The best couples on TV and in movies make us so emotionally invested in them that we feel as though they’re real people. We worship their relationships as though we’re living in them too, and respond to their ups and downs as if we’re really going through them.
But even in the fictional world, no couple is perfect. In fact, it’s the little flaws that make us care even more about the characters and root for them to find their happy endings.
That said, there is such a thing as too flawed. Sometimes on-screen couples have so many problems weighing them down that we wish they were never together in the first place. In some cases, they’re fine as individuals but destructive to each other as a couple. And in other cases, they’re not the best people in general, and that only makes things harder when they get together.
There are several examples of couples in pop culture that are seriously flawed, to the point where we just can’t root for them. And then there are those who get love right, even though they make mistakes sometimes.
Check out these 10 flawed on-screen couples, and 10 couples we still love!
20 Flawed: Bella And Edward From Twilight
The love story between Bella and Edward won over the love of millions of fans around the world, but as hard as we try, we just can’t see past all the flaws in this undead relationship. Where to begin? Bella is obsessed with Edward, to the point where she doesn’t value her own life without him.
We know breakups are tough, but Bella turns into a mess after Edward leaves her. And Edward is controlling, equally obsessed and too much of a martyr for his own good. These two set a pretty bad example of what love should be, especially for vamp-obsessed teens.
19 Got It Right: Chandler And Monica From Friends
Of the two main relationships on Friends, we are definitely Team Monica and Chandler over Team Ross and Rachel. Even though Ross and Rachel were the focus of the series, Monica and Chandler had the better relationship in our opinion.
They began with friendship rather than with a crush and were brought together by accident in London, which is often how it happens in real life. They face obstacles and go through ups and downs, but ultimately, their love is stronger than anything that life throws their way. They also prove that complete opposites can totally make a relationship work!
18 Flawed: Marissa And Ryan From The O.C.
To this day, we still get annoyed by the train wreck of a couple that was Ryan Atwood and Marissa Cooper. Perhaps the biggest issue here was that these two had no chemistry (or maybe it just seemed that way when they appeared next to Seth and Summer, who remain as one of our fave couples of all time!).
Their relationship couldn’t withstand anything, and they spent the majority of the time suspecting each other or mad at each other for this and that. There was enough drama in this relationship to fill out three seasons of an angsty teen series, and we lowkey weren’t that sad when Marissa was finally written off.
17 Got It Right: Chuck And Blair From Gossip Girl
Gossip Girl was the East Coast counterpart of The O.C., and if Seth and Summer was the relationship we all cared about on the West Coast, then Chuck and Blair was the couple we rooted for in New York. Though the series focused on Dan and Serena, Chair were the ones who got it right (in their own unique way).
This relationship doesn’t really resemble anything realistic, but on the Upper East Side, among the limos, private jets, and penthouse suites, it’s perfection. The chemistry between Chuck and Blair pulls us all in like an undertow, and these two characters manage to grow in unexpected ways while still staying true to each other and their personality traits that we love.
16 Flawed: Danny And Sandy From Grease
As far as lovers go, Danny and Sandy are up there with the icons of the big screen. But nothing about this couple impresses us, other than their ability to break into song at any given moment. They don’t have anything in common, so we’re not sure what they would talk about when they’re together (and he’s not trying to force her to make out with him at the drive-in).
In the end, Sandy has to completely change her whole look and personality to fit in with Danny, and he’s also prepared to change everything about himself to make her happy. Maybe they should just find people who actually like them for who they are?
15 Got It Right: Johnny And June From Walk The Line
One movie couple from generations ago who did get it right was Johnny Cash and June Carter-Cash from Walk the Line. They might have had a leg up on all these fictional couples since Johnny and June were real-life examples of an epic love story long before the movie was made.
Though they were raised in completely different conditions, a love of country music fostered a connection between them and helped them to last through public scrutiny, judgment from the community, jail sentences, and worse. IRL, Johnny Cash passed away only four months after his beloved June. Their souls couldn’t stand to be separated, and if that’s not love, we don’t know what is!
14 Flawed: Sam And Austin From A Cinderella Story
As tweens, we adored the relationship between Sam Montgomery and Austin Aimes. Looking back, though, it seems like these two weren’t couple goals at all! Even though they looked good together and shared a love of writing, we just can’t get around the fact that Austin couldn’t recognize Sam in her Cinderella costume.
She was literally only wearing a mask that covered half her face. He still had the bottom half of her face, her eyes, her hair, her voice, and her whole body to work with. We didn’t get to see what happened to these two at Princeton, but we can’t imagine them lasting beyond the first semester.
13 Got It Right: Lizzie And Gordo From Lizzie McGuire
Hilary Duff may have drawn the short straw where boyfriends are concerned in A Cinderella Story, but her character did have the best relationship ever in Lizzie McGuire. Okay, so Lizzie and Gordo were never actually dating, but the kiss they shared at the end of the movie in Rome makes us think that they totally became a couple in high school.
Throughout the series, Lizzie even imagined herself being married to Gordo in the future, plus they were paired as spouses in a class project and made it work. Relationships that start as friendship always end up being strong, so we feel like these two besties would have had a happily ever after.
12 Flawed: Cady And Aaron From Mean Girls
Cady is one of the few girls who actually ends up dating her high school crush, Aaron Samuels, but we’ve never been huge fans of this couple. First of all, Cady is a lot smarter than Aaron but dumbs herself down to get his attention. She also sabotages his girlfriend Regina (even though she deserves it) and ends up becoming just like her.
Though Cady and Aaron are both good people deep down, it’s probably better for him to completely get away from the Mean Girls scene and date someone random at college. Similarly, she should leave that whole chunk of her life behind her and spend more time figuring out who she really is before worrying about a boyfriend.
11 Got It Right: Graham And Amanda From The Holiday
We’re not normally fans of instant-love, but Graham and Amanda from The Holiday somehow make it work. What we really love about these two is that their feelings for each other are strong enough to defy all the reasons why they shouldn’t be together.
His kids make it hard for him to date, her work takes up most of her attention, plus there’s the fact that they live on opposite sides of the Atlantic. But they feel so strongly about each other that they find a way to overcome all of that. Graham is also so much better than Amanda’s ex, Ethan, and Amanda is a huge hit with Graham’s daughters.
10 Flawed: Faith And Peter From Only You
Only You is one of the most famous romance films ever, but Faith and Peter aren’t couple goals, even by ‘90s standards. Faith spends her whole life waiting for Damon Bradley to sweep her off her feet, since an Ouija board (controlled by her brother) tells her his name as a child, so her initial feelings for Peter (who she thinks is called Damon Bradley) are based purely on deep-rooted expectations she has regarding that name.
Faith is immature and inconsiderate of everyone around her, and Peter lies to Faith again and again, even though he has a good heart. These two look great together, but that’s about all they have going for them!
9 Got It Right: Toula And Ian From My Big Fat Greek Wedding
Ian Miller certainly isn’t what Toula or her family imagined her soulmate to be, but he’s the perfect man for her anyway. Although these two were raised in completely different backgrounds, they share a love that is strong enough to overcome her entire family and all their drama.
Ian still loves her after her family pushes the limits more than once, which pretty much makes him a keeper. They respect each other’s cultures while still holding onto their own beliefs, and they make each other happy. They also do a great job of raising a daughter and building a life together in the sequel. Love!
8 Flawed: Ally And Jackson From A Star Is Born
There are so many reasons why we wish we could root for Ally and Jackson as a couple. They look great together, they sound great together, and they give us all the feels! Unfortunately, though, all we see when we look at these two is a pretty toxic relationship full of blame and insecurity. They both have the very best intentions for each other, accept each other the way they are and love each other, but the relationship isn’t good for either of them.
Jackson feels inner resentment as Ally’s star rises, and Ally ends up blaming herself for Jackson’s decisions. They don’t bring out the best in each other, and this is one of those cases where love just isn’t enough.
7 Got It Right: Ron And Hermione From Harry Potter
Controversial opinion: we ship Ron and Hermione. We know, there are a million reasons why these two shouldn’t be together, and why Hermione should have ended up with Harry instead. But all that aside, they’re best friends for seven years and are obviously attracted to each other, so it makes sense that a relationship between them could work.
They do spend a lot of time bickering, but mostly, the arguments are only skin-deep. They see each other at their very worst and still accept each other anyway, and obviously care about each other enough to get jealous when the other one gets any other romantic attention.
6 Flawed: Carrie And Mr. Big From SATC
Another controversial opinion: Carrie shouldn’t have ended up with Mr. Big at the end of SATC. Even though Carrie is drawn to Big and has stronger feelings for him than she’s felt for anyone else, her ending up with him really negates her whole character arc and everything she learns throughout the series.
The golden lessons of love are that you can’t change another person, and you shouldn’t make someone a priority when you’re their option, and yet, Carrie ends up with the guy who has always been emotionally unavailable and never treated her right. So what if he’s charming? Carrie owed it to herself to say goodbye to him for good.
5 Got It Right: Andie And Ben In How To Lose A Guy In 10 Days
All these years later, and we’re still in love with Andie and Ben from How to Lose a Guy in 10 Days. Yes, their relationship is based on lies and deception, but they end up realizing that they care deeply about each other.
Both Andie and Ben make their work a priority, and are interested in the same things—they love basketball, eat the same kind of food, and like to spend their time chilling out with family playing cards. They like each other at a friendship level, and the passion between them is the icing on the cake that brings them together and cements them as a great couple.
4 Flawed: Jon Snow And Daenerys Targaryen From Game Of Thrones
The more we see of the final season of Game of Thrones, the more we realize that Jon Snow and Daenerys Targaryen shouldn’t be together. You’d think that the biggest problem between them would be the fact that she’s his aunt, but we don’t even care about that (we’ve seen a lot worse on GoT)!
Dany makes all sort of demands of Jon, and he does become weak and bend to her will when he’s around her. They just have different values as people and want different things from life, and even though they look phenomenal riding dragons together, it’s better for everyone if they end their relationship.
3 Got It Right: Akeem And Lisa From Coming To America
There is so much we love about Akeem and Lisa, and this couple never gets old. Their bond is based on acceptance and caring for each other as people. Lisa doesn’t know Akeem’s a prince when she falls in love with him; she thinks he’s a goat herder but falls for his kind nature.
And Akeem can literally have any woman he wants, but Lisa may as well be the only woman in the world to him. We understand why he lies to her about his identity and are so happy that they ended up together. She belongs on a throne, not with Darryl.
2 Flawed: Belle And The Beast From Beauty And The Beast
This is one Disney relationship we’ve never been able to get around. Belle’s feelings for the Beast seem to be based on Stockholm Syndrome since he basically holds her as his prisoner. The Beast is controlling and manipulative, and only becomes a nice person because he’s cursed. If he’d never crossed paths with the enchantress, he’d still be a rude prince treating everyone around him poorly.
He’s also got a temper which would be a serious red flag in a real-life situation. Belle deserves better than the Beast and better than Gaston. Are there no decent men in Disney France?
1 Got It Right: Holly And Gerry From P.S. I Love You
Their relationship isn’t perfect, but nothing will ever make us fall out of love with Holly and Gerry Kennedy’s relationship. It seems that fate brought them together, even though they come from different countries, and their love is strong enough to withstand all the little arguments they have.
Gerry loves Holly so much that he manages to rescue her from beyond the grave after she loses her path and urges her to go out and find love again. He might have done silly things like force her to go up for karaoke when she didn’t want to, but at the end of the day, he just wants her to be happy. Bless!
Sources: Cosmopolitan, E! Online