TV giveth, TV take it away. That’s the deal not just with shows, but sometimes, with TV couples. We fall in love with two people, with their interaction, with the love they have for each other …and then they’re brutally taken away, via death, via leaving the show, or worse, via an inability to understand exactly what it is they’ve created. (Looking at you, Chris Carter).
So today I want to talk about those couples that deserved better. And yes, we all feel like our favorites deserve more – Captain Swan deserved more scenes together, especially happy, quiet moments, Snowing deserved not to be pushed to the background, Olicity deserved better than the baby mama drama, and so on, but for this list, we’re going to focus on the couples that have been irrevocably broken. Those that will need a miracle – or a revival, to ever get their happy ending.
And, of course …I have to start with:
Mulder/Scully, The X Files
Deserved better? We could even say they deserved something. Anything, really. But, no, Chris Carter was so enchanted with his fictional idea of platonic and the little things we did get were almost like he threw the fans a bone – one that he obviously had to take back just in time for the revival. These two had a kid together, for crying out loud, how hard would it have been to let them have some happy moments together, as well? The world’s going to end soon, anyway!
Chase/Cameron, House M.D
Jennifer Morrison didn’t want to leave the show, and that’s what hurts the most about how House M.D just broke up this couple. Oh, let’s parallel Chase with House! Let’s make him this damaged genius. MANPAIN!! And, of course, in order to do that, they had to break up a couple that had grown from co-workers to friends with benefits to dating to marriage and that had made us fall in love with their journey. Ugh.
The Joss edition or Buffy the Vampire Slayer/Angel edition (because Joss and happy couples apparently don’t get along):
Buffy/Angel: Angel got his own show, and they always had their issues, but Joss always sold the meant to be thing, and he sold it so well that we believed it, and then, because there was no way to bring SMG into Angel he brought out cookie dough? I’m sorry, but what?
Wes/Fred: It took them SO LONG and then they were happy for approximately 0.3 seconds and that was it. It’s so cruel, and it just reinforces the idea that Joss Whedon just don’t care to, or know how to write happy couples. And that’s a damn shame.
Tara/Willow: Every time I think about how epic these two were and how Joss could have done so much better than kill Tara to advance Willow’s story, I get angry. And sad. For so long LGBTQIA couples were treated not as couples, but as props in each other’s story, and Joss should have been brave enough to go somewhere different. He wasn’t.
Skye/Ward, Marvel’s Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D
Grant Ward and Daisy “Skye” Johnson or Skyeward, as the pairing is called, was Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D’s first major ship. The classic uptight square with the wild free-spirit had tremendous chemistry, and was on the verge of getting together for good…..till Ward was revealed to be Hydra, crushing so many SkyeWard fans hearts. SkyeWard was brought back though in season 4 thanks to a view into an alternate world where Grant Ward was a hero and him and Skye were together. Their chemistry was still there, and just made us wish that the writers hadn’t made the fateful decision to turn Ward into Hydra. Because we don’t ship nazis, nope.
The Grey’s Anatomy Edition (Because, if there’s anyone worse than Joss, it’s Shonda):
Mark/Lexie: This is particularly cruel because just when they seemed like they were finally ready to be the epic couple they were always destined to be – Lexie died in that plane crash and then Mark died soon after. DEAD. Shonda didn’t just kill our ship, she killed both characters.
Christina/Owen: Again, pain, thy name is Shonda Rhimes on Grey’s Anatomy. We didn’t even know how much we loved Owen and Christina together till Sandra Oh left the show and the hole in our hearts just got bigger and bigger.
Meredith/Derek: This was THE couple of Grey’s Anatomy, the reason we invested, the happily ever after we were promised. And then Derek died and we were left wondering …why? Why did we invest so much time and energy into loving these two? Why did we ever think Shonda would do us right?
Alex/Izzie: This one came first, but ugh, rude! After that beautiful wedding and after beating that tumor for Izzie and Alex’s story to end like it did was just – the first of many stakes through the heart. Thanks for nothing, Shonda.
Barney/Robin, How I Met Your Mother
We have a hard time deciding if this couple broke up because of mere stupidity, because of the writers or because they were too stubborn and married to their original ending that they just couldn’t see that what people really wanted was this …the couple they spent years building and always knew they were going to break up. Which is why this one stings, and it’s going to sting for a while.
If you’re going to drag it out for so damn long, and boy, did they drag it out, then at least give people something before you ruin a ship for good. And no, secret kids that appear years later as a result of something we didn’t get to see do not count. This one still hurts, and it will probably continue to hurt for years to come.
Jay/Erin, Chicago P.D
Why did you give us everything only to yank it away so cruelly, Chicago P.D? Why did you give us one of the most mature, healthy OTPs out there only to play games with us now? We deserve answers almost as much as we deserved that happy ending.
The Sara Lance Edition, on both Arrow and Legends of Tomorrow:
Sara/Nyssa: Was Nyssa the one for Sara? It was hard to know, as they were together much less than they were apart, and it seemed like they were never willing to give up everything for each other. And yet – as we said, we got so precious little of them together that it kinda feels like they were just a beautiful possibly that never truly materialized.
Sara/Snart: This caught us (and probably them) by surprise, and yet it’s been a full year since Leonard Snart’s untimely demise, and we still ship it, we still hope this crazy show finds a way to get these two back together. Sometimes you strike gold – with chemistry, with story-lines, with OTPs, and when you do, you should take advantage, not have them kiss for the first time and then kill one of them. No, that’s definitely not the thing to do.
Bonnie/Enzo, The Vampire Diaries
Julie Plec was crushing heart’s left and right as The Vampire Diaries wound down. With Enzo, they literally ripped his heart out and took away another opportunity for Bonnie to be happy. Don’t get me wrong, Bonnie is strong and can survive anything, but why did she have to do it alone, again?
Stefan/Caroline, The Vampire Diaries
For a show that always managed to find a way out of the crazy supernatural situations they get in, Stefan’s death was especially cruel and head scratch worthy. It was his wedding day. He’d finally found someone that he could be happy with and was looking forward to a human existence with Caroline. They sacrificed his happiness because they had to give a character wasn’t there for years her happy ending, and hey, we get it, we do – but wasn’t there a way to give both their happy ending?
Clarke/Lexa, The 100
You don’t even have to like them to recognize that The 100 treated them poorly. Lexa died before these two had even had a chance to have a real relationship, to discover what they could be. And how she died? *shakes head* Maybe Clarke and Lexa were meant to be, maybe they weren’t, but either way, the show did them a disservice by not letting their story play out on screen.
Regina/Robin, Once Upon A Time
It all started out great – there was a lot of chemistry, the plot was working in their favor and these two made sense. And then – that whole thing with Marian-who-was-not-Marian-but-Zelena happened. And then they got a little “happiness” that we rarely go to see. And then he died. So, yeah, these two got anything but a fair chance to actually be a couple on screen. What a waste of good chemistry.
Maggie/Glenn, The Walking Dead
Just when we recovered from thinking Glenn was gone, they actually took him away from us, and in such a cruel, public way. And though this is The Walking Dead and we’ve sort of gotten used to the fact that people can and will die, the moment, the possibilities, the fact that Maggie was there to witness it – it just made it even more heartbreaking.
Annie/Auggie, Covert Affairs
If you’re going to end a season like that, you better be damn sure you’re getting another one, because that’s just cruel. If we were going to be stuck in limbo, we would have rather it be in a limbo where these two were together and happy, okay?
Will/Alicia, The Good Wife
It’s somewhat hard to blame the writers when it’s an actor’s decision to leave the show, and yet …for all the promise these two had and the little payback we got for that promise, we do blame the writers. You never want half of our OTP to die, but if that’s the way it’s gotta go, it’s at least better to get some real happiness before that happens. Just saying.
Jane/Michael, Jane The Virgin
How could this have been the plan for the start if it hurts this much? We reject the plan. We reject fate and destiny and all of that. We just want these two growing old together, like they were meant to.
Daenerys/Drogo, Game of Thrones
No, we didn’t think we’d ship this considering how it all started and yes, this is Game of Thrones so we should have seen it coming. But that was back in Season 1 and we were young and innocent and we thought we could at least have one ship one this show, one. Turns out we were wrong, and Drogo had to leave us, and Daenerys. How we would have liked to see them conquer Westeros together, their son at their side – though hey, we can appreciate that this Khaleesi needs no one to do her conquering.
Norma/Alex, Bates Motel
It’s not that we really expected a happy ending – we knew this was going to end in tragedy. But did it all have to be so tragic? They didn’t even have time to enjoy their love before it all was so cruelly taken away.
Oh, the pain of possibility. What do you think? Do you agree with our list? Are there any couples we missed? Share with us in the comments below!
(A world of thanks to all the Fangirlish team for contributing to this – a girl can watch TV, but no girl can watch THIS much TV.)