thing," Goggins told EW in 2014. "When we're understood, regardless of who we're understood by, we're understood. There's no replacing that. It's outside of the confines of gender." —Sydney Bucksbaum

97. Zoe and Wade

Hart of Dixie

Boy meets girl, and first comes love, then comes marriage, then comes a baby in a...well, you know the rest. But, sophisticated New York City doctor Zoe (Rachel Bilson) and womanizer country boy Wade (Wilson Bethel) never could seem to figure out that normal relationship trajectory on Hart of Dixie. The CW's southern comfort rom-com followed these two from first hooking up in what they both assumed would be a one-night stand with a stranger they'd never see again, to their eventual enemies-to-lovers arc as they formed two-thirds of a sizzling love triangle (with Scott Porter's George making up the other third). "The triangle [got] to play as actual real relationships and emotional stories...and there's some sex," showrunner Leila Gerstein told EW in 2012 — and she wasn't kidding, it was like a true Alabama heat wave all season long! But, one heartbreaking night where Wade cheated on Zoe delayed what could have been the most magical happily-ever-after ending for these two, as Zoe fled town to rebound with another guy. Then, Wade dated Zoe's cousin (seriously!). Thankfully, they eventually found their way back to each other, and one accidental pregnancy and tons of miscommunications later, they finally tied the knot in one of the most chaotic delivery/wedding/musical numbers Bluebell has ever seen. "Long Live the Hart," indeed. —S.B.

96. Veronica and Logan

Veronica Mars

Logan Echolls (Jason Dohring) was not the obvious love interest for Kristen Bell's titular heroine when Veronica Mars first hit the WB. In fact, he was the opposite: He was the ex-boyfriend of Veronica's late bestie Lilly (Amanda Seyfried), and, more than anything, he was the school jerk she wanted nothing to do with. But if that doesn't sound like the start of a love story, we don't know what does. By the end of Veronica Mars' first season, the two had locked lips and begun what would be a rollercoaster of a relationship that spanned the show's four seasons, a movie, and the 2019 Hulu revival. However, what fans will remember most about the relationship is that it ended in tragedy, as the revival concluded with Logan dying just after the two tied the knot. As Bell told EW in 2019: "As it turns out, Logan and Veronica were in love, they were the perfect couple, and, because we discovered that, unfortunately, we had to tear it down." —S.H.

95. Olivia and Fitz


Most beloved television couples involve two (or three) single people. Most beloved television couples also don't include the president of the United States. But Scandal liked to do things differently. We met Olivia Pope (Kerry Washington) as an adult who had established herself as a highly successful political fixer. We met President Fitzgerald Grant (Tony Goldwyn) as he was running the country — and married. But, the show quickly established the forbidden romance between Olitz, as fans would begin to call them. "I really love that our fans are invested emotionally," Washington told EW during the show's fifth season. "There are people who don't really think Olivia and Fitz should be together. There's a lot of voices out there." And fans made sure those voices were heard throughout the ABC drama's seven-season run. —S.H.

94. Archie and Edith

All in the Family

In 1999, 20 years after the CBS sitcom made its debut, co-creator Norman Lear commented about the show's enduring impact on television, telling EW, "Only an a--hole sits down at his typewriter to change the world. A writer sets out to entertain. I'm satisfied with the ripple the pebble makes." Over its nine-season run, which garnered 22 Emmys and 55 Emmy nods, it entertained but also educated, often through the working-class marriage of Archie Bunker (Carroll O'Connor) and his wife Edith (Jean Stapleton). The revolutionary show tackled a full rainbow of controversial topics (including most of the "isms," the Vietnam War, etc.) through Archie's purposefully prejudiced eyes and long-suffering Edith's quiet, tolerant ones. While doting would never be a word used to describe their marriage, they were devoted to each other and to their family. —Mary Margaret

Best TV Romances Homer


Homer and food

When The Simpsons' Homer Simpson steps out on Marge, it's only because true love can't be denied. Preferably in doughnut form. Or
64 slices of cheese. Forgive him for
frolicking through the Land of Chocolate or for moaning, "Mmmm…crumbled-up cookie things" — the heart (and stomach) wants what it wants.

Dan Snierson


93. Grey Worm and Missandei

Game of Thrones

Throughout her character's arduous trek through Westeros and nearly seeing her Khaleesi finally make it to the Iron Throne, Game of Thrones star Nathalie Emmanuel told EW that her favorite scene she's ever done as Daenerys Targaryen's (Emilia Clarke) right-hand woman Missandei was actually "when Grey Worm comes to her after he saw her bathing and they have this exchange and it's emotional and amazing. It's always really cool when you're challenged as an actress to play those subtle things." She added that, should the story of Missandei and Jacob Anderson's stoic military leader not have ended tragically in the blockbuster HBO drama's concluding episodes, "I think they would have gone back to her home. They would have lived happily ever after." —Marcus Jones

92. Bernie and Wanda

The Bernie Mac Show

When The Bernie Mac Show premiered in 2001, stars Bernie Mac and Kellita Smith could already feel the weight of what their couple represented. "Bernie and I had an outing just to bond before we started shooting. We talked about being able to exemplify what it means to have Black love on TV," Smith said in EW's oral history of the Emmy-winning sitcom. "The major networks at the time weren't showing how to disagree and make up, how to take on a disappointment as a team. One of my favorite shows was The Jeffersons, but [George and Weezy] never embraced, really. They never really kissed or told secrets or whispered in each other's ear. [This show] was the opportunity to do that." —M.J.

91. Scott and Allison

Teen Wolf

There's nothing quite like your first love. There's also nothing quite like dying in the arms of your first love, which sadly ended up being Allison Argent's (Crystal Reed) fate. But, before her death left fans shocked (and heartbroken) in Teen Wolf's third season, Allison and Scott (Tyler Posey) were the couple defying odds at the center of the MTV hit. He was a werewolf, and she came from a family of werewolf hunters. From the moment the two appeared onscreen together in the pilot, they were undeniable. "The chemistry between Posey and Crystal was electric," pilot director Russell Mulcahy previously told EW. "That scene really cemented the magic of the show." That's why fans were so devastated when, three seasons later, Allison was killed. Her final words? "I'm in the arms of the first person I ever loved, the person I'll always love. I love you, Scott McCall." No, we're not over it. —S.H.

90. Stef and Lena

The Fosters

The Adams-Foster family was hit by every curveball imaginable on The Fosters. Whether Jesus (Noah Centineo) was suffering from a TBI, Callie (Maia Mitchell) was heading to juvie again, or Brandon (David Lambert) was caught running an SAT cheating scheme, Stef and Lena were always at the helm ensuring the family ship stayed relatively on course. Played by Teri Polo and Sherri Saum, respectively, Stef and Lena represented groundbreaking progress as an interracial, same-sex couple with an untraditional family structure. After same-sex marriage was legalized in the U.S. in 2015, Saum told EW, "We've shown ourselves to be very relevant on our show and very topical. I think [Lena and Stef] would pop open that wine — it seems to be what we do best." It's refreshing to get glimpses into the parents' post-Fosters life on the show's spin-off, Good Trouble. We last saw them deciding to foster another child; in ultimate Stef and Lena fashion, it's doubtful their home will ever be empty. —Rachel Schonberger

89. Nathan and Haley

One Tree Hill

While most of the characters on One Tree Hill swapped significant others faster than you could keep track of, the heart of the iconic teen drama was always the sweet and surprising connection between Haley (Bethany Joy Lenz) and Nathan (James Lafferty). They didn't have the most romantic beginning, with Nathan only getting to know Haley to piss off his estranged brother Lucas (Chad Michael Murray). However, the star jock and brainy singer quickly fell in love and got married while still in high school — usually a kiss of death for teen relationships, but, somehow, Naley survived and thrived despite all the zany, soapy drama constantly thrown their way. "Nobody wants to phone it in," Lenz told EW in 2004. "But it's the writers in L.A. who have the most pressure because they have to keep coming up with good ideas. We just get to stay out here in North Carolina and play dress-up!" —S.B.

Best TV Romances of All Time
Credit: Nashville: Mark Levine/CMT; The Nanny: CBS/Courtesy Everett Collection; Once Upon a Time: ABC; Twin Peaks: Courtesy of SHOWTIME; The Jeffersons: Courtesy Everett Collection

88. George and Louise

The Jeffersons

George and Louise "Weezy" Jefferson are the heart of the Norman Lear-created sitcom that broke barriers. The Jeffersons, which centered around a husband and wife starting a new chapter, was a spin-off of All in the Family. As the show's theme song "Movin' On Up" suggests, the couple, played by Sherman Hemsley and Isabel Sanford, saw their American dream materialize through their dry-cleaning and Black-owned businesses. George and Weezy found themselves the residents of a luxury Manhattan high-rise with the wise-cracking maid Florence Johnston (Marla Gibbs). Broadcast on CBS for 11 seasons from 1975 to 1985, the Jeffersons navigated territory rarely seen on TV by taking on controversial topics including racism, mental illness, and the battle of the sexes, anchored by arresting humor and poignant storytelling. No matter how passionately George and Weezy debated, it was always eclipsed by their ultimate love for each other as the Jeffersons certainly moved on up by making television history. —Justino Aguila

87. Sara and Ava

Legends of Tomorrow

Let's hear it for the enemies-to-lovers pipeline! Sara Lance (Caity Lotz), the captain of the chaos-loving Legends of Tomorrow, and Ava Sharpe (Jes Macallan), a type-A agent at the Time Bureau, didn't get along when they met in season 3. In fact, their first meeting ended with Ava holding a gun to the trained assassin's head. Yet, their dynamic didn't remain tense for too long, because they started dating in the back half of the season and were living together by the beginning of season 4. "When Jes Macallan came in to do her first chemistry read with Caity Lotz, it was evident how great a couple they would make onscreen," Legends of Tomorrow co-showrunner Phil Klemmer told EW in 2018. "But the last thing we wanted to do was to make their relationship come too easily. After two seasons of Sara loving 'em and leaving 'em, we wanted to challenge her with something more than a one-night stand with some random historical figure-of-the-week." —Chancellor Agard

86. Rayna and Deacon


Can someone have more than one true love? If you're Connie Britton, yes, you can. Defying all logic that anything could follow the epic love between her and Kyle Chandler's Tami and Eric Taylor (who take the No. 2 spot on our list!), Britton braved her heart and audience disbelief when she — and we — fell for another tall, dark, and handsome fella — this time, on Nashville. While the love story between her country star Rayna Jaymes and Charles Esten's rugged strummer Deacon Claybourne came with far more bumps and bruises, it weathered them all. Rayna and Deacon's happy ending was tinged with grief, but their journey made an impact. As Esten told EW in 2017: "This is fictional. And yet, for some reasons, stories and characters — they move our hearts." —M.M.

Best TV Romances
Credit: The Dick Van Dyke Show: The Everett Collection

85. Rob and Laura

The Dick Van Dyke Show

The Dick Van Dyke Show's Rob and Laura Petrie, portrayed by the effervescent Dick Van Dyke and Mary Tyler Moore, remain a seminal couple in TV history. The 1960s CBS sitcom followed Rob, the head writer of a variety show. While his workplace conundrums made for zany comedy, it was his marriage to Laura that made the sitcom so endearing. Season 1 divulged that Rob met Laura, then a dancer in the USO, while in the Army. It was love at first sight for the sergeant, though the same couldn't be said for Laura: She rejected Rob, but he knew he'd met his future wife. After Rob accidentally broke Laura's toes during a dance number, the rest was history. Their romance was timeless, perhaps sustained by the stars' genuine adoration for one another. Van Dyke said in a 2016 Oprah special that he and Moore had a "teenage crush on each other" while filming, recollecting, "It was fun." —Jessica Wang

84. Norma and Ed

Twin Peaks

There weren't exactly a lot of healthy, stable relationships on Twin Peaks: Most of David Lynch and Mark Frost's iconic small-town saga centered on deeply dysfunctional people who tended to keep devastating secrets from one another. But, one of the show's sweetest, most unapologetically romantic storylines centered on Ed Hurley (Everett McGill) and Norma Jennings (Peggy Lipton), the former high school sweethearts who still carried a torch for each other, even after marrying other people. The big-hearted mechanic and the resilient diner owner were kept apart for decades, but, ultimately, they got their happy ending in the 2017 Twin Peaks revival, with Ed proposing marriage in — where else? — the Double R Diner. —D.C.

83. Fran and Mr. Sheffield

The Nanny

It's the oldest story in the world: Flashy girl from Flushing, Queens, lands on the posh doorstep of a gorgeous, widowed Broadway producer in need of child care and perhaps a little love. She has style, she has flair — heck, she's there; that's how Fran Fine (Fran Drescher) became the nanny. For five seasons, Fran and her employer Maxwell Sheffield (Charles Shaughnessy) were among the top will-they-won't-they couples on television. However, their chemistry, both romantic and comedic, made it obvious they eventually would, even after Mr. Sheffield told Fran he loved her, only to take it back. Despite that hiccup, the two got married at the end of season 5, and The Nanny carried on for one more season. —Lester Brathwaite

82. Ned and Chuck

Pushing Daisies

He (Lee Pace) was an introverted pie-maker with the ability to wake the dead. She (Anna Friel) was a bubbly beekeeper and his childhood crush. After she was murdered on a cruise ship, he revived her with a single touch — but they were cursed to never touch again, or else she'd return to (permanent) death. So yeah, it's totally your typical boy-meets-girl story. Ned and Chuck's quirky relationship was part of what made the canceled-too-soon Pushing Daisies such a delight: There was a simultaneous joy and bleakness to their romance, two lovers doomed to forever keep their distance. But, as Ned and Chuck proved, love can conquer even the most insurmountable obstacles — and sometimes, all it takes is a little creativity (and the occasional plastic-wrap kiss). —D.C.

81. Emma Swan and Killian Jones

Once Upon a Time

Killian Jones (Colin O'Donoghue), a.k.a. Captain Hook, had our hearts from the beginning (leather and guyliner, need we say more?). But he swiftly transitioned from his traditional role of villain to something altogether more complex and intriguing to "savior" Emma Swan (Jennifer Morrison). Their relationship was the opposite of the show's commitment to fairy tales, a coming together of two deeply wounded people with dark pasts. Once Upon a Time was first and foremost a show about hope, redemption, and second chances — and Emma and Killian as a couple were the embodiment of that. —Maureen Lee Lenker

The Best TV Romances of All Time
Credit: One Tree Hill: CW Network/Courtesy Everett Collection / Everett Collection; The Good Place: NBC Universal Media; Grace and Frankie: Melissa Moseley/Netflix; Saved by the Bell: Everett Collection; That 70s Show: Everett Collection; Castle: Eric McCandless/ABC

80. Uncle Phil and Aunt Viv

Fresh Prince

Philip and Vivian Banks, portrayed by James Avery and Janet Hubert (then later, Daphne Maxwell Reid, who replaced Hubert), were the heart and soul of The Fresh Prince of Bel-AirThe seminal 1990s NBC sitcom centered on the misadventures of their Philadelphia transplant nephew Will (Will Smith), but Phil and Viv remained the anchor of the series, cementing their status as one of EW's best TV romances with their tender portrait of a loving, longtime marriage: silly, supportive, sometimes fraught with road bumps but always surmountable. A memorable season 5 episode revealed Philip proposed to Vivian on Soul Train. When invited back for the show's 25th anniversary, Philip, fearful that he'd lost his groove, made up excuses not to attend. A wounded Vivian attended with Will, but, alas, Philip turned up. They shared a dance to Marvin Gaye and Tammi Terrell's "You're All I Need to Get By." In family sitcoms, it's the loving parental figures needed to get by. —J.W.

79. Leo and Piper


The WB brass wanted Charmed to be all about girl power, but the supernatural series' writers knew they wanted an ongoing magical male presence in the mix, too — so they pulled a little sleight of hand. In the third episode, they wrote in a handyman who, according to DVD commentary by the creative team, the network execs were led to believe was just a periphery three-episode guest star. By the end of the season, Leo (Brian Krause) had been exposed as the Halliwells' Whitelighter, and the guardian angel fell hard for middle sister Piper (Holly Marie Combs). A forbidden love turned into a stressed marriage, as Leo struggled to balance his often conflicting commitments as a Whitelighter and a husband. Ultimately, Leo gave up his magic for twilight years filled with Scrabble with Piper. It doesn't get more romantic than that. —Patrick Gomez

78. Sol and Robert

Grace and Frankie

Grace and Frankie is a show about starting your life over at any age. That was very true for Sol Bergstein (Sam Waterston) and Robert Hanson (Martin Sheen), who began the series by leaving their wives for each other. Co-creator Marta Kauffman shared with EW ahead of the show's debut that one of her hopes for the show was for viewers to see Sol and Robert's relationship as love. "Maybe by embracing them as characters, we can have some sort of impact on people who have yet to be able to open their hearts to all kinds of love," Kauffman said. In the spirit of the show, they are a hopeful reminder that it's never too late to go after what you want, as they paved new ground for LGBTQ+ storytelling and love stories about folks getting started later in life. —Alamin Yohannes

Best TV Romances Lizzie McGuire
Credit: Lizzie McGuire: Walt Disney Co. The Everett Collection; Lizzie McGuire: Ali Goldstein/Disney Channel; The Lizzie McGuire Movie: Walt Disney Co./Courtesy Everett Collection

77. Lizzie and Gordo

Lizzie McGuire

While When Harry Met Sally convinced a generation that men and women can't be friends, Lizzie (Hilary Duff) and Gordo (Adam Lamberg) taught the next that maybe the best lovers are our friends. The more Lizzie pined for handsome jock Ethan Craft (Clayton Snyder), the harder the nerdy Gordo seemed to fall for his bestie. After an attempted confession at a murder mystery party, Lizzie finally got the hint in the show's finale via Gordo's note in her yearbook — and she kissed him (on the cheek) in their school picture. It would take a feature film to get them the real kiss fans longed for. It may have been a middle-school romance, and the adult Lizzie McGuire series will seemingly remain a twinkle in our eye, but we like to believe these two crazy kids would've made it for the long haul. —M.L.L.

76. Eleanor and Chidi

The Good Place

Talk about standing the test of time: The Good Place's late lovers Eleanor (Kristen Bell) and Chidi (William Jackson Harper) had to fall for each other over and over across hundreds of years to be together. And that's just one obstacle they faced: Both had their memories erased multiple times, with Chidi even doing so by choice in the penultimate season's finale. (Why? It's more complicated than Jeremy Bearimy.) "It's [Eleanor's] biggest season of growth because it's really where she has to walk the walk of love being a choice and not a feeling," Bell told EW ahead of the show's final season. "She's going to choose to love Chidi even though he's not able to reciprocate the feelings. Even though all the joy is sucked out of their relationship because he doesn't remember it, but, she's still going to choose to love him." And, ultimately, they got their happy ending — even if it wasn't quite eternal. —Tyler Aquilina

75. Castle and Beckett


Not since Moonlighting has there been a crime-solving team with so much unresolved sexual tension (and if rumors are to be believed, offscreen loathing between the costars). Crime novelist Rick Castle (Nathan Fillion) and Det. Kate Beckett (Stana Katic) knew just how to push each other's buttons from the moment they met, but it was inevitable all that sexual tension would resolve into a romantic connection on Castle. For a long time, the two danced around their teasing chemistry, kissing but only as a decoy in an investigation, until a shooting at a funeral pushed Castle to finally utter the words "I love you" in the season 2 finale. "The thing about Castle and Beckett's relationship is that it's always surprising and always seems to sneak up on them when they're not looking," creator Andrew Marlowe told EW. It was that constant uncertainty that kept the relationship compelling over eight seasons, locking into a His Girl Friday banter with a propulsive undercurrent of danger. —M.L.L.

74. Kitty and Red

That '70s Show

What made Kitty (Debra Jo Rupp) and Red Forman (Kurtwood Smith) so endearing was just how real they were on That '70s Show. They bickered like...well, the older married couple they were. They disagreed on how to parent their teen son and his dope-loving friends. They were complete opposites — Red, constantly about to explode in all his "get off my lawn!" anger, and Kitty, indefatigably bubbly and caring, always breaking out in her iconic, squinty-eyed giggle. And yet, no matter what they faced or how loud they argued, their love for each other always showed through. Kitty was perhaps the only person in the world who could melt Red's tough exterior and expose the mushy teddy bear underneath. This was true suburban love, and totally relatable no matter what age you are or decade you may be from. —S.B.

73. Bob and Linda

Bob's Burgers

How has a goofy, madcap cartoon produced one of TV's best portraits of a healthy marriage? Bob (H. Jon Benjamin) and Linda Belcher (John Roberts) have a true partnership on Bob's Burgers: loving, supportive, and sturdy enough to withstand Bob's annoyance every time Linda bursts into song. (If opposites attract, the flighty Linda and the reserved Bob have one of the strongest bonds on this list.) Linda summed up their relationship in season 10's premiere "The Ring (But Not Scary)": "Our love is in everything we've built together," she says, "after you begged me to settle for you." What's more romantic than that? —T.A.

72. Adam and Kristina


Parenthood is best known as the show that made viewers cry. But one of the ways it did that was by delivering realistic portrayals of family, marriage, tragedy, and everything in between. At the center of the Braverman clan (and its many dance parties) was oldest sibling Adam (Peter Krause) and his incredibly supportive wife Kristina (Monica Potter). From the jump, Adam and Kristina were established as longtime sweethearts who just seemed to fit together. With two kids — three, by the end of the series — and countless people relying on them every day, they tackled each task together, as partners. When Kristina battled breast cancer in the show's fourth season, they found themselves tested like never before — a battle that resulted in one of Parenthood's best stories. (And yes, it did make us cry.) —S.H.

71. Zack and Kelly

Saved by the Bell

Mark-Paul Gosselaar and Tiffani Thiessen had both given a "time out" to any talk of a Saved by the Bell reboot, with the actress who played peppy Kelly Kapowski even going as far as to say "it's never going to happen." Yet, 2020 proved her wrong, with Peacock's imaginative revival of the '90s Saturday morning staple seeing both stars reprising their iconic roles. "I noticed fans really loved to see them together again," Thiessen told EW shortly after the show's premiere. One detail that surprised her, though? "I'm actually surprised they didn't have more kids. I always thought that they would've had at least four kids by now, if not more." —M.J.

Best TV Romances of All Time
Credit: Family Ties: NBC via Getty Images; Insecure: Anne Marie Fox/HBO; Walking Dead: Gene Page/AMC; How I Met Your Mother: CBS; Wynonna Earp: Michelle Faye/Wynonna Earp Productions, Inc./SYFY; The Bob Newhart Show: CBS via Getty Images

70. Mallory and Nick

Family Ties

Steven (Michael Gross) and Elyse Keaton (Meredith Baxter) weren't exactly thrilled when their flighty teen daughter Mallory (Justine Bateman) began dating the monosyllabic, motorcycle-riding "environmental artist" Nick Moore (Scott Valentine) on Family Ties. Fortunately, a little parental disapproval wasn't enough to stop a romance from blossoming between these two kindhearted soulmates. Mallory was the lone airhead in a family of book-smart brainiacs, and the moment Nick opened his mouth (usually to grunt, "Hey"), people assumed he was nothing more than a dimwitted guy with an earring. But, all that mattered was the value they saw in each other. "You're the first one who really believed in me," Nick told his beloved in "Art Lover" (season 4, episode 20). "When I'm with you, I feel special," Mallory replied. "I never felt that way before." They may not have been the sharpest knives in the drawer, but they certainly were the sweetest. —Kristen Baldwin

69. Waverly and Nicole

Wynonna Earp

You can't talk about Syfy's Wynonna Earp without mentioning the tender and fun relationship between Waverly Earl (Dominique Provost-Chalkley) and Nicole Haught (Katherine Barrell), which was one of the most-loved facets of the supernatural drama. "I've always thought the reason the fans have fallen in love with these characters is because they're very real, they're very three-dimensional and flawed, and they fit together like two beautiful gay puzzle pieces but, you know, with challenges," showrunner Emily Andras told EW in 2021. "I think living in Purgatory and living a life where so much of their day-to-day existence is fending off demons, they have a very unconventional relationship anyway insofar as they are constantly put in situations that are dangerous or the stakes are very high, but they always make time to celebrate one another and really live in that present moment of being like, 'Anything could happen to either one of us at any time, so we have to tell each other we love each other and show it in all these different ways.'" —C.A.

68. Tracy and Gordo

For All Mankind

Tracy (Sarah Jones) and Gordo (Michael Dorman) started off the alternate-history series For All Mankind in a stereotypical 1960s marriage dynamic: Gordo, a beloved and philandering NASA star, chuffed to see his homemaker wife dust off her pilot skills as part of the United States' first wave of female astronaut recruits. After a time-jump in between seasons, their dynamic transformed in season 2: Tracy now the remarried face of the space program, and Gordo the schlubby, grounded drunk longing for the career and wife he once had. Gordo spent the entire season working to become a man worthy of Tracy's love again, finally finagling a reunion with his ex...on the moon. (As one does.) Sacrifice does not begin to describe what these two are willing to do for one another — and their country — when Russia-U.S. tensions reach a boiling point. Here on Earth or among the stars, a more complete love story is rare to find. —P.G.

67. Glenn and Maggie

The Walking Dead

Surviving a zombie apocalypse is damn near impossible, as The Walking Dead proved over and over (and over) again to new levels of devastating heartbreak each time. But, to find love amid the violence and gore and decimated population where it seemed no one is trustworthy, let alone available for romance? That should have never happened. And yet Glenn (Steven Yeun) and Maggie (Lauren Cohan) defied all odds and went from virtual strangers to obligatory allies to, eventually, husband and wife on AMC's long-running drama — until the most-hated villain of all time ripped them apart in one of the most gruesome death scenes to ever air on TV. Glenn's final words to Maggie as his head was bashed in by a barbed-wire-covered baseball bat (No, we will never forget that image, so neither can you!) were, "I will find you." Great, we're sobbing again. "His final wishes are, that he would go so far to say even in his broken state, 'I will find you.' That's heavy," Yeun told EW in 2016. "I think he means a lot of things. Part of it is that he's just had his brain knocked in and is glitching. And maybe he's going back to a time when he was looking for Maggie when they were separated. Maybe he's trying to leave a lasting legacy of what it is to be Glenn in that moment and to be selfless and say, 'Don't worry, I will always be here,' or 'There's nothing that can separate us,' and that could definitely be it. But I think the beauty of this particular situation is the fact that it's so layered, and you can draw whatever you want out of those words." Glenn and Maggie deserved so much better and no, we will never get over their tragic ending. —S.B.

66. Hank and Peggy

King of the Hill

Mild-mannered propane salesman Hank (Mike Judge) and self-centered woman-of-many-talents Peggy (Kathy Najimy) weren't the most likely of matches — at their 20th-anniversary party, she read a romantic poem; he showed a slideshow titled "20 Years of Outstanding Service." But their enduring bond helped anchor King of the Hill over its 13 seasons, withstanding all verbal tirades and bone-shattering skydiving incidents. Perhaps it was their appreciation for the simple things: "I remember when I fell in love with Peggy," Hank once recalled. "I'll never forget that first handshake. I wanted it to last forever." —T.A.

65. Bob and Emily

The Bob Newhart Show

For six seasons, the, well, heart of The Bob Newhart Show was Bob and Emily Hartley. The often cantankerous, deadpan psychologist (Bob Newhart) and sassy-charming teacher (Suzanne Pleshette) were a real dream to watch each week, a memorable match of wits as they dealt with everything from the mundane to the potentially life-altering (like when they decided twice over the course of the series to try to have a child: once naturally, but unsuccessfully; the other via adoption, which they eventually put on hold). But the point was that the comedic action was all about their marriage, and conversations often happened while the two were in bed...together — the first time a TV couple shared one, as Newhart has proudly boasted. But their love for each other is what audiences (and lots of famous fans) still remember to this day. "That chemistry, you just don't manufacture it. It's there," Newhart told EW in 2014. "I would go on stand-up tours with my wife and everybody would say, 'Where's Emily?' I had to explain to them that that just happens on television. As a matter of fact, when I started Newhart, I told Mary Frann [who played his wife Joanna], 'You're going to have a tough job because Suzy and I, we had this wonderful rapport, and they're going to compare you to it, and it's going to be tough on you.'" —Gerrad Hall

Best TV Romances Orphan Black
Credit: BBC America

64. Cosima and Delphine

Orphan Black

Cophine fans are a very vocal part of Orphan Black's legacy. Watching the two brilliant minds meet, make scientific discoveries, and fall in love generated full-on fandom. They were also a maddening couple at times because of secrets and lines drawn in the sand, but, in the end, they got their perfect ending by working together to inoculate Leda clones all over the world. Love for the couple, or the Clone Club overall, comes down to the impact the show had, which star Tatiana Maslany discussed with EW close to the series finale. "It's about the fact that we are all actors who love our job and get to do a show that we really care about and that has touched people, like the Clone Club. [Like when] a 40-year-old woman comes up to me and says, 'Cosima let me finally come out,'" she shared. —A.Y.

63. Marshall and Lily

How I Met Your Mother

How I Met Your Mother's best love story might not have existed if Alyson Hannigan had turned the show down. Co-creators Carter Bays and Craig Thomas based college sweethearts Marshall (Jason Segel) and Lily (Hannigan) on Thomas and his wife Rebecca — something the latter was none too pleased about. "I said to her, 'We're writing a pilot and we're going to make a character based on you,'" Thomas recalled at a PaleyFest LA panel in 2006. "And she basically said, 'That kind of freaks me out, but I'll let you do it if you can get Alyson Hannigan to play me.' And somehow it happened!" Luckily for the show: Across HIMYM's nine seasons, Marshall and Lily's realistically complicated and compromise-filled (but always loving) marriage became one of the most nuanced relationships in sitcom history. —T.A.

62. Lawrence and Issa


Throughout five seasons, there were plenty of moments where this Insecure couple played by Jay Ellis and Issa Rae could've rocketed up and down this list. Going into the series finale, even the creator/star was unsure if the vacillating pair was the right endgame. "I did not think that they were going to end up together, and I was in the camp of feeling like I didn't want Issa to end up with a man who had his first baby with someone else," Rae told EW in 2021. "Then, as I started to become Issa Dee and started to shoot as her and live as her, I found myself wanting him and missing him and wanting that for her. I think we were both simultaneously on a journey to recognize that we could be happy together." —M.J.

The Best TV Romances of All Time
Bridgerton: LIAM DANIEL/NETFLIX; Arrow: The CW Network; Doctor Who: BBC; Fresh Off the Boat: American Broadcasting Companies; The L Word: Showtime Networks Inc, The Everett Collection | Credit: Clockwise: Netflix, The CW, BBC, ABC, Showtime

61. Mike and Carol

The Brady Bunch

A lovely lady and a man named Brady became one of television's most iconic pairings over the course of five seasons on The Brady Bunch. Unlike a lot of sitcom couples who seem to barely stand each other, Mike (Robert Reed) and Carol Brady (Florence Henderson) remained absolutely besotted even while managing the hijinks of six boisterous kids, a dog named Tiger, and the eventual addition of cousin Oliver. Even a truly tragic male perm couldn't dull their ardor. While their marriage seems positively retro by today's more modern standards, Mike and Carol had an admirable love and respect for each other that led many generations of kids to wish the Brady parents were their own. —Lauren Morgan

60. Dana and Alice

The L Word

Viewers loved watching Dana Fairbanks (Erin Daniels) and Alice Pieszecki (Leisha Hailey) go from great friends to lovers on The L Word. While their love story had a tragic end, the pair is a big part of the groundbreaking show's legacy. "There were younger people that would have their parents watch so their parents could understand [them]," Daniels told EW about being recognized for playing someone who means so much to people. As for Dana's death, the cast recalled how sad they were when we reunited them in 2017. In fact, co-creator Ilene Chaiken revealed she regrets the choice, even though it was a good story. "We told it with great sensitivity and verisimilitude, but the audience never forgave me for it. It's just the one thing that I maybe would change if I could go back," she said. Luckily, folks can continue to see Alice on The L Word: Generation Q—A.Y.

Best TV Romances Watchmen
Watchmen: Mark Hill/HBO | Credit: HBO

59. Angela and Doctor Manhattan


"This is the moment." The marriage between Angela Abar (Regina King) and Cal (Yahya Abdul-Mateen II) was romantic from the get-go, even when he appeared to be just a supportive stay-at-home husband. But the eventual reveal that Cal was actually Doctor Manhattan in disguise gave Watchmen the series enough emotional weight to stand toe-to-toe with the original Watchmen comic by Alan Moore and Dave Gibbons. Due to Doctor Manhattan's nonlinear experience of time (perfectly translated from Moore's original comic book conception into the TV format by writers Jeff Jensen and Damon Lindelof — no easy task!) he didn't truly fall in love with Angela until the exact moment it became too late to save him from the white supremacist Seventh Kavalry. Yet, she still tried to fight for him anyway. Now that's tragedy! —Christian Holub

58. Jessica and Louis

Fresh Off the Boat

Over six (underappreciated!) seasons, the Huang family brought comedic magic to the 'burbs on Fresh Off the Boat. Yes, the show broke television ground with its portrayal of a Chinese family balancing identity, idealism, and the idiocy of everyday life in America. But its other lasting legacy is the lived-in dynamic of Jessica (Constance Wu) and Louis (Randall Park): two polar opposite strivers who somehow stayed sweet on each other while they built businesses, raised three kids, and made us all nostalgic for the optimism of the '90s. "This was just a really funny and heartfelt show featuring a family that we all can identify with, and even though there were things about them that were different, we all could understand and connect to them," Park told EW in 2020. "I think that is what made this show so special." In chasing their version of the American dream, Jessica and Louis offered up a dream (and a scream) of a marriage. —M.M.

57. The Tenth Doctor and Rose

Doctor Who

The iconic BBC sci-fi series Doctor Who has introduced plenty of romantic plots during its decades-long run, but no relationship is as moving as the one between David Tennant's Tenth Doctor and Billie Piper's Rose Tyler. Sure, there's a multi-century age gap, and when they first met, he did have an entirely different face (Christopher Eccleston). But, together, the ageless Timelord and the brave Londoner formed an inseparable bond, outwitting alien werewolves and flirting their way through the galaxy. Their time together made both of them better: She helped him regain his joy and empathy after the brutal trauma of the Time War, while he showed her the universe, helping her discover her own inner strength. Ten and Rose's tragic seaside farewell in the season 2 finale "Doomsday" was one of Doctor Who's most gut-wrenching moments, but, ultimately, they did get a happy ending, albeit an unconventional one: Nothing says romance like living happily ever after in a parallel universe with your alien boyfriend's human clone! —D.C.

56. Sybil and Tom

Downton Abbey

Though Matthew (Dan Stevens) and Mary (Michelle Dockery) provided lots of will-they-won't-they drama, youngest Crawley daughter Sybil (Jessica Brown Findlay) and chauffeur Tom Branson (Allen Leech) were the romantic heart of Downton AbbeyTheir forbidden upstairs-downstairs romance of a suffragette heiress and Irish revolutionary captured what made Downton so irresistible — the lush love stories, the historical context, and the picture of two worlds living in juxtaposition to each other. "We were helped along by the age-old story everyone loves, which is almost the lady and the stable boy," Leech told EW. "This time it was the lady and the chauffeur. People love the idea because what they symbolized was how love can conquer all." Except, sadly, mortality rates among pregnant women in the early 20th century. —M.L.L.

Best TV Romances Tahani


Tahani and herself

Talk about a match made in heaven. On The Good Place, there was only one soulmate for Jameela Jamil's name-dropping, humble-bragging socialite. To quote the queen herself: "I would say I outdid myself, but I'm always this good. So I simply did myself."

—Devan Coggan


55. Oliver and Felicity


As most DC Comics fans know, Oliver Queen (Stephen Amell), a.k.a. the Green Arrow, and computer genius Felicity Smoak (Emily Bett Rickards) shouldn't have been endgame on Arrow. In the comics, Oliver is romantically paired with Black Canary, and the show did explore Oliver's connection with Laurel (Katie Cassidy) — who would eventually become the black leather-clad vigilante — in season 1. However, it eventually ignored the canon and Olicity became the main love story because of Amell and Rickards' undeniable chemistry, on display from their first scene in Arrow's third episode, and the two characters eventually got married. "They're such opposites. I think that's what draws everyone in a little bit," showrunner Beth Schwartz told EW in 2019. "You don't see the [love story of a] super intelligent woman and the sort of hunky, athletic man very often. She's obviously a gorgeous woman, but what he really loves is her brain." Meanwhile, Amell attributes the couple's success to the fans of Rickards' performance. "She's supremely talented and awesome and carved out a space that no one anticipated," he told EW ahead of the final season. "I don't know that the show works if we don't randomly find her." —C.A.

54. Niles and Daphne


An improvised hair sniff by David Hyde Pierce during Niles' first meeting with Daphne (Jane Leeves) sparked Frasier's great will-they-won't-they pairing between Frasier's (Kelsey Grammer) fastidious younger brother and their father Martin's (John Mahoney) warm-hearted physical therapist. Though Niles fell in love with Daphne almost instantly, the show wrung both comedy and heartbreak out of his quiet pining for the working-class woman from Manchester for several seasons. Even after he divorced his frosty, always unseen wife Maris, mixed messages and misunderstandings kept them apart despite their obvious romantic chemistry. It wasn't until Daphne was about to marry another man in season 7 that Niles finally got the right answer to the question he asked her long ago, "What are you doing for the rest of your life?" —L.M.

53. Alec and Magnus


Nothing — not even Downworlder drama or archaic Institute intrigue — could keep Malec apart. The beloved and swoon-worthy Shadowhunters relationship between serious warrior Alec Lightwood (Matthew Daddario) and High Warlock Magnus Bane (Harry Shum Jr.) overcame both life-and-death and romantic obstacles. But, most importantly, it was the much-needed catalyst for change within the formerly-homophobic shadowhunter community, as Magnus helped Alec come out of the closet and, as a result, paved the way for more LGBTQ+ relationships to blossom within their world. Their journey towards happily ever after wasn't easy, but when the fan-favorite Freeform series was suddenly canceled, the extended series finale still made sure to include a rushed, spur-of-the-moment wedding for Alec and Magnus, because as showrunner Darren Swimmer told EW in 2019, "Of course that was going to happen. There's no way we wouldn't go to that place." Fellow showrunner Todd Slavkin told EW that the wedding would have happened a bit differently if only they had more time (a.k.a. another season). "We would've planned the wedding," Slavkin says. "That would've taken time. The wedding would not have happened the same day." Great, yet another reason to mourn the canceled-too-soon series! —S.B.

52. Martin and Gina


The couple that made "Daaaaaaamn, Gina!" a cultural refrain, Martin's Martin (Martin Lawrence) and Gina (Tisha Campbell) were the coolest and funniest couple '90s TV had to offer. And credit has to go to House Party alums Lawrence and Campbell, two deft comedians willing to do anything for a laugh. Their commitment to a bit (and to each other) grounded Martin, even when things got absurd, as they quite often did — whether it was Gina stumbling around with her head stuck in a giant bed frame or Martin fighting what was obviously a stuffed rat to the death. Over five seasons, Martin and Gina went from bickering boyfriend and girlfriend to bickering husband and wife, though unfortunately, the laughs didn't always extend off-screen. In 1997, Campbell sued Lawrence for harassment and didn't appear in most of season 5, save for the last two episodes of the series. Lawrence and Campbell finally reconciled in early 2020. —L.B.

The Best TV Romances of All Time
Credit: True Blood: Jaimie Trueblood/HBO, The X-Files: Michael Lavine/FOX; The Mindy Project, FOX, Bones, Kwaku Alston;

51. Daphne and Simon


A romance novel granted a rare big-budget adaptation, Bridgerton redefined the television period piece. Daphne (Phoebe Dynevor) and Simon (Regé-Jean Page) began as a mutually beneficial fake courtship, but their love quickly became abundantly real to audiences. From spoon licks to cunning library linguistics, Daphne and Simon made viewers burn for them. "It's not often you see sex [treated] that way, essential in Daphne's journey," Dynevor previously told EW. "It is the female gaze." —M.L.L.

50. Gretchen and Jimmy

You're the Worst

It may seem weird to have an anti-rom-com rom-com couple on this list, but You're the Worst's Gretchen (Aya Cash) and Jimmy (Chris Geere) defy all kinds of expectations. These two narcissistic, self-destructive, commitment-phobic oddballs were somehow perfect for each other — despite the fact that both of them were the actual worst people you'd ever meet (as the show's title explains). Creator Stephen Falk told EW in 2015, "Love is about putting someone else's needs in front of your own. We see both Jimmy and Gretchen do that in different ways. For two narcissists to acknowledge that they need to make an adjustment for the person in their life is a really huge step." But it was the show's exploration of Gretchen's clinical depression in the unexpectedly serious and raw second season that solidified not only the show, but also this couple as groundbreaking. Jimmy ultimately learned how to support Gretchen without trying to "fix" her, and Gretchen found someone who accepted her and all her flaws (of which there were many). Over five seasons, their unconventional love story showed how happiness could be found on even the most untraditional paths, which made it all the more relatable. — S.B.

TV Romance Survivor

49. Boston Rob and Amber


Boston Rob Mariano is such a good liar and manipulator that even his future wife Amber Brkich didn't know if he was truly falling for her when they played together in Survivor: All-Stars, or whether the showmance was just strategic gameplay. "I was hopeful while we were on the show together that it was real, but I was never sure until the game was over," she told EW in Fiji in 2019 just days before the couple returned to play Survivor: Winners at War. "It's Survivor. It's the game where you play and you get played. I was hoping I wasn't getting played." All doubts were erased on May 9, 2004, when Amber was not only revealed as the million-dollar All-Stars winner during the live finale, but also was on the receiving end of an on-camera marriage proposal from the man she just bested in the final two. Eighteen years, four daughters, and another million dollars (courtesy of Rob's victory in Survivor: Redemption Island) later, it seems pretty damn real after all. —Dalton Ross

48. Booth and Bones


Temperance Brennan (Emily Deschanel) was a brilliant woman in STEM when TV didn't have nearly enough, and her beloved relationship with Seeley Booth (David Boreanaz) was an equally important part of Bones' legacy. "We rewrote and rehearsed — we cultivated our characters that way and excited the writers," Boreanaz told EW in 2017. "They [initially] wanted a serious, X-Files-ish show, and we wanted a character show." Thankfully, they got exactly what they wanted, because, over 12 seasons, viewers watched them bicker, fall in love, start a family, and solve cases. When reflecting on the series finale, Deschanel shared that their "witty repartee" in the pilot drew her to the project in the first place. "They have this kind of sexual tension and they disagree with each other, but they have mutual respect at the same time, which I think was so nice," she said. —A.Y.

47. Diane and Kurt

The Good Fight

Diane Lockhart (Christine Baranski) and Kurt McVeigh (Gary Cole) shouldn't have worked. She's a high-powered lawyer, Emily's List liberal democrat who proudly displays a photo with former Secretary of State Hillary Clinton on her desk, and he's a gun-loving Republican who has a similar pic with former Governor of Alaska Sarah Palin. Yet, there was a near-instant attraction when they met for the first time in The Good Wife's first season, and watching their relationship evolve through the end of the CBS legal drama and into the Paramount+ spin-off The Good Fight has been quite rewarding. Given their political differences, though, The Good Fight's writers considered breaking them up in season 5; however, they ultimately couldn't bring themselves to do it, a decision Baranski agreed with. "To just end it abruptly, I think, would've been, hmm...sad for people to see that. It would've been deeply sad for Diane," Baranski told EW in 2021. Nevertheless, the question of how sustainable their relationship is remains. "There's something deep in Kurt that she admires, and he loves her and she loves him deeply." —C.A.

46. Mulder and Scully

The X-Files

It's no surprise that The X-Files is widely credited as the show that introduced the term "shipping." In early seasons, fans split into two warring factions: those who believed everyone's favorite alien-hunting government agents should remain platonic partners, and those who believed Fox Mulder (David Duchovny) and Dana Scully (Gillian Anderson) should give in to their undeniable chemistry. In retrospect, it's impossible to watch their candlelit motel conversation in the pilot episode and not recognize that these two were destined to end up together. Mulder and Scully's relationship was a slow burn of sexual tension, almost-kisses, and the occasional slow dance to Cher — a partnership built on mutual respect and friendship that ultimately evolved into romance. In 11 seasons of monsters, extraterrestrials, and sewer creatures, Mulder and Scully learned that, sometimes, all you need is your 1-in-5-billion. —D.C.

45. Luke and Lorelai

Gilmore Girls

Lorelai Gilmore (Lauren Graham) of Gilmore Girls had one true love, and that was coffee. But her other true love — other than her daughter, obviously — was the man pouring the coffee while wearing a flannel shirt, a backward baseball cap, and a salty attitude. But Luke (Scott Patterson) and Lorelai's Stars Hollow romance wasn't always the plan. Graham previously told EW that a romantic relationship was "not a foregone conclusion" for the pair. "It's just this funny, weird chemistry that we had in terms of being complete opposites and also this built-in conflict of he has the thing she wants — which is coffee." It always comes back to the coffee. Well, that, and the connection. "I knew it from the moment we met, I knew it was going to work," Patterson said. And yet, fans had to wait until the 2016 Netflix revival, Gilmore Girls: A Year in the Life, for a Luke-Lorelai wedding in the town square. —S.H.

44. Sookie, Bill, and Eric

True Blood

Amongst all of the blood and betrayal in Bon Temps, La., lived a love triangle that transcended light versus darkness. Mind-reading faerie Sookie (Anna Paquin) and brooding vampire Bill (Stephen Moyer) instantly formed a lasting connection in the first episode of the hit HBO series True Blood when Bill saved Sookie from a violent attack and brought her back to life with his own blood. But, along came Eric (Alexander Skarsgård), the 1,000-year-old Viking vampire, whose bravado and penchant for danger intrigued Sookie. Their passion became palpable with each episode that passed, eventually leading to a fan-favorite hookup four seasons in the making. In a hazy daydream, Sookie admitted to her bloodsucking boyfriends (who had always been foes) that she was in love with both of them. Of course, they fought for her heart, with Eric arguing he was 10 times Bill's age and Bill stating he loved Sookie 20 times as much. —Calie Schepp

43. Barry and Iris

The Flash

The Flash doesn't need to rely on physical intimacy to sell Barry a.k.a. the Flash (Grant Gustin) and Iris' (Candice Patton) love story. "A lot of the romance and chemistry between Grant and I has always been something even deeper than that," Patton told EW at DC FanDome in 2020. "It's the way we look at each other and the way the characters are written." Furthermore, showrunner Eric Wallace doesn't think they've lost that spark. "It's just a joy to watch Grant and Candice still, eight seasons in, giving it their all, fully committed to the roles, and making magic onscreen," he said in an interview with EW about season 8's "Armageddon" event. "We're still getting the signs that they'd like to start a family and move forward with their lives," Gustin said. —C.A.

42. Josh and Donna

The West Wing

The West Wing's Josh (Bradley Whitford) and Donna (Janel Moloney) were less of a will-they-won't-they couple and more of a dear-god-will-they-ever couple. Josh was the witty White House Deputy Chief of Staff with President Bartlet's (Martin Sheen) ear and Donna was his trusty assistant, far better at her job than pretty much anyone else in that place. The flirtation was instant. The chemistry was incredible. And yet, the show made viewers wait seven seasons before Josh and Donna so much as locked lips. But, it turns out, we should just be thankful Donna stuck around. "Janel built her role from scratch, basically," creator Aaron Sorkin once told EW. "Donna was a character who had two lines in the pilot episode. And when it turned out that we were 20 seconds short or 40 seconds short ... [director Thomas Schlamme] and I huddled up, and we said, 'You know, it was really nice when Josh and Donna were talking to each other. Let's just do a little bit more of that.' She was in all 22 episodes of the first season, but each week never knew if she was gonna be in the show the next week. She just built herself into one of the leads of the show." —S.H.

41. Mindy and Danny

The Mindy Project

The Mindy Project began as a workplace comedy that was also a rom-com for Mindy Lahiri (Mindy Kaling) and her beau of the week. But the real romantic gold came every time sparks flew between Mindy and her curmudgeonly co-worker Danny Castellano (Chris Messina). Kaling credited it all to Messina, telling EW, "Even when we're doing a scene about work, I'll be watching and think, 'Whoa. That's sexual chemistry.' That's just Messina's smoldering, Sicilian, black-eyed heartthrob-iness. My little secret is he would have chemistry with a fire hydrant. He's just that kind of guy." From workplace frenemies to Danny's sexy secret Santa dance to an airplane hookup to the most rom-com-perfect season finale of all time, Mindy and Danny gave audiences plenty to squee over. But it was the way they exposed the dark side of the curmudgeon trope in later seasons, only to evolve and enlighten Danny in the series finale, that cemented it as one of the best TV romances ever. —M.L.L.

The Best TV Romances of All Time
Credit: Moonlighting: ABC via Getty Images; Happy Endings: Adam Taylor/ABC; The Office: NBC; Killing Eve: Robert Viglasky/BBCAmerica; ER: Associated Press

40. Sydney and Vaughn


Sydney Bristow (Jennifer Garner) and Michael Vaughn (Michael Vartan) never could catch a break throughout Alias, which only made their constant will-they-won't-they tension sizzle even more. EW even declared them to be the "best couple on TV" back in 2003, despite (or maybe because of?) the many, many instances they were forced apart on the hit spy thriller. First, they couldn't be together because he was her handler as she worked as a triple agent taking down SD-6 for the CIA, adding life-or-death stakes to the whole forbidden love trope. When she finally achieved her goal in the iconic premise-busting post-Super Bowl episode, they came together in one of TV's most passionate, searing first kisses amid the literal wreckage of SD-6...only to be ripped from their happiness shortly after when Sydney disappeared for two years, during which Vaughn moved on (in one of the most heartbreaking twists in the history of romantic TV, may we add). Sure, his new love turned out to be evil (an easy cop-out for the show to course-correct) but his thirst for revenge nearly ruined what made fans love the character and his relationship with Sydney in the first place. Even executive producer Jeff Pinkner admitted to EW in 2006 that "we could have handled that story line better." Thankfully, they finally got back together midway through season 4 and even got engaged. The show's decision to retcon Vaughn's entire identity as double agent André Michaux in the final season couldn't stop their relationship from progressing even further (mostly because Garner's real-life pregnancy forced the show to make Sydney pregnant as well). After more evil clones and yet another faked death and shocking resurrection, Sydney and Vaughn ended Alias happily married, parents to two kids, and living the blissful semi-retirement life they deserved. It was the perfect ending for a relationship that made five seasons of hell more than worth it — and there wasn't a single carton of coffee ice cream in sight to ruin it. — S.B.

39. Phil and Claire

Modern Family

Phil (Ty Burrell) and Claire Dunphy (Julie Bowen) are the prime example of why opposites attract. The beloved sitcom couple perfectly balanced each other out, with Claire the controlling perfectionist wife and Phil the lighthearted husband always looking for fun. Throughout 11 seasons of Modern Family, the couple grew together and challenged each other in hilarious and heartfelt ways. Whether it was putting on disguises and role-playing as a spy and housewife in a bar, or Claire learning magic and setting up an elaborate Valentine's Day dinner to impress Phil, they always knew how to keep the fire between them lit. —C.S.

38. Eve and Villanelle

Killing Eve

There are many ways to show someone you care about them. A candlelit dinner. A bouquet of flowers. A fruit or vegetable emoji. But the two forces in the spy thriller Killing Eve — British intelligence officer Eve (Sandra Oh) and narcissistic assassin Villanelle (Jodie Comer) — traffic in more, er, alternative methods: a stabbing in the gut; a shooting in the back. Best to keep a medic on standby for TV's most captivating, demented, and unconsummated romance. "I feel that they communicate on a completely different plane, where things like stabbing the other person mean different things," Oh told EW in season 2. "Or else she could be angrier about me not passing her the bread than me having stabbed her." 'Til death do they part, clearly. —Dan Snierson

37. Brad and Jane

Happy Endings

Happy Endings was a show whose success stemmed from the chemistry between its six leads, including Eliza Coupe and Damon Wayans Jr., who played Jane and Brad. Between the costumes and antics, they were a dynamic comedy duo. As an interracial married couple who were absolutely in love (rare for TV spouses), they brought more than laughs to the hit series — but the laughs were cut short when the show was canceled after only three seasons. When EW spoke to series creator David Caspe in 2014, he shared that, had the series continued, fans would have gotten to see the couple have a child. Imagine what that comedy trio would have blessed us with. —A.Y.

36. Chuck and Sarah


After fighting through the various obstacles to their relationship, computer geek-turned-spy Chuck Bartowski (Zachary Levi) and badass super-spy Sarah Walker (Yvonne Strahovski) finally got married — only to lose it all in one moment when Sarah lost her memory in the final season. As the series finale faded to black, Chuck and Sarah decided to kiss and see if it might help Sarah remember, leaving viewers to wonder if it worked. Co-creators Josh Schwartz and Chris Fedak have always maintained that the answer is obvious if you've watched the entire show. Nevertheless, almost 10 years later, fans are still begging for a definitive happy ending. "I would say once a week on Twitter, I get, 'Tell me Sarah got her memories back!' like, demanding an answer," Schwartz told EW when we reunited the cast in 2020. "But you know, that was what was really so fun about how Chris [who wrote the finale] left the ending. It's up to the audience to decide." —C.A.

35. Will and Alicia

The Good Wife

Alicia (Julianna Margulies) and Will (Josh Charles) were always meant to be together; we knew it the minute she ran into him in The Good Wife pilot and he offered her the chance to come work at his firm. But, the nature of their work, coupled with her scandal-filled marriage to Mr. Big — er, Chris Noth's Peter Florrick — and the kids she had with him kept Alicia from her one true love. So, when a gunman took down Will in that season 5 shocker, a part of us died along with him. You didn't deserve that, Alicia. But then, neither did he. —Lynette Rice

Best TV Romances of All Time Glee
Credit: Glee: FOX

34. Santana and Brittany


Naya Rivera will be remembered for many aspects of her turn on Glee as the spiky, sincere cheerleader Santana Lopez, from her lacerating barbs towards bothersome peers to her pristine covers of ace vocalists like Amy Winehouse and Adele. "But her greatest Glee legacy is probably the humor and humanity that she brought to Santana's relationship with her best friend and eventual girlfriend/wife Brittany (played by Heather Morris)," said the show's creators Ryan Murphy, Brad Falchuk, and Ian Brennan in a statement after Rivera's death. "Naya understood what 'Brittana' meant to the many young women who were seeing themselves represented on television for the first time," added the trio. "Naya always made sure that Santana's love for Brittany was expressed with dignity, strength, and with pure intentions." —M.J.

33. Jim and Pam

The Office

It doesn't take much swiping on dating apps to find someone saying they're looking for the Jim to their Pam, or vice versa. It's not surprising: The Office's beloved co-workers-to-friends-to-lovers romance left an entire generation aspiring for the sweet, propose-in-the-rain-at-a-gas-station love portrayed by John Krasinski and Jenna Fischer on the NBC sitcom from 2005 to 2013. A large part of the charm of Jim and Pam's relationship was the way viewers were really made to feel the relatable angst (and the joys!) of a crush. A prime example was in having to watch Jim pine over Pam for nearly two full seasons before they finally kissed in the season 2 finale, "Casino Night." Director Ken Kwapis told EW in 2016 that "one of the things that makes the kiss so unique is the fact that it feels like something we caught, that the documentary crew happened to be there at the right moment." Kwapis added that the scene marked a major "turning point in the Pam-Jim relationship." From that moment on, Jim and Pam navigated their way through other relationships, a long-distance stint, promotions, a haphazard wedding, kids, and all the other ups and downs that regular life brings to hilarious and heartwarming results. —Ashley Boucher 

32. Dave and Maddie


Back when Bruce Willis gave a damn about his work, he played the part of a private detective named David Addison Jr., who developed a thing for a former model named Maddie (Cybill Shepherd) who owned his bankrupt agency. Though tales of their off-camera tension were legendary, the sexual chemistry between David and Maddie on Moonlighting was TV gold and kept fans hot and bothered for six titillating seasons on ABC. —L.R.

31. Doug and Carol


What's a good love story without a good ending? ER knew the importance of sending one of its central couples — charming pediatrician Doug Ross (George Clooney) and take-no-crap nurse Carol Hathaway (Julianna Margulies) — off into the sunset. But, after five seasons of following their relationship, Clooney left the show. Margulies, however, had one more year on her contract. In season 6, Carol gave birth to her twins with Doug, so executive producer John Wells knew Doug had to come back. For Margulies' last episode, Clooney, Wells, and company went above and beyond to ensure no one knew about Doug's surprise return, which would give the couple a happy ending. "I convinced Warner Bros. to give us a private jet and talked to George, and we flew up to Seattle with a very small crew that all signed pledges that they wouldn't tell anybody," Wells once told EW. Clooney added, "The rest of the cast didn't know. [Anthony] Edwards didn't know. The only people who knew were Julianna, John Wells, our cinematographer, our sound guy, and one grip, I think." Nobody said happy endings weren't complicated. —S.H.

The Best TV Romances of All Time

30. Buffy, Angel, and Spike

Buffy the Vampire Slayer

In the years since the Buffy the Vampire Slayer finale, fans are still fiercely divided over which of Buffy's (Sarah Michelle Gellar) paramours ranks as her greatest love. Is it Byronic dreamboat Angel (David Boreanaz)? Or punk-rock baddie Spike (James Marsters)? When EW reunited the show's cast in 2017, Gellar herself weighed in: "Spike understood a different part of who Buffy was," she said. "But for me as Buffy, I think Angel." —Mary Sollosi

29. Jamie and Claire


After decades together (and centuries apart), Jamie (Sam Heughan) and Claire (Caitríona Balfe) are so attuned to each other's needs that nothing can break them on Outlander. But their romance had an early nemesis: the corset. "Talk about spoiling the moment. Female clothing seems to be like a puzzle for a man," an uninitiated Heughan told EW in 2015. "But that all adds to the scene as well. That anticipation." —Ruth Kinane

28. Philip and Elizabeth

The Americans

The Americans' Cold War-era tale began when the arranged marriage between undercover Russian spies Elizabeth (Keri Russell, with her first appearance on this list) and Philip (Matthew Rhys) moved beyond emotional distance and duty. "It would have been a bit more obvious to start at a point of fracture," showrunners Joel Fields and Joe Weisberg tell EW in a statement. "It felt emotionally unusual and powerful to start the story at a point when they made a positive breakthrough in their relationship." The executive producers — who are currently working on The Patient together — are particularly proud of a review they got from a surprising source. "One of the great compliments we got was from one of the former illegals arrested in 2010, who said in a Russian press interview that although some of the plot stuff in the show was crazy, that he never murdered anybody, that the show was true to the emotional dynamics in his family," they recall. "We loved this, because it was exactly what we were trying to do. We wanted Philip and Elizabeth to be wholly relatable, not just in the world of work, and politics, but more than anything in their personal lives." —C.A.

The Best TV Romances of All Time Jane the Virgin
Credit: JANE THE VIRGIN: The CW Network

27. Jane, Michael, and Rafael

Jane the Virgin

Talk about a love triangle befitting a telenovela. When audiences first met Jane the Virgin's Jane Villanueva (Gina Rodriguez), she was in a happy relationship with Michael Cordero (Brett Dier). But, after being accidentally artificially inseminated, things took a (very dramatic) turn. Naturally, the father of her accidental child was one Mr. Rafael Solano (Justin Baldoni), the richest and most handsome man in all of Miami. Believe it or not, the love triangle only got more complicated from there, with parenthood, marriage, death, resurrection, and marriage again. As showrunner Jennie Snyder Urman explained to EW in 2018: "We love a big twist, but we also love to deal with the grounded emotional fallout of it." The show certainly did that when Michael came back from the dead without his memories, and Jane was forced to realize that the man she loved was, in fact, gone. The series ended with Jane's second wedding, this time to Rafael. —S.H.

26. Cory and Topanga

Boy Meets World

Cory (Ben Savage) and Topanga (Danielle Fishel) seemed an unlikely couple when Boy Meets World began, but, as they grew up together over seven seasons, that mismatch became their greatest strength. "They balance each other out," Fishel told EW in 2014. "It's what makes them a good pair." —M.S.

25. Felicity, Noel, and Ben


Years after WB darling Felicity came to an end, Scott Foley was still hearing about the love triangle. "People still come up to me and tell me how much they like Scandal and follow that up with, 'But I was always Team Ben,'" Foley told EW in 2016 when we reunited the stars of the beloved drama. Felicity, which premiered on the WB in 1998 and ran for four seasons, followed the appropriately named heroine, Felicity Porter (Keri Russell), as she graduated high school and followed her crush, the dreamy Ben Covington (Scott Speedman), across the country to college in New York City. But one thing Felicity didn't expect to discover in New York was another crush, this one in the form of trusty resident adviser Noel Crane (Foley). By the end of the show's first season, Felicity would face a decision: longtime crush Ben or newfound bestie Noel. Spoiler alert: She chose Ben, but that wasn't the end of the triangle, which the show explored — often in unexpected ways — all the way until the very end of its run. —S.H.

24. Adora and Catra

She-Ra and the Princesses of Power

The bond between frenemies Adora (Aimee Carrero) and Catra (AJ Michalka) culminated in their declaration of love in the last season of She-Ra and the Princesses of Power. Said creator Noelle Stevenson: "Not only was it something I've been waiting to do, it's something I feel like viewers needed." —C.H.

23. CT and Diem

The Challenge

The Challenge delivered one of TV's most bittersweet love stories of all time. MTV's Boston bruiser bad boy Chris "CT" Tamburello and dance-floor-loving sweetheart Diem Brown fell in love on The Duel when he reminded her of her strength after she struggled with her chemotherapy-induced hair loss. Their tumultuous on-again-off-again roller coaster of a relationship continued for years, and fans rooted for them to somehow find their way back to each other after all the highs (that cliffside first kiss!) and lows (the entirety of Rivals II). And they did, in a way: CT was at Diem's hospital bedside in 2014 when she died from her third battle with ovarian cancer. "Our plan to be together forever hasn't changed, it's just going to take a little longer now. And I'm going to hold onto this ring for you till we are together again," he wrote on Instagram at the time, calling her the love of his life. Sometimes, reality is more powerful than fiction. —S.B.

22. Holt and Kevin

Brooklyn Nine-Nine

You may find a zanier couple on this list of great romances, but you won't find a brainier one. Captain Raymond Holt (Andre Braugher) and Dr. Kevin M. Cozner (Marc Evan Jackson) on Brooklyn Nine-Nine were exemplary erudite soulmates like no other: This couple bonded over birding, their idea of a romantic trip was to drive in silence while looking at barren trees, and their boldest expression of PDA was to wish each other a productive day and shake hands. Were they touchy-feely? No. But that's probably because their souls were already so connected, their energy so synchronous. As Kevin once told Raymond: "You make me want to have...a wetter brain." Trust us. It's hot. —D.S.

21. Elena, Damon, and Stefan

The Vampire Diaries

When The Vampire Diaries started, Elena Gilbert (Nina Dobrev) was just a teenage girl trying to deal with the death of her parents. But then, along came Stefan Salvatore (Paul Wesley), the world's most compassionate vampire — and someone who knew a thing or two about death. "It's about how this dead man comes along and brings her back to life," series co-creator Kevin Williamson told EW in 2019. But, just as quickly as audiences fell for the Stefan-Elena love story, they also started rooting for Elena to get with Stefan's big bad older brother, Damon (Ian Somerhalder). By its third season, the CW hit had taken shipping to an epic level. As Elena struggled to choose between the vampire brothers, fans shared their feelings via social media, websites, YouTube videos, and even death threats to the writers. "We have a very passionate fandom that has very passionate opinions about things like whether Elena should be with Stefan or Damon," co-creator Julie Plec told EW during the show's third season. To this day, the love triangle still divides fans, but, thankfully for Elena, she eventually learned that it was okay to love them both. —S.H.

The Best TV Romances of All Time

20. Joey and Pacey

Dawson's Creek

You know the love is strong when it forces a rewrite. Dawson's Creek creator Kevin Williamson has admitted that Joey (Katie Holmes) was originally supposed to end up with bestie Dawson (James Van Der Beek). It was the story the show had been building to ever since Joey first climbed that ladder into the film buff's bedroom. But, somewhere along the way, Joey's chemistry with Pacey (Joshua Jackson) had become undeniable. "I didn't realize how many people wanted Pacey and Joey together. Because I always thought everyone was kinda like, 'It's Dawson and Joey,'" Williamson told EW in 2014. But, when it came time to write the series finale, Williamson said, "[I knew] the way it should end and held true to it. I even wrote it, and it didn't feel right. Something was wrong, so I rewrote it." That rewrite was Joey and Pacey's time-jump happy ending. —S.H.

19. Rainbow and Andre


The way Anthony Anderson and Tracee Ellis Ross describe their chemistry test for Black-ish makes it sound almost like a meet-cute fit for a rom-com. "She walked in, and there was just an instant connection between us," Anderson told EW in 2021. "It was magic," added Ross. Since that fateful Valentine's Day (of course!), the pair expertly embodied modern Black love, and all the ups and downs that come with it, for eight seasons. "There are things that I can do in the safety of working with Anthony that I never got to experience as an actor before. I just feel like I can fly, and we just dance," Ross says. —M.J.

18. Mickey and Ian


There are two signs a TV couple has made it. The first is a passionate fandom, and the second is a nickname. Enter: "Gallavich." Cameron Monaghan's sweet-hearted Ian Gallagher and Noel Fisher's brash, violent Mickey Milkovich were initially an improbable pair, but, as the years went on, they were the relationship to root for. Monaghan departed Shameless midway through season 9, only to be lured back shortly thereafter on one condition: the writers dig deeper into Ian and Mickey's romance. "That was something that felt worth going back to," he told EW in 2019. "We're all romantics and hoping that love can win and flourish in the face of adversity and prejudice." Added Fisher: "Everyone can relate on some level to watching two people fight for each other." —Derek Lawrence

17. Kevin and Winnie

The Wonder Years

Playing the budding romance between neighbors Kevin Arnold (Fred Savage) and Winnie Cooper (Danica McKellar) came naturally for The Wonder Years' young stars. "We had a total crush on each other," McKellar recalls. "He actually wrote me a love letter in real life." But, after the pilot, "things quickly devolved into this annoying brother-sister relationship. When you're a 12-year-old girl and learn what 'pull my finger' is for the first time, you're not charmed." —T.A.

16. Will and Hannibal


Hannibal executive producer Bryan Fuller didn't set out to write a love story between Mads Mikkelsen's titular cannibalistic serial killer and Hugh Dancy's Will Graham, a gifted and self-destructively insightful FBI profiler. "It started out as kind of a fascination with how straight guys interact with each other in a romantic way that is not sexual," Fuller tells EW. "Initially, I didn't want to misrepresent Thomas Harris' characters because they clearly have heterosexual leanings in the source material, but, as with the kids these days, that sexuality became much more fluid over the course of the series." It was the chemistry between his two stars that inspired Fuller to take the leap and start thinking about the series as a love story. "I was just following the lead of the actors and the story, as opposed to having a gay agenda," he says. "The gay agenda came later." —C.A.

15. Derek and Meredith

Grey's Anatomy

He picked her. He chose her. He loved her. Eventually. From the opening image of Grey's Anatomy's pilot — McDreamy's bare butt — fans were thrown into the love story of dark-and-twisty intern Meredith Grey (Ellen Pompeo) and ferryboat-obsessed neurosurgeon Derek Shepherd (Patrick Dempsey), the man she just slept with...not realizing that he was a neurosurgeon (and, therefore, her boss' boss). The story of Meredith and Derek was a long one, filled with surprise marriages, "Mc" nicknames, too many near-death experiences, countless elevator rides, and, eventually, Derek's death. (We don't want to talk about it.) But, since the very beginning, that story was rooted in one thing: undeniable connection. "Chemistry wins above everything else," Pompeo told EW in 2008. "When you have chemistry with someone, you can't stay away from them." —S.H.

14. Whitley and Dwayne

A Different World

Whitley Gilbert (Jasmine Guy) and Dwayne Wayne (Kadeem Hardison) were a fan-favorite will-they-won't-they romance on A Different World, with a stream of fan mail and a vocal studio audience rooting for them. "It's hard to do those mushy Dwayne-Whitley love scenes," Guy told EW in 1991. "I have to make a serious face at Kadeem until they calm down. The last show we did, there were just too many ooohs." —A.Y.

13. Ben and Leslie

Parks and Recreation

Nothing on this comedy was cuter than Ben (Adam Scott) and Leslie (Amy Poehler) — well, maybe Li'l Sebastian — and co-creator Mike Schur told EW in 2013 it was obvious from the beginning. "[In the Parks and Recreation season 2 finale] they have a conversation and Leslie smiles at him and walks off, and there is a shot of [Ben] looking at Leslie with a smile on his face.... It became very clear in that moment that this was it." —Lauren Huff

12. Hot Priest and Fleabag


The provocative show took another delicious step forward when it introduced a romance between Phoebe Waller-Bridge's title character and Andrew Scott's Catholic priest (dubbed "Hot Priest" by fans). Making out in a confessional? Sexy, and oh-so-wrong. But what emerged in Fleabag's second season was even more sacred: a connection between two people who truly saw one another. Pass the canned G&T, because our obsession with this pair will never pass. —M.L.L.

11. Dylan and Kelly

Beverly Hills, 90210

What could a popular blond beauty and a brooding bad boy possibly have in common? A reservoir of existential pain that they hid from the world but recognized in each other. Though their romance began as a clandestine hookup between two teens from broken homes, Dylan (Luke Perry) and Kelly (Jennie Garth) ultimately realized what they had together was more than just a summer fling. (Cue Brenda: "I hate you both! Never talk to me again!") The original series ended with Kelly and Dylan together ("Dance with me? It's not a one-time offer.") — and that's the only 90210 canon we recognize. —K.B. 

The Best TV Romances of All Time

10. Miss Piggy and Kermit

The Muppets

No TV couple personified the je ne sais quoi mystery of love more than this world-famous pig and frog on The Muppets. Emotional and biological opposites, the two entertainers bonded over showbiz — but passion kept them together through every karate chop for nearly 40 years, until their breakup in 2015. Is there hope for a reconciliation? Says a spokesperson for the Muppets, "Kermit and Miss Piggy deeply care for each other and love working together. Kermit is very busy with various projects, and Miss Piggy is even busier being Miss Piggy. Whether they reunite as a couple remains an open question. When you're talking about the world's greatest interspecies romance, anything is possible." —K.B.

9. David and Patrick

Schitt's Creek

"Knowing it was a gay relationship, I wanted it to be nothing but love and encouragement," Schitt's Creek co-creator and star Dan Levy has told EW of turning Noah Reid's guest arc into an endgame romance. Providing laughs (and tears) while avoiding any will-they-or-won't-they, David and Patrick were simply the best. —P.G.

8. Nick and Jess

New Girl

Once Nick Miller (Jake Johnson) and Jess Day (Zooey Deschanel) moved their chemistry out of the strictly-roommates zone, it gave us arguably the best first kiss in modern TV history. New Girl creator Liz Meriwether told EW in 2013 that she knew something shifted after they shot the moment in which Nick pulled a stunned Jess into a passionate embrace. "The whole crew started applauding," she said. "It just felt like we ignited something." The couple's breakup the following season felt unnecessary, but it allowed these two weirdos — who worked so well together because they embraced each other's weirdness — to grow and find their way back by season 6. In the end, not even the most ridiculous Winston Bishop (Lamorne Morris) prank could keep them apart. —Jessica Derschowitz

7. Seth and Summer

The O.C.

He was the brainy boy and, at first, she said, "See ya later, boy," but Seth Cohen (Adam Brody) was Summer Roberts' (Rachel Bilson) destiny on The O.C. But, all their iconic moments, from their upside-down Spider-Man kiss to Cohen's heartfelt coffee cart confession to their eventual walk down the aisle, never would've happened without Bilson's scene-stealing delivery of "I have to pee, do you have to pee?" in the pilot, which creator Josh Schwartz told EW in 2018 is what earned her a promotion from guest star to series regular. —S.B.

6. Lucy and Ricky

I Love Lucy

Created to save Lucille Ball and Desi Arnaz's marriage, I Love Lucy offered one of TV's most enduring romances. "While Hollywood wondered whether television was a passing fad, they were already building the future of broadcasting," says Laura LaPlaca, director of archives at the National Comedy Center. Madcap redhead Lucy and bandleader Ricky gave audiences a groundbreaking marriage in the 1950s that still makes us laugh. —M.L.L.

5. Chandler and Monica


The saga of Ross (David Schwimmer) and Rachel (Jennifer Aniston) was one of Friends' defining story lines, but the pairing of their BFFs was the real romantic draw — and it almost didn't happen. "The plan wasn't that they [would] become a couple," co-creator David Crane told EW in 2019. Due in part to the studio audience's ecstatic response after Monica (Courteney Cox) and Chandler (Matthew Perry) slept together, the producers decided to explore the relationship further. —M.S.

4. Beth and Randall

This Is Us

It would be near-impossible to rival the foundational relationship of Jack (Milo Ventimiglia) and Rebecca (Mandy Moore) on This Is Us, but Randall and Beth (he: neurotic, do-gooding; she: spirited, savvy) managed to turn "perfectly imperfect" into perfection. Sterling K. Brown and Susan Kelechi Watson (who, fun fact, met in grad school at NYU) charged this opposites-attract couple with ride-or-die charisma. "We think everything else is sexy — the cheating and the breaking-up and the coming back — but it's interesting for us to find this new area of what's sexy, which is something that's more settled, it's more unconditional, it's more stable," Watson told EW in 2018. As Brown summed up: "You have two people who genuinely choose each other day in and day out and say, 'I do.'" And so do we. —D.S.

3. Sam and Diane


Legend has it, Fred Dryer (Hunter) and Julia Duffy (Newhart) came this close to playing Sam and Diane on Cheers. Fortunately, Ted Danson's insta-chemistry with Shelley Long in auditions put the kibosh on that and gave us five blissful years of on-again, off-again lasciviousness. "Whenever the show had been in trouble, we took Sam and Diane into the office and had a great scene," co-executive producer Cheri Eichen told EW in 1990. —L.R.

2. Coach and Tami

Friday Night Lights

Audiences love to root for will-they-won't-they couples, but the real test is whether you can make viewers care when the relationship is already solid as a rock. For five seasons, Friday Night Lights' Tami (Connie Britton) and Eric Taylor (Kyle Chandler) were happily married. Sure, they occasionally bickered under dining room tables, and sometimes disagreed about their family's future — season 5 nearly killed us — but their devotion (and respect for each other) never wavered. Britton once told EW she and Chandler made a pact that neither of their characters would ever have an affair, but the writers were way ahead of them. "Coach and Tami had the kind of marriage we all aspire to have," showrunner Jason Katims says. "You wanted to be around them because they wanted to be around each other. There were a lot of tough family situations in Dillon, Texas, and that marriage helped make Dillon a better place to be." —S.H.

The Best TV Romances of All Time Lost

1. Sun and Jin


Lost isn't the first show that typically comes to mind when you think of television romance. But married South Korean castaways Sun (Yunjin Kim) and Jin (Daniel Dae Kim) crossed time (literally) and space (repeatedly) to find their way back to each other, no matter what. They even triumphed over the show's enduring "live together, die alone" theme when Jin ultimately chose to drown with Sun — a tragic ending Yunjin calls controversial but "beautiful." And not only was it the lone love story to span the entire series, it also managed to subvert problematic Asian stereotypes along the way. "I'd never seen a relationship like that on television before: two nonwhite characters, speaking predominantly in a language that was not English, on primetime TV, and having that be something the average American could get behind and ship," Daniel tells EW. "Jin and Sun became the heart of Lost."

But they sure didn't start that way. While co-creator J.J. Abrams promised Daniel and Yunjin at the beginning of filming that the couple would eventually grow into an epic romance and out of the "domineering Asian husband and subservient Asian wife archetypes" they portrayed in the series' initial episodes, both actors feared Lost would be canceled before that happened. "I was worried about representing the Asian community because it was a sensitive topic," Yunjin says. "Back in 2004, believe it or not, I was told we were the first two Asian series regulars on an American show." And Daniel says filming the first season was "really hard," adding, "My greatest fear was if we never got a chance to show that growth and if the only example of an Asian male on this show was one that was misogynistic." It wasn't until the season 1 finale, when Jin and Sun passionately kissed goodbye on the beach as he prepared to leave the island in one of the long-running show's most romantic scenes, that the actors truly realized they were on the cusp of something meaningful and big. It was also the scene that convinced Yunjin to buy a home in Hawaii, where Lost filmed, instead of continuing to rent. "I had a feeling we were going to stay until the end after that," she says of the pivotal moment. "It sealed our fate for the rest of the run." —S.B.

Best TV Romances of All Time Lois and Clark


Lois and Clark

It's a bird, it's a plane, it's a nuanced romance that no amount of kryptonite could crumble over the years.
Chancellor Agard

With an emphasis on the titular couple's relationship, the four-season ABC series was more of a romantic dramedy than a superhero show — one powered by Teri Hatcher and Dean Cain's crackling chemistry and witty banter that made them feel like a modern, sexy revival rather than a routine.

It wasn't love at first sight for Tom Welling's Clark and Erica Durance's Lois when they met in season 4. Unlike other adaptations, the WB/CW series allowed their bond — and initially contentious, (mostly) platonic dynamic — to grow over an extended period, making their wedding scene in the series finale feel even more satisfying.

While Superman and Lois (voiced by Tim Daly and Dana Delany) never officially became a couple during the cartoon's run, how much they cared for each other was never in question — though the Man of Steel got rather jealous when Lois had a brief fling with his Gotham City counterpart Bruce Wayne (Kevin Conroy).

Now in its second season, the CW super-family drama takes full advantage of Tyler Hoechlin and Elizabeth Tulloch's natural lived-in chemistry as it pushes the characters in a bold new direction by making them parents to twin teenage boys. The stars make it easy to believe they've been together for more than a decade.


A version of this story appears in the March 2022 issue of Entertainment Weekly, available for purchase here.

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