The 24 Greatest On-Screen TV Couples of All Time
Whether you prefer a tense medical drama or a side-splitting sitcom, there’s most likely been a silver screen couple, or a few, that have tugged on your heartstrings. From TV’s first-ever interracial marriage on I Love Lucy to the on-again-off-again saga at the centre of Friends, these pairings have stolen our hearts — whether or not they actually got their happily ever after in the end. (But thankfully, most of them did.)
Read on for some of our favorite TV couples…
Lucy And Ricky
Lucy and Ricky (I Love Lucy, 1951-1957)
We’re hard-pressed to find a funnier real-life/on-screen couple than Lucille Ball and Desi Arnaz. (Even though, yes, they did split up IRL before the series ended.) Did you know: This marriage between a Scottish-American and Cuban-American was the first interracial marriage depicted on an American TV show? It would be another 16 years before all forms of interracial marriage were legalized in all 50 states.
Ross And Rachel
Ross and Rachel (Friends, 1994-2004)
Will they or won’t they? If any couple has ever set the bar for the on-again-off-again relationship — it’s Ross and Rachel. And though there may be mixed opinions about Rachel getting off the plane, there are few scenes better than when Ross realizes that the love of his life didn’t actually move to Paris.
Corey And Topanga
Cory and Topanga (Boy Meets World, 1993-2000)
There’s something so idyllic about meeting the love of your life on the pre-school playground. Enter: Cory Matthews and Topanga Lawrence. Sure, it’s a bit unorthodox to get engaged at your high school graduation, but they HAD been together for over 10 years at that point.
Mr Big Real Name
Carrie and Big (Sex and the City, 1998-2004)
Say what you will about Carrie’s many love interests throughout the years (and yes, we all loved Aiden), but you can’t tell us that you weren’t secretly rooting for the perennially single writer to finally settle with her financier beau — even if it took them six seasons and an entire blockbuster movie to get there.
Jacey Dawsons Creek
Pacey and Joey (Dawson’s Creek, 1998-2003)
Sorry to all those who were Team Dawson — but from the first moments of that infamous Pacey-Joey banter, we were completely sold. And it turns out that the show’s creators were too, because (spoiler alert) the final scene of the series shows Pacey and Joey, five years in the future, cuddled up in her New York apartment.
Family Matters Tgif
Carl and Harriette Winslow (Family Matters, 1989-1998)
Straight-talking and sassy, Hariette Winslow was the mom that we all wish we had. Along with her partner in crime (pun intended), police-officer husband Carl, Hariette somehow manages to take care of three kids, her extended family and one nosy, loveable neighbor: Steve Urkel.
Tim Allen Tool Time
Tim and Jill Taylor (Home Improvement, 1991-1999)
You have to be the patient kind to put up with all of the crazy hijinks that Tim ‘The Toolman’ Taylor gets himself into… and his long-time wife Jill definitely fits the bill. Over the course of eight seasons, the good ‘ol Midwestern pair always managed to keep each other — and the audience — laughing. And in case you were wondering, no, we’re not just including the Taylors because our first TV crush happened to be middle son, Randy Taylor. Definitely not.
Chuck And Blair
Chuck Bass and Blair Waldorf (Gossip Girl, 2007 - 2012)
The only person who could turn the womanizing Chuck Bass into a devoted boyfriend and husband? Yep, it would be the Queen of the Upper East Side herself, Blair Waldorf. Sure, they may have had a tumultuous ride, but if you didn’t tear up when Chuck surprises Blair with her favorite macarons from Paris at the end of season two — or during their Central Park wedding in the series’ final episode (to each their own!) — your heart may be made of stone.
Tori Spelling 90210
David and Donna (Beverly Hills, 90210, 1990-2000)
From their first high school dance (followed immediately by their first kiss) to the 90210 wedding to end all weddings, Donna Martin and David Silver were the ultimate ‘90s California couple. Sure, she might’ve told David she wanted to wait until marriage initially, but Brian Austin Green would make us question our willpower too…
Fran And Mr Sheffield
Fran Fine and Maxwell Sheffield (The Nanny, 1993-1999)
From the very beginning, there was no denying the chemistry between single dad, Mr. Sheffield, and his out-spoken, over-the-top nanny. And after five seasons, the two finally got it together — ending their on-again-off-again relationship forever — when Maxwell proposed.
Fresh Prince Parents
Uncle Phil and Aunt Viv (Fresh Prince of Bel-Air, 1990-1996)
There are few couples we love more than the always-hilarious, always chock-full of advice, pairing of Uncle Phil and Aunt Viv — despite the fact that this couple is at the center of one of the biggest TV re-casting storms of the 1990s. After season three, Janet Hubert-Whitten left the series and was replaced by Daphne Maxwell Reid for seasons four through six. (We love them both though!)
Jim And Pam
Jim and Pam (The Office, 2005-2013)
For anyone who says you shouldn’t enter into a relationship with someone in the workplace, we’d like to point you to the ultimate success story: Jim and Pam. From the very first playful on-screen moment, we knew Pam would never really end up with Roy. Sorry, not sorry.
This Is Us
Jack and Rebecca (This Is Us, 2016-present)
Okay, hear us out: Yes, we know that ultimately this couple’s ending is not quite so happy. However, there is no denying that when at his peak, Jack Pearson is the ultimate husband and father — doting, caring, and gorgeous. And if that’s not #relationshipgoals, we don’t know what is. (Thanks Milo Ventimiglia for giving us highly unrealistic expectations when it comes to men.)
Grace And Frankie
Robert and Sol (Grace and Frankie, 2015-present)
In the first episode, we learn that Robert and Sol are leaving their wives because they’re both in love with someone else — each other. Sure, their relationship isn’t perfect and it may have taken them 20 years to come to terms with their feelings, but this couple is the living TV embodiment of love winning out in the end.
Greys Anatomy Mcdreamy
Derek and Meredith (Grey’s Anatomy, 2005 - now)
If you don’t hear Snow Patrol’s Chasing Cars and not get emotional, were you even a Derek and Meredith fan? (Answer: probably not.) This song played soundtrack to some of the couple’s most iconic moments — including Derek’s untimely exit at the end of season 11 — and to this day, we can’t hear it without thinking of the pair’s wedding post-it.
Luke And Lorelei
Luke and Lorelai (Gilmore Girls, 2000-2007)
Of all Lorelai Gilmore’s beaus, Luke Danes is the one that she could never really get over. From early on, while fast-taking Lorelai was trying to find the one — Christopher, Max, Jason, Luke (finally!), Christopher again — the audience was just sitting there, shouting at the screen for Lorelai to finally come to terms with her feelings for Luke once and for all and marry him. (Spoiler alert: it takes until 2016 for her to do it.)
Blackish Bow And Dre
Dre and Bow (Black-ish, 2014-present)
If any TV couple could repair their fractured relationship, it’s power-couple Dre and Bow. Still, we have to respect the series for giving an accurate portrayal of what it really takes to come back from a rough period — even if that meant we had to worry that our favorite, usually rock-steady, couple might not make it.
Aunt Becky Full House
Aunt Becky and Uncle Jesse (Full House, 1987-1995)
Find a couple with more perfect hair? I dare you. (Answer: there isn’t one.) Over the course of eight seasons — and a few extra Fuller House years — we all fell completely in love with this San Francisco power couple. And don’t even get me started about “Forever,” the ballad that Jesse writes and sings for Becky at their wedding. Have mercy!
How I Met Your Mother
Marshall and Lily (How I Met Your Mother, 2005-2014)
While Ted is out there trying to find his person, Marshall and Lily offer a stark contrast: an almost annoyingly perfect representation of on-screen soulmates. The first (and only) girl that Marshall has ever been with, Lily and her ‘Marshmallow’ are equal parts supportive, silly, and chock-full of a healthy sex drive. We can’t imagine any pair we’d like to third-wheel with more!
Saved By The Bell Kelly
Zack and Kelly (Saved by the Bell, 1989-1992)
Zack Morris was a lot of things — including highly popular with the ladies — but there was only one girl who ever really had his heart: cheerleader Kelly Kapowski. Whether they were ‘just friends,’ dating — or (as they were in the short-lived College Years franchise) engaged — there was no denying that prankster Zack would do just about anything for his long-time sweetheart.
Seth And Summer
Seth and Summer (The OC, 2003-2007)
Ryan and Marissa, Seth and Summer, Sandy and Kirsten… The O.C. gave us some beloved (not to mention, gorgeous) pairings. But if anyone tries to argue that Seth jumping on top of the coffee cart to declare his love for Summer (to a soundtrack of “Something Pretty,” we might add) doesn’t earn these two top honors, we don’t know what else could convince you.
Orange Is The New Black Couples
Poussey Washington and Brook Soso (Orange is the New Black, 2013-2019)
It’s hard not to fall in love with a couple when one of them has literally saved the other's life. While suffering from depression, Poussey finds Soso when she overdoses in the library. After saving her life, the pair embark on a new friendship — which ultimately turns into something more.
Doug And Carol
Doug and Carol (ER, 1994-2009)
One of TV’s best-ever moments? When Carol finally decides to track down and get back together with the father of her twins and long-time love, Doug — despite the fact that George Clooney had already left the show. Yes, it’s true, some couples really do get their TV-land happily ever after.
Parks And Rec Ben And Leslie
Leslie and Ben (Parks and Recreation, 2009-2015)
Nerdy and oh-so hilarious, Leslie Knope and Ben Wyatt will forever be our favorite sit-com couple. From their early flirtations to the first kiss — and later marriage — it was the little in-the-know jokes and relatable (and yes, embarrassing!) moments that catapults this world-conquering pairing to the top of our list.