Independence Day Countdown: Whose Breakup Set Off the Biggest Fireworks?

Is there anything more all-American than a good, old-fashioned breakup?

OK, yeah, there probably is. (Makeup sex comes to mind.) But this Fourth of July, instead of just grill burgers and drink beers like we usually do, your television-obsessed friends at TVLine have decided to mark the occasion a little bit differently. Having reflected upon the tumultuous TV season past, we’ve come up with a list of individuals who declared their independence from their significant others, then ranked them based on the quantity and quality of the fireworks that they set off with their splits.

Whose separation came in at No. 1? Take a guess. Then, to find out if you’re on the money, scroll through the gallery below and revisit the dramatic breakups from Hawaii Five-0, Grey’s Anatomy, Arrow and more.

Comments are monitored, so don’t go off topic, don’t frakkin’ curse and don’t bore us with how much your coworker’s sister-in-law makes per hour. Talk smart about TV!

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  1. silverpetticoatreview says:

    That Arrow moment was ridiculous and probably one of the worst moments of the entire series. Felicity just happens to get the ability to walk again at the moment she wants to make a grand exit? It was bad writing. They should have kept her paralyzed for longer than they did. By eliminating the problem almost immediately, they took away the entire point of the arc. Felicity could have been like Logan in Dark Angel for a while before they so conveniently found a cure. Don’t get me wrong, I’m a fan of the Felicity/Oliver relationship in the story sense, but that was one of the most contrived moments of television this year. I actually cringed. I couldn’t watch for the next month before I started catching up again. And then they pulled that same bad writing with Laurel’s death. The Oliver/Felicity breakup was about as unnecessary as Laurel’s death. I love Arrow, but the writers really need to pull it together next season and write more authentic story lines that will connect emotionally with the audience.

    • May says:

      Still think the worst moment(s) were the flashbacks after Laurel’s death who completely highlighted how disgustingly horrible friends both Laurel and Oliver were to Tommy. As an episode that was supposed to be a tribute to Laurel, it did the exact opposite for me. But that was a close second. LOVE Felicity. LOVE her relationship with Oliver. And as a fan of both, I’m still mad that they used a moment that should have been hers and only hers to dramatize a break up that happened because of an even more contrived storyline that set up the break up. Most of Felicity’s storylines in the second half of the season were rushed and I just don’t understand why. They have a great actress. They’ve set up a great character. And we got half executed storylines. Even the finale left me frustrated. How is it that we got to hear everyone’s reasons for staying/leaving Star City but Felicity?

      • Lizzie says:

        I’ll never be over the moment when they showed Oliver and Laurel together one week after Tommy was buried and how she was so happy about the future. ONE WEEK after he was buried! They were just the worst together. That whole episode was supposed to be a tribute to Laurel and it ended up making her look worse. What a real shame.

  2. Cena Gomez says:

    The most explosive break up happened on Scandal between Olivia and Fitz. The abortion break up not only turned Olivia into a power hungry, mean, cowardice, cold, angry idiotic killer, but it also ran about 4 million fans away from the show. Scandal not only fell to record low viewers, but it also had record low demos not seen since the first season when the show was almost cancelled by ABC. On and off camera effects is what I call explosive break up.

    • fiberlicious says:

      You’re so right!

    • JustMe says:

      I am so surprised Olivia and Fitz aren’t on this list! I really thought they’d be at number 1. I completely agree with you about the on and off camera after effects. It drastically changed the course of the show, moreso than the Susan and David split. I loved what Susan said to David, but out of the two splits, I would definitely say Olivia and Fitz topped when it comes to “explosiveness”.

  3. xyz says:

    Game of Thrones had the biggest explosion based breakup.

  4. Bwhit says:

    Ruzek and Burgess from Chicago PD was kind of sad but those two definetly weren’t ready for marriage. The writers really did a 180 on how they were at the end of season two with news of Adam having two called off engagements before Kim and Kim taking Roman’s suggestions for the ‘push test’. Maybe those two crazy kids will figure it out in season 4.

    • rahajicho says:

      I was never a fan of Kim and Ruzek, but maybe, if he’s matured at all, they can reunite by the end of next season.

      • Bwhit says:

        He matured quite a bit in the episodes after she got shot but then they decided in season 3 to make him regress. I thought he took the Roman/Burgess situation quite well. She is kind of immature as well.

        • JennaB says:

          “…he took the Roman/Burgess situation quite well.” Oh, I took that as a sign of maturing, but more of Ruzek realizing that he doesn’t want what Burgess wants and letting her move on. After they first broke up, and he never put a fight, I remember he told Voight “I feel like I let her down.” That was a big sign. He knew she wanted to get married and set a date and find a place together. She broke up with him and told him “you don’t want to be on the hook.” And he never once argued that point, he’s not trying to convince her that he wants all in, instead, he’s sad that he didn’t want it as much as she did. That he let her down. He might have loved her but he just wanted the illusion, not the actual life. I don’t know why people want them back together. Burgess should not settle. And Ruzek should learn to date…just date.

    • Anna says:

      They were kind of great together, but they were nowhere near ready for marriage. I actually sorta cringed when he proposed – it was way too soon! I would love to see them work on the relationship next season instead of jumping in the deep end head first.

    • Lisa Sujin says:

      Their relationship fizzled out quickly after the engagement (which was a huge red flag since who it was way too soon). It turned out to be quite the disappointing dud. I loved Burgess individually a lot more when she was with Roman. She was more confident and self-assured. So much more potential there. Too bad they rushed that relationship and then had to kill it off when the actor left the show. I would not like to see a rehashing of Burgess and Ruzek again. Both just never seem to be on the same page. It seemed like Burgess was more infatuated with Ruzek, she just had puppy eyes and giggled whenever he said something to her. She and Roman’s relationship showed more growth and communication during the season even just as friends. That’s not a good sign.

  5. Kevin K says:

    Strahan leaving Live with Kelly for GMA as does Catherine from Hawaii Five-O

  6. rahajicho says:

    Jim is a fool. I understand why he pushed Lee away, but the second he broke out of prison he should have gone looking for her.

  7. Lizzie says:

    I love Oliver and Felicity together and I’m still very much rooting for those two but I wouldn’t call their break-up explosive. I thought it was ridiculous. Not just because Oliver lied like an idiot but then suddenly Felicity can walk just as they’re breaking up. I ended up laughing about that rather than being sad they broke up. They definitely should have done that better. Or not had them break up at all. So pointless. They were so great together but the lie tainted it.

  8. Confused TVLine Viewer says:

    Hey guys. Hoping for some guidance. Once every 24 hours when I log onto TVLine, I’m redirected to a full page ad which has a “Continue to TVLine” box up in the corner. The thing is, this only happens on my Android phone and my desktop, but not my laptop.

    Has anyone else experienced this? Is this adware? Is this just TVLine advertising? Why the difference in which computer gets it?


    • Kim R says:

      I am in no way any kind of computer expert. :D The same thing will happen to me on my laptop but it seems random. There is a constant pop up ad every time I go to a new “page” on tvline. I switched from IE to Chrome because this site was freezing constantly and crashing. Now there is just ads that I have to shut down in order to keep things running. It is the only site on the internet, that I visit, that seems to have so much going on behind the scenes.

  9. Peggy says:

    I have just caught up with the episodes of The Mindy Project and that scene where she realizes Leo’s crib will fit made me very sad. The whole break up almost made me not want to watch anymore.

  10. S says:

    Where in the last Greys episode does Alex tell Jo that??

    • Kate says:

      Fairly at the beginning. But it’s classic Alex, first he blows up and then he realizes that he’s been an ass. That happens everytime he gets mad lol.

      • Christina says:

        He wasn’t being an ass. Jo had led him on for months and was still trying to keep him around by manipulating him (“Let’s have a baby!” WTF). What was classic Alex was him trying to save that relationship when he wasn’t the one in the wrong (he did the same with Izzie after she walked out on him until he had finally had enough many months later).

  11. Kate says:

    TVLine, I get that you think Alex would’ve been understanding if only Jo had told him. But you also know what a temper he has. Jo might’ve been scared he would go after her dangerous husband, since she heard him say he would’ve killed her ex boyfriend Jason for laying a hand on her if he had only gotten to him. And he also told Jo that he beat up his father so badly for hitting his mother (hope to see the connection between Jo and Helen Karev next season!!!) he thought he would kill him. Maybe Jo was scared of what Alex would try to do and that it could bring her and Alex in danger. Or she was advised to not tell a living soul about her husband when she was granted her identity change. This is an extremely sensitive topic and it’s easy to say “Jo should have told him” but after all she’s the terrified wife who fled her husband and we shouldn’t judge before the show will tell us why Jo couldn’t open up about this to anyone. After all she made it clear so many times how much she trusts Alex. If she couldn’t tell him this and rather let him yell at her and break up with her, then it means that the issue is extremely delicate.