Worst TV Couples Photos

Troubled TV Couples From Grey's, PLL and More: Who Should Call It Quits?

There comes a time in every troubled relationship when both parties need to take a step back and ask themselves: Is this really worth the effort? And we’re not just talking about real-life couples, either.

Some of TV’s buzziest pairs — even ones we’ve ‘shipped harder than we care to admit — are guilty of being, shall we say, problematic. To that end, TVLine has assembled a list of 10 small-screen duos that need to decide, once and for all, if theirs is a love worth fighting for.

For some of the pairs on our list, it’s an issue of commitment. On Pretty Little Liars, for example, Emily has been ready to commit to Alison ever since she came back from the “dead.” But she’s suffered in silence as Ali plowed through a series of bad romances — including an evil husband. So we have to wonder: Is Emily getting her hopes up for nothing?

Speaking of liars, Danny conveniently forgot to tell Mindy — the mother of his child — that he was engaged to another woman when they slept together on The Mindy Project season finale. Heck, he even tried to bed her again after she received the invitation to his wedding. As Liz Lemon would say, “That’s a dealbreaker, ladies!”

And then there’s Once Upon a Time‘s Belle and Rumplestiltskin, the living embodiment of why no one should ask what comes after “happily ever after.” (Even their son thinks they’re better off apart — and he hasn’t been born yet!)

Browse our gallery of troubled TV couples, then cast your vote for their next step. When you’re finished, drop a comment with your thoughts below: Which couples would you add to our list?

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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33 Comments
  1. Ben says:

    Belle and Rumple, ALed and Jo need to call it quits. Put them and us out of our misery! Connor and Oliver should get back together.

    • Gul says:

      Agree. Rumple & Belle definitely should end it, theyve been going around in the same damn circle for 4 seasons & Im honestly tired. They had potential but for me it has crossed the point of no return. Also Alex & Jo. Contrary to Rumbelle, they’re basically facing their first real conflict as a couple & it’s already painful to watch, they just dont have the chemistry to pull off that angst and still keep me invested. They were cute way back when but I dont care enough about them to see a season of back & forth with them.
      On the other hand, Nick & Jess, Connor & Oliver need to give it another shot.

  2. Lala says:

    HTGAWM needs to kill off Oliver..he’s an ungrateful, selfish & whiny B! Am so tired of Connor being miserable. Can we please have the fun Connor back.

  3. William says:

    S3 continues to prove that Cookie and Lucious’ relationship is embedded within a toxic power dynamic. All they have is history, which means absolutely nothing when Lucious continues to go out of his way to devalue and subordinate Cookie. There’s nothing romantic about his possessive nature.

    • Matt C. says:

      I was just coming here to say this. Their relationship is SO toxic, and all of the flashbacks this season are proving that their relationship has been that way from the very beginning. Last night’s episode was the worst example.

      • Robert says:

        Yes, Hook and Emma “relationship” is very toxic. From the beginning, when H00k just ignored Emma´s NO and pushed her and annoyed her. He is abuser, the biggest on the show. Every second with him on the screem is horrible. I just want to vomit.

  4. RedReddington says:

    I love Rumbelle, but the (crappy) writing for them has been all over the place. I want them to be together! They obviously love each other, but they need to actually TALK through their issues, not run away. I hope they don’t break up. :(

  5. GraceM says:

    I’m glad to see most people have the same thoughts as me where Belle and Rumple are concerned. Give up.

    In the real world that would an abusive relationship. Not a physical kind but mental and emotional.

    • Kay says:

      Agreed. It’s not sweet or cute, it’s toxic. Just because they’re fairy tale characters doesn’t make the relationship dynamics okay. I don’t even understand the mindset of those that still want them back together.

  6. steven says:

    Belle and Rumple are a dramatized version of Ross and Rachel.

  7. Cas says:

    So this is a shipper poll. I mean emily and alison have never been a couple. Watching them together is painful. Love Connor an Oliver so hopefully they work it out.

  8. Josucks says:

    Jolex is horrible. Please,end them forever

  9. Metalhead7777 says:

    Rumple needs to stay 3000 miles away from Belle and Storybrooke at all times. I wish they would just end it already

    • Robert says:

      Yes, Hook and Emma “relationship” is very toxic. From the beginning, when H00k just ignored Emma´s NO and pushed her and annoyed her. He is abuser, the biggest on the show. Every second with him on the screem is horrible. I just want to vomit. H00k should definitely stay away from Emma. She looks so sick. Poor woman, changed to Stepford wife, her personality completely destroyed.

  10. Jose says:

    Want Rumple amd Belle to be happy amd the bad writing to quit

  11. Belle and Rumple should keep trying! They have some of the best chemistry around, and definitely on that show. The writers should allow them to try and move forward, and actually allow them to talk without separating them every five minutes. He’s the only one that actually tried to help her last season. He followed her wishes, and did whatever he could to save her and the child, while everyone just said ‘meh’. Yet, she doesn’t know that, because once again they aren’t given the time to talk. It’s one thing after another, whether its due to their issues, or outside forces. It’s about time for them to move forward. And to comment on this particular article… They never got their chance for a happy ending… they’ve been separated more than they’ve been together since mid-season two. And they haven’t been on the outs all of those separations either. So please, let them work through their issues Once writers. It will help a lot of stick around for the long haul. They exploded as a fan favorite when their first episode aired. Can we please get them back to showing the love between them, because it’s still there.

  12. Anna says:

    I’m confused as to who would want Alex and Jo to stay together at this point. Is it just because of their history? Because that toxic ball of lying mess needs to end now. It’s nowhere near healthy.

  13. Kit says:

    The irony is that Rumple and Belle are the only couple on OUAT who aren’t dangerously codependent. When one of them (usually Rumple) screws up there are real emotional consequences. Meanwhile Emma violates Hook’s will, and he tries to kill her whole family and without even discussing it they’re snuggling?

  14. Claire says:

    Rumple is super gross in his treatment of Belle. Forcing David to give her a message when she was trying to avoid him and then stalking her outside the ship? I know it’s supposed to be romantic, but it’s just creepy. Move on and save my princess from this nightmare.

    • Kit says:

      The entire point of showing him at the ship is that he knew where she was and was leaving her alone? And a poem for the unborn child who already hates him is gross? Parents caring for their kids is gross?

  15. Jane says:

    Rumbelle should have ended a long time ago. All they’re doing is promoting emotional abuse and toxicity as a true love fairytale romance. On a show about strong women, they really missed the mark with Belle. I would love for her to stand up for herself, knowing that she deserves better, and walk away permanently. Her constant running back to him is so disappointing and sends a terrible message to fans that abuse is acceptable. :/

    • Robert says:

      Yes, Emma´s constant running to H00k is very disappointing and sends a terrible messge to fans, that abuse from boyfriend is acceptable. H00k is rapist, serial killer, robber, liar, disgusting misogynist. Promoting rape culture on “family show”.

  16. Dominique says:

    belle and rumplestiltskin should definitely call it quits, that is one unhealthy relationship.
    and alex and jo need to be as far away from each other as possible, with jo not even being in seattle. not even his relationship with izzie was this bad near the end. they rbing out the worst in each other, and jo makes alex revert back to dr evil spawn from season 1, only 10 times worse.

  17. Marco Piazzo says:

    Rumple & Belle… It’s sad, but as of right now I think they should just call it quits. They’ve deteriorated too much.
    Emily & Alison – Alison should run far away from Emily and her idiocy. There’s also the fact that Emily was still trying to juggle her, Paige and Sabrina AND the fact that she and her complete stupidity was the reason why Alison ended up committed to the asylum.

  18. gm says:

    There’s something mighty odd about that first poll. The Belle-and-Rumbelle-giving-it-a-go option lost five percentage points in about twenty-five minutes. I can’t believe there are that many people who would suddenly decide to votes in this poll

  19. Shar says:

    Rumple and Belle need to end it. Neither character has been done any favours by this pairing, Rumple has received nothing but abuse from haters and is emotionally abused by Belle which so many people are happy to ignore as if it doesn’t happen and I’m sick of it. Belle is shadow of what she should be, I can’t even recognise her as Belle anymore she’s become so OOC so I just want Adam and Eddy to end Rumbelle for good and put Rumple’s and Belle’s respective fans out of their misery, because it ain’t fun anymore.

  20. It would be nice if there wasn’t a bot that takes over as soon as Rumple and Belle supporters get the pairing to 50/50. It’s happened twice already and I strongly suspect it happened right off the bat when the poll started as well. Not cool. Interesting that it takes a bot to kick down Rumbelle and their supporters…

    • gm says:

      Yes, I just observed exactly the same thing. I’d been watching all day as Rumbelle’s percentage creeped up. Then literally one minute it was at 49.99 and the next refresh Rumbelle’s numbers started falling. Such an exact switch cannot possibly be coincidence. TVLine, either you’ve been infiltrated in some weird way I’ve never seen, or you are purposefully cheating Rumbelle fans. That is NUTS.

    • Well it looks like I was wrong about the second time. I was reading the graphic incorrectly… but the first time was an incredibly drastic drop of 20 points so that was really strange. Hopefully those types of shenanigans no longer taint this poll.

  21. Yoko says:

    The worst couple on tv is Shonda forcing a Grey’s Meredith & Riggs hook up/romance Yuck

  22. Mike says:

    Belle and Rumple, strangest match ever. Gross. She looks like his daughter. Also ZERO chemistry. Yuck. Please end this.