The Best & Worst on On-Screen Couples **INCLUDES SPOILERS**


With Valentine’s Day quickly approaching, it’s time to remind ourselves what healthy and unhealthy relationships look like, and what better way to do that than using the examples of our favorite (and least favorite) on-screen couples? Obviously these relationships are artificial, but they can still serve as demonstrations of underlying relational principles. I admit I am a little behind on the trending shows such as Riverdale, Shameless, etc., so let’s look at the classics shall we?


The Top 5 Worst On-screen couples


5. Edward and Bella Cullen

It’s true not even vampires are spared from my judgment. From the movie franchise Twilight, Edward and Bella are the most monotone couple I have ever witnessed. I think in the entire movie franchise they probably only smile less than 10 times and I don’t know if I ever heard them laugh together. Everything was always so serious between them, they never seemed to be having fun. Also, the whole time Bella is in love with Jacob along with being in love with Edward but, “In a different way.” In the books she literally refers to him as “my Jacob” and “my sun.” In the second movie, New Moon, Edward breaks up with Bella and goes away and she is depressed and even almost suicidal, but the only happiness she feels is with Jacob. They laugh together, hang out all the time and it’s evident they both want to be together. Bella comes for Edward and they continue dating, but then Jacob and Edward constantly fight over who she actually loves the most. Edward is also extremely controlling over Bella, always telling her what she can and can’t do and trying to push Jacob out of her life.


4. Serena Van Der Woodsen and Dan Humphrey

What I thought was just going to be a pointless fling ended up being a major plot in Gossip Girl. Serena is one of the top girls in the Upper East side along with Blair, and Dan is a nobody from Brooklyn. Serena can never stay committed to one thing, fleeing as soon as things get serious, returning to old things when the new things become too serious, and always trying to escape her past. As annoying as that is, instead of sticking up for her while she's away, or even just not saying anything, Dan spreads rumors about her to their entire school and surrounding community. Serena also never takes responsibility for her actions and incessantly says, “I’m trying to change,” but clearly that’s not true because she keeps being irresponsible and saying the same things. Serena was also embarrassed to be with Dan because he wasn’t as popular as she was and all of her friends hated him. They ended up together in the end, which if the show continued I’m sure wouldn’t have lasted.


3. Ross Geller and Rachel Green

From the hit tv show Friends, Ross and Rachel are always having a fling throughout the show. Their biggest problem is communication, to the point that they never even know if they’re dating or not. The worst was when Ross slept with another woman thinking they were on a break and Rachel didn’t think that they were. Rachel was extremely upset and Ross tried to justify it saying he didn’t know she still considered them together. Simply put, you can’t have a strong relationship if you never even know if you are indeed dating at all.  


2. Ryan Howard and Kelly Kapoor

Taken from NBC’s The Office we have Ryan and Kelly. I honestly don’t understand why Ryan doesn’t just break up with Kelly in the first place. Kelly thinks Ryan is cute, and is looking for something serious. Ryan isn’t really into Kelly, but hooks up with her just because he knows he can. He tries to communicate to her he isn’t looking for anything serious, and then somehow they start dating, I’m not even sure how that happens. But Ryan clearly doesn’t care about Kelly at all, taking any reason he can find to leave her. They break up for awhile while he is at other jobs and then when he returns to the office they again start dating again even though he doesn’t want to be. Ryan only uses Kelly when he wants her and cheats. Once Kelly asked if they could go on a date and he replied, “No but I’ll see you at your place around 2 am,” smacks her butt and leaves. Kelly isn’t totally innocent though, using Daryl from the warehouse to make Ryan jealous and lying about being pregnant just so they can get a date . At the end of the series Kelly actually has a serious relationship with a pediatrician named Robbie, but throws it all away to be with Ryan. Who, by then, has a son with another woman who left. They leave his baby, “hoping that Robbie will take the baby so they can start a life together.”


1. Tom and Daisy Buchanan

In the novel The Great Gatsby,  Daisy isn’t the sweet and loving woman she is portrayed to be in the movie. In both cases, she is a wealthy girl intended to marry a wealthy man. She falls in love with Jay Gatsby, a soldier who is dirt poor. Jay goes off to war again and Daisy waits for a while, but then starts dating Tom Buchanan, a boisterous  man with a great inheritance. They get engaged, and Tom gets Daisy a string of pearls that cost $350,000 the night before their wedding. In essence, Daisy went where the money is. On their wedding day, Daisy receives a letter from Jay explaining that he has been poor, he eventually got his fortune. We later find out this has been through bootlegging. Daisy starts crying and says she doesn’t want to go through with the wedding, but she does. Tom and Daisy later have a daughter named Pammy, but that doesn’t stop what is about to come. Tom takes up a mistress named Myrtle. She is the wife of his mechanic and arguably, one of his friends. He buys and apartment for Myrtle and himself to meet up and buys other various presents for Myrtle. In the meantime, Jay and bought a house right across the bay where Daisy lives. He threw elaborate parties every weekend in hopes Daisy would arrive. Through connections, one day Jay is finally able to meet up with Daisy. Jay and Daisy continue to pursue an affair as well as Tom pursues his affair with Myrtle. Despite being married and having a child, they are never actually committed to each other.


The Top 5 Best On-Screen Couples


5.  Chuck Bass and Blair Waldorf

Chuck and Blair are the It couple in the television series Gossip Girl, and arguably, part of it is because they are both extremely wealthy, so their relationship is portrayed as extremely glamorous. However, moving past that glitz and glamour, we see two people who genuinely care about each other. Don’t get me wrong, their relationship didn’t start as the strong and loving one it developed to be. It took them awhile of having problems and falling apart to realize that they needed each other. One of the biggest evidences of their devotion to each other is just the evolution of both of them. When we first meet Chuck, he only interested in women objectively. He is a man without integrity, and cares only about money and himself. Through Blair, he cleans himself up and becomes devoted to her, and protects her at all costs. Blair also starts as a self-obsessed person. Though she is involved with Nate Archibald, she is nowhere near as concerned with his happiness and well-being as she ends up being with Chuck. She goes to bat for Chuck, confronting people who wrong him, helping him through personal crises, and loving him through all the ugly things they go through together. They are certainly a couple devoted to each other and thankfully have the happy ending they deserve.


4. Bob and Phyllis Vance

Probably the most underrated couple in TV history, taken from The Office we have Bob Vance of Vance Refrigeration and Phyllis Lapin. Phyllis is a saleswomen of Dunder Mifflin and works in the same building as Bob Vance of Vance Refrigeration. We don’t know too much about Phyllis and Bob, probably why they are so overlooked, but what is always evident is their strong love for each other. Bob is always trying to make Phyllis’ life as easy as possible, in whatever form that looks like. He is very concerned with her protection and comfort, having no problems confronting anyone who challenges his woman. Their love for each is so adorable, my favorite Bob and Phyllis moment is when Bob bought a hug from Phyllis in an auction for $1,000. So precious!


3. Leslie Knope and Ben Wyatt

Leslie Knope is the star of the hit comedy Parks and Recreation. Leslie is a modern women who works in local government, striving for the equality of women in government and in society. Ben Wyatt is hired as her superior to make budget cuts. Initially, this causes them to butt heads, but after while of spending time together, they grow fond of each other. However, since he is her superior, they are not allowed to pursue a relationship. They do anyways, and  eventually, their relationship is discovered. There are almost no consequences for their secret love, almost. One time Ben and Leslie bribed a maintenance worker who saw them kiss to be quiet. Ben takes the fall for Leslie, so he has to leave his job so she can have hers. What I love about Ben and Leslie is that they are such a power couple. They both have ambition and strong career goals, and with every step they support each other and help in every way they can. They end up getting married and having triplets, and both are still able to pursue their desired careers in addition to being parents.


2. Noah and Allie Calhoun

Ahh yes, of course we need to talk about the most famous couple given to us by Nicholas Sparks’ The Notebook. Noah and Allie were just two kids in love, and despite being separated for almost ten years, their love never dies. It’s easy to disregard the feelings you had a teenager, but they both knew what they had was real. Noah was devastated at losing his love, and wrote her a letter every single day for a year to try to get her back. I wonder what would have happened if her mother hadn’t stolen her letters. Anyway, seeing his picture in the newspaper, Allie returns to her first love and passes up a life of financial security and overall ease of life to be with Noah. They get married and have a life together, and as Allie becomes an elderly woman she develops Alzheimer’s. Eventually she can’t even recognize her own husband or children. In response, Noah writes a book of their own love story. He stays in the nursing she is in and reads it to her in hopes of helping her remember her life. That is extremely beautiful.


And the award for best TV couple goes to...


1. Jim and Pam Halpert

I think everyone saw this coming from a mile away, but we can’t ignore the epitome of goals that is Jam (Jim and Pam) from The Office. Jim has been in love with Pam pretty much since he met her, and since Pam is engaged to Roy at the time, she denies her feelings for Jim, saying they’re “just friends.” During the time they are “just friends,” they always have fun together, playing pranks on Dwight, making jokes, and things of that nature. But there is also an element of divine care. Pam always comes to Jim with her problems, saying she doesn’t want to, “bother Roy with small stuff” such as feelings and emotions. Pam also looks out for Jim, encouraging him to do what’s best for him, even if that is hard for her; such as getting a better job or asking out a girl. Eventually, Pam breaks things off with Roy, in her words, “There were a lot of reasons I called off my wedding, but the truth is I didn’t care about any of those reasons until I met you.” By this time, Jim has already started dating someone new, but later arguably breaks things off with her to be with Pam. They finally start dating and the happiness in both of their lives becomes so obvious. Pam later tells Jim that she wants to go to art school in New York, and though it means they will be separated for three months, her encourages her to go. While she is in New York, he proposes using the ring he admits to getting her a week after they started dating. They get married and have two beautiful children, and every step of the way we see their genuine love for each other through all things. They end up having some marital problems in the final season of The Office, when Jim is one of the key investors in a sports marketing company called Athlead. I will admit, I didn’t like how Pam discouraged this dream because she was happy in Scranton, but Jim calls the whole thing off because Pam and their children is his priority. Their marriage is saved, but Pam is worried she robbed him of something great. Luckily in the finale, she tells him she is ready to move and pursue his dream of being part of Athlead. Jim and Pam are my favorite couple because their life of love and care can be seen in every step they take.

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