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The Worst Couples on Television: 2012 – 2013

Cringe-worthy Couples We Could Live Without

Romance, love, sex. These are all staples of American television. It’s what inspires “ship wars” and couples’ nicknames like Chair, Dair, and Nair. Even if two people have never met, even if they’re not even in the same TV universe together, it doesn’t stop the internet from doing what it wants.

Hollywood is starting to catch up to the internet’s obsession with “ships” and “feels” and the various memes and gifs that they’ve inspired. Show creators, actors and actresses, and television writers have had to address it at some point or another on Twitter, or in interviews.

But there are some couples we could definitely live without – regardless of “shipper feels”…

Olivia/Fitz (Scandal)


There’s no shortage of sexual chemistry between these two forbidden lovers (so, we know that we’re probably about to piss off a lot of people here). But that doesn’t erase the gross power dynamic at play – Fitz (Tony Goldwyn) is the freaking president of the United States, after all. He’s controlling (see: “Hunting Season”) and too busy mooning over Olivia Pope, played by Kerry Washington, to properly lead the country (if he focused on his job more maybe this East Sudan thing would have been resolved faster).

Let’s not forget that incident in the elevator (as seen in a flashback) when a drunk Fitz forces himself on Olivia – what part of her pushing him away and saying “no” did he not understand? I guess none of it, because he kept on pressing against her, right up until his wife Mellie (Bellamy Young) catches them and she has to apologize for his actions. In the most recent episode, Fitz pulls her into a closet, they proceed to have sex, and then he tells her, “We are done. I may not be able to control my erections around you, but that does not mean I want you.” What part of that screams ‘romantic’?

Chuck/Blair & Dan/Serena (Gossip Girl)


Because nothing says true love like selling your girlfriend to a guy who attempted to rape your step-mother… for a hotel. Or stalking some girl you talked to at a party for less than five minutes for the next 5+ years. Move over, Mr. Darcy. The new Queen Bees of romance have arrived and their names are Chuck Bass and… Gossip Girl? Yeah, we still don’t know about that.

In the series finale of Gossip Girl, Chuck (Ed Westwick) married Blair (Leighton Meester) so she couldn’t testify against him after he basically murdered his father. (In true sociopathic fashion, he shows no remorse about it afterward.) Then, in a flash-forward, everyone is in attendance as Dan (Penn Badgley) and Serena (Blake Lively) tie the knot. If there’s anything this show has taught us, it’s that when someone writes a blog constantly humiliating you and exposing your every secret… it’s a love letter. And boys who engage in attempted rape, treat women like property, and show violence towards you… are romantic heroes.

Damon/Elena/Stefan (The Vampire Diaries)


It’s been four seasons and we’re wondering how much longer The Vampire Diaries can continue to milk this love triangle for all it’s worth. Elena (Nina Dobrev) is caught between vampire brothers Damon (Ian Somerhalder) and Stefan (Paul Wesley) – who were once in love with Elena’s doppleganger Katherine. At one point or another, they’ve both been sadistic killers. Damon even tried to kill Elena’s younger brother in an earlier season. Hell, he even tried to kill Elena. As of right now, Elena/Stefan, Elena/Damon, and their respective “shippers” are battling it out to see who reigns supreme as Florence + the Machine plays in the background of one of the show’s sex scenes. Personally, we’re bored by the whole thing.

Fiona/Jimmy (Shameless)


He’s lied to her, he’s tried to buy his way into her life, he keeps butting into her family issues. We think Fiona, played by Emmy Rossum, can do better than Justin Chatwin’s Jimmy (formerly known as Steve), and she deserves better given all the bullshit she’s had to deal with when it comes to her father. This season, while he’s done her a favor by playing Mr. Mom, he’s keeping the fact that he’s still married to Estefania (Stephanie Fantauzzi) a secret from her. In “May I Trim Your Hedges?”, Fiona told him that she trusted him, and that that was more important to her than saying “I love you.” Too bad Jimmy is going to break that trust when she inevitably finds out about Este.

Cristina/Owen (Grey’s Anatomy)


Shonda Rhimes has a thing for soul mates (see: Olivia & Fitz).

After Burke (Isaiah Washington) dumped Cristina (Sandra Oh) at the altar, her romantic prospects were looking pretty dire. That is until Owen Hunt (Kevin McKidd), a hunky trauma surgeon, appeared on the scene and swept her off her feet. It started off cute, and romantic, and honestly we were just happy that Cristina was finally moving on. Then Owen’s PTSD kicked in and he choked her in the middle of the night. And then there was a hospital shooting, after which Cristina also ended up with PTSD.

The two ended up getting married on a whim, while Cristina was still reeling from recent events and was not acting like herself. When Cristina found out she had gotten pregnant, she wanted an abortion – as previously established in the show she had never wanted motherhood. Owen, who did want children, struggled with understanding her motivations at first before agreeing to respect her decision. All was well, and we were happy with how they seemed to handle that problem in their marriage: together.

Until he started screaming at her at a party full of coworkers that she’d murdered their baby, of course. And okay, we get it, he was hurt and angry and he lashed out. But none of that erases the fact that he wants kids, she doesn’t want kids, and neither are willing to compromise on that. They just need to realize that they both want different things and that they’re completely wrong for each other (whether or not they’re In Love).

Who do you think is the worst couple on television? Comment below.

  • meh

    kurt/blaine – glee. awful couple in every way.

  • So the author of the post clearly doesn’t watch Scandal, because the article was just full of egregious fairy tales. East Sudan has been handled–and Fitz handled it weeks after being shot in the head (and handled it without the loss of American lives).

    Power dynamic? Nah. Liv holds as much power or more in her relationship with Fitz. Did you not hear he rose garden speech in Happy Birthday, Mr. President?

    Much of their interaction is all about context. I’m not 100% down with everything Fitz does, but Liv has screwed up royally many times. You sound like someone who hasn’t watched every episode–which is something you can’t do with a serialized drama.

    • Oh and as for closet sex…Liv could have left right after she slapped him. Lets not take away her sexual agency here.

    • I would not have written this article if I hadn’t watched every episode of Scandal. But you’re entitled to your opinion, as am I. Thanks for commenting.

    • floacist

      Sounds like you’re making up excuses. What has Liv screwed up royally at? Fitz acts entitled to Olivia (he was upset when she moved on with Edison and even had photographs of them speaking) and is in general far too immature for a 50 something year old.

      • MeMe

        Fitz was a spoiled child. Fitz needs to grow up. He is President.

      • Making up excuses? So Defiance wasn’t Liv screwing up royally? C’mon son, her role in defiance put Fitz in a precarious position, his whole presidency has been a lie.

        So, Fitz is not allowed to be jealous when Liv moved on (and lets not forget that Liv wouldn’t even be seen in public with the man UNTIL Ed got the senate majority job because it meant Fitz was serious about moving on– and Liv damn near cried).

        As for the photos..Cyrus did that. In 2.03 Fitz was surprised to see the pics that CYRUS BEENE roughy in. Moreover, in 2.07 Fitz told Tom that he thought the surveillance was stopped–Tom said he didn’t get the order. If Fitz gave the order, who circumvented it? Likely Cyrus (as a way to “get his President” back).

        So, no excuses on my end. Just critical thinking, nuance, and analysis.

  • Hope

    I totally disagree about Olivia and Fitz. I agree with Nicole that it is fairly obvious that the writer doesn’t watch the show. I love the show and I love the complexity of the relationship and like millions of others I will continue to watch. Also, it’s tiresome in 2013 that we still act like women have no agency. Olivia is not Fitz’s victim and for the life of me, I cannot figure out why she is perceived as a victim of Fitz;’s lust. Is it that difficult to believe that the POTUS actually loves Olivia and she him. It’s also funny how moralistic people become when talking about this relationship. No one seems to have a problem with Don Draper, Peter Florrick, Alicia Florrick, and a host of others have engaged in extramarital relationships but now somehow FItz and Olivia are a threat to the moral fiber of the country. I wonder why this relationship causes so much indigestion. For the life of me, I don’t see how this relationship is different….Hmm

    • I’ve seen every episode of Scandal, up until the one that aired most recently. Thanks for commenting.

      • MeMe

        With some of the stuff you said could seem like you don’t watch Scandal but since you said you watch the show. Okay. Fitz was wrong for what he said after the angry sex but he acted like most males do when they are mad or hurt my a females. I do want Olivia with a new love interest from the beginning. I mean new love interest, not an Ex like Edison.

    • floacist

      Perhaps because every time we see them interact, Fitz is VERY aggressive (both past and present)? He is constantly invading her space, and doesn’t give up until she gives in. He declared his love for her, but we never actually see why he loves her.

  • MeMe

    How is Olivia & Fitz a worst couple. Are even you even serious? Olivia and Fitz relationship is very realistic. There are sings about this type of relationship. What Fitz was said to Olivia was totally wrong but that is what males do when they are angry or feel hurt my a female. Males do it all the time. That is how they are.
    Uh??Do you even watch Scandal because that whole East Sudan stuff happened in Episode 1 of Season 2. The CIA head was trying to get the President to start a war with fake photos. Hunting Season was Episode 3 of Season 2. If you knew anything about Washington DC anything dealing with North Africa and the Middle East could take years to resolve.

    • MeMe

      *I misspelled songs.

  • floacist

    I love Scandal but have an extreme dislike for Fitz and Fitz/Olivia ship. Thank you for writing this.

    • I love Scandal, too! It’s one of the best shows on TV right now, in my opinion.

  • I agree with Fitz being too possessive and it’s really creepy. He has no right to know who she’s sleeping with and he has no right to have her being watched like wtf? I hope she finds out about his security detail taking pictures of them in bed. But, they do love each other and they are both equally to blame for all of their problems. Liv could have slapped him and left but she misses him and thought that they could move past it and talk about it. Now that he’s demeaned her and dismissed her, she’s able to move on with that other creepy guy Jake. I’ve slowly been disliking Fitz due to his disrespectful and sexist comments towards Liv. Every time he’s mad at her, he throws in the mistress comment knowing it will hurt her especially after calling her the love of his life and telling her she’s not his mistress. He throws sexual insults. He does act like a child. When he lied about sleeping with Amanda, Liv just avoided him. The worst she said to him was that racist comments about Sally Hemmings, Thomas Jefferson.

  • Arya

    Everybody here keeps talking about how Fitz is bad for Olivia. What about Olivia? She committed a crime for him, implicating him in the process. And she did it without asking him. That was infuriatingly patronizing of her. She wanted him to the president but clearly didn’t respect him enough to let him make a decision that would have and still could destroy his life. For me that is not love. How can you love someone without respecting them? Clearly she is as bad for him as he is supposed to be for her.

    • Her choice wasn’t about disrespect but giving Fitz what he wanted after he let her know how winning would be his way of getting back at his father for being a lousy father and prove to himself (Fitz) that he was a man of value. She wanted to please him badly enough that she would set aside her objectivity for him. She says so when she’s yelling at him at the preps for town hall.

      • Arya

        Yes, she proved his value by going behind his back and messing with his life. When you love someone, you should help them achieve their goals but not at the cost of both of your honor and integrity.
        She knew what she did to him was completely wrong – that’s the reason she tried to hide it from him for so long. Also, I think she had a god complex because she thinks she can fix anything.
        The way I see they are both toxic for each other.
        And the excuse that she only did it because she loves him so much goes both ways. Fitz’s action can also be excused away by his uncontrollable love for her. He also loses his objectivity in her presence.
        Like I said, they have a toxic co-dependent relationship and in a real world shouldn’t be together. But since their chemistry drives up the rathings, Olitz is not going anywhere.

    • floacist

      Olivia was the very last one to join on board for Defiance, and it tore her up badly to do so.

      • Arya

        Does it really mater either way at the end? She went behind the back of the man she loves and mess up his whole life. When this scandal comes out (and it will), Fitz’s whole legacy will be reduced to one thing. All the good things he might do will become suspect.
        Loving someone doesn’t give anyone the right to control the life of their loved one. In this regard, Olivia and Fitz are two peas in the same pod.

  • A few couples missing on here like Alicia Florrick and Will (especially since they had the same dynamic of one being in a position of control over the other) Rachel and Finn and every couple in Glee; Carrie and Brody; Ezra and Aria; the parents on Lying Game; Harvey 2.0 and that chic in Suits. Nearly every pairing in Games of Thrones; True Blood is a mess; Liam and Vanessa, Adrianna and everyone else in 90210. All these should feature before Olivia and Fitz because they are unequivocally bad while El Pres and the Pope’s is not so clear cut.

    • Arya

      In Will and Alicia’s short-lived relationship, Alicia had all the power – she was the one who decided when it would begin and when it would end. And when it did end, Will never made it difficult for her even though he still has feeling for her.
      So even though Will was her boss, she never had a typical subservient relationship with him. And I personally loved them together and want to see her back with him.

  • Cossette

    I hate all these couples. Fitz/Olivia is hitting at my Chuck/Blair triggers, I love the show but they are kind of killing it for me. I don’t like OTT melodramatic relationships where bc there is great sex that is all that is needed. The problem with these couples is they keep writing dialogue about how much the two parties love each other SO MUCH, can’t be without each other, meant to be etc etc but they very rarely show us why they love each other, what makes them so compatible other than just lust/attraction. I hated Olivias line about wanting a “devastating out of this world love”, rme so tired of the perptuating of that myth that only love that hurts is worth it. Even in your comments here particularly this one:

    “but he acted like most males do when they are mad or hurt my a females.”

    is a horrible view for a women to have. Just because a man is mad does not give him the right to ~act like most males~ and treat me like crap, like what even?

    Anyways, Chuck/Blair is by far one of the WORST couples in the history of television imo, and written mainly by a woman (Stephanie Savage, avoid her shows at all costs lol), so I will tolerate Fitz/Olivia b/c even if they can reach for the heights of bad that Chair got to they will never get there. I mean true love pairing where the guy sold the girl for a hotel to a rapist and at one point rejected and walked away from her on top of the roof of the same hotel, SMH.

  • Coco

    You obviously don’t watch Scandal and should stop commenting on it. Olitz is endgame!

    • floacist

      That doesn’t mean we have to like it. You are the fourth or so person to accuse the author that they haven’t watched the show. Poor defense.

  • Amanda

    Steve and Catherine (Hawaii Five-0)

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  • Kara

    Chuck and Blair are the worst. I just. I can’t believe they made them endgame after Season 4-5 and all the Dan and Blair build up. Clear endgames to me should have been, Serena and Nate, Dan and Blair and Chuck/not being there! Would have been so much better than that sixth season the writers tried to feed us.

  • Chuck and Blair, hands down, were the most abusive couple in television history. Serena/Dan, Damon/Elena, Owen/Yang are a bunch of ridiculous couples too. I agree 100%
    You should write an article about, I don’t know.. ideal/healthy television couples too (:

  • Rosie

    I’m deciding to just give up in general with the CW shows because it’s obvious all they do is fan-pander and it’s becoming quite a piss off that they don’t stick to what’s best for their characters.
    Never mind Gossip Girl (not even gonna waste my time writing about such garbage), but The Vampire Diaries deciding to drop Tyler to allow Klaus/Caroline to happen was the final straw. It really shows you that as long as your character is an attractive[British!] villain with snarky one-liners and an extraordinary amount of man-pain, teen girls will eat that shit right up.

    • Holly

      LOL please don’t generalize like that. I am an intelligent 23 year old who also happens to love Damon/Elena.

      While i don’t loathe Klaus/Caroline, i also don’t ship them & i find it EXTREMELY DISTURBING to see how so many “Klaroline” fangirls fucking romanticized Klaus impaling & then biting her! It made me think of a classic abused women scenario the way they were saying things like:

      “Oh but we knew that he was going to save her so it’s okay! He loves her, he just did it because Tyler made him angry.”


      Trust me, i don’t “eat that shit right up.” I sometimes enjoy Klaus and find him to be funny with some of the things he says & does, but for the most part he’s a “love to hate him” character. Joseph Morgan does a very good job with this role imo though.

  • Daniela

    I agree. These relationships are awful, especially the Gossip Girl couples. I enjoy Jimmy and Fiona in Shameless but that doesn’t mean they are healthy. Same with Vampire Diaries.

  • Q

    Rachel & Finn on Glee. I’m not even going waste my time elaborating on this.

  • Augusta

    I realize that this is going to make me sound like a teenage fangirl, but as far as TVD goes- the *point* of the triangle is that it’s unhealthy. At least for me, this show, while not like a lasting work of art or anything, gets into some really interesting things about moral relativism and such, and I think simply reducing it to “love triangle” is simplistic, even as they do have their moments of milking it.

    But Gossip Girl? Tried to watch it once. Severely creeped out, and simultaneously repulsed by its utter lack of anything other than soapiness. C/B and D/S? Disturbing.

  • Holly

    Don’t watch Scandal or Shameless so i don’t know about those couples. I do/did watch Gossip Girl, The Vampire Diaries & Grey’s Anatomy & i agree with you on all EXCEPT my #1 couple – Delena.

    I’m sorry but you’re wrong about them.

    I’m not one of those fans that tries to say Damon is perfect, lol no freaking way. He has made mistakes, done really horrible things… but he OWNS UP TO IT. He’s flat out admitted that he does bad/wrong things on numerous occasions! The difference between him & Saint Stefan is that Damon admits his mistakes & has become a better person. He may put up a certain facade to try and protect himself from getting hurt, but come on – how many times does he have to be hurt & treated like shit before people stop acting like he’s the most miserable, rotten piece of shit to ever exist!

    Now Stelena on the other hand, they are FULLY deserving of “worst couple”. Stefan has done so many shitty, terrible things – things that he & his worshipers [both off AND ON the show. *cough*Caroline*cough*] like to conveniently forget/pretend they never happened. Stefan/Stelena stans STILL bring up Damon snapping Jeremy’s neck even though Elena AND Jeremy forgave Damon a long time ago!! Yet they NEVER want to talk about how in S3 Stefan flat out told Elena that he didn’t care about Jeremy, he threatened that he was going to kill her by driving her off Wickery Bridge just to get what he wanted out of Klaus – never once giving a shit how horrifying that was for her ESPECIALLY SINCE THAT’S EXACTLY HOW HER PARENTS DIED! He played god knows how many head games with her – made her feel bad about leaning on & growing closer to Damon when all Damon did was support her and continue to love her unconditionally.

    Jesus fucking christ! STEFAN LET HER FUCKING DIE!!! I don’t give a shit what BULLSHIT, BOGUS ASS EXCUSES YOU COME UP WITH; Stefan let the girl he SUPPOSEDLY loved drown & die, yet Stelena fans give Damon shit because he loves & accepts Elena no matter what – human or vampire! To act as if there is anything wrong with Damon for SUPPORTING Elena, for showing her over and over again that he will ALWAYS BE THERE FOR HER, NO MATTER WHAT THEIR PERSONAL SITUATION IS… It’s absurd that ANYONE actually thinks Stefan/Stelena are anywhere near the same level as Damon/Delena are! Damon & Delena are a million times more superior.

  • viv

    umm i agree with you on damon and elena never understood tht couple but chuck and blair should not be on this list your ignoring the other things! i am a huge chair shipper bc the two make each other happier then ever and they love each other so much

  • natalie

    no chuck and blair i luv them so much :’-(

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  • sf

    Haha people this is television .., these couples are not loved because they are functional but because they showcase drama and sizzle… Its modern day dramas and soap operas that you are analyzing as though its the Cosby Show. You sound as though you are greatly hoping for functional and healthy relationships in an era where drama captivates. P.S these shows did not sell or are promoted as healthy, but as a glimpse in a society or culture not often seen (and largely oversentalized and dramatized for television, .. One is a modern day example of Rhett and Scarlett (novel) and the other a different take of a public affair between a president and his mistress .. they were found to be an epic story … And p.s Dan and Blair were not healthy either if you are truly taking the writing of gossip gossip after season 3 seriously. So these are not morality tales …

  • tiggles

    (To Chuck & Blair) Yes! Thank-you! God, they suck so much!