Iconic TV Couples: Our Favorite Love Stories from 'Friends, This Is Us' and More

We'll never fall out of love with these timeless twosomes from Friends, This Is Us, Friday Night Lights, Grey's Anatomy, General Hospital and more

01 of 27

Rachel and Ross, Friends

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While Chandler (Matthew Perry) and Monica (Courteney Cox) were certainly the more stable pair at Central Perk, Jennifer Aniston and David Schwimmer's Rachel and Ross kept fans coming back for 10 seasons of dating, sometimes hating and procreating with hilarious gusto. During every split, reconciliation and disputed "break," they were the textbook definition of endgame. He's her lobster!

02 of 27

Lucy and Ricky, I Love Lucy

I Love Lucy

Despite Lucille Ball and Desi Arnaz's struggles in their real-world marriage, the Ricardos shared a seemingly unbreakable bond amid mix-ups and shenanigans aplenty. Not only were they one of the first TV couples to share a bed (scandal!), they also pulled off the ultimate art-imitates-life storyline by incorporating Ball's pregnancy into the show. Lucy Ricardo's delivery of "Little Ricky" was filmed in November 1952, but the episode aired as scheduled in January 1953 — 12 hours after Ball gave birth to Desi Arnaz Jr. Talk about comedic timing!

03 of 27

Kermit the Frog and Miss Piggy, The Muppets

Kermit and Miss Piggy
Hulton Archive/Getty

You can't have a "Rainbow Connection" without both lovers and dreamers. And Kermie's gentle demeanor lovingly tempers Piggy's over-the-top glamour. From when they were babies, this couple's love was truly ... felt.

04 of 27

Angel and Buffy, Buffy the Vampire Slayer

Buffy The Vampire Slayer

Sarah Michelle Gellar's slayer and David Boreanaz's tormented (often tormenting) vampire might just be the ultimate star-crossed couple. The pull between them was so overwhelming that both Buffy and Angel had to move to another city at various times to escape their feelings. After Angel's departure, Buffy had a literally earth-quaking affair with another vamp Spike (James Marsters), but as the series excruciatingly illustrated, you never forget your first.

05 of 27

Beth and Randall, This Is Us

Jeff Lipsky/NBC

These college sweethearts (played by Sterling K. Brown and Susan Kelechi Watson) have gone through it. The Pearsons' refreshingly relatable marriage demonstrates that no matter how successful, optimistic or hard-driving you are, life will throw curveballs your way and you won't always be able to keep your cool. But even if Randall spent some nights on the couch, these two found a way to keep their partnership intentional, authentic and above all functional — even if that meant they occasionally had to decide who would be the messy, emotional one and who would be the voice of reason when confronted by another teenage daughter bombshell.

06 of 27

David and Maddie, Moonlighting

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It's only appropriate that Bruce Willis' wise-cracking private detective David Addison Jr. and his former model boss Maddie Hayes (Cybill Shepherd) finally did the deed after yet another squabble. Underscored by The Ronettes' "Be My Baby," the hotly anticipated sex scene took place on March 31, 1987, after three seasons of "will they, won't they?" tension. In a classic turn of events, viewers then had to wait more than a month to see the morning after. Moonlighting certainly knew how to leverage the exquisite agony of anticipation.

07 of 27

Edith and Archie, All in the Family


The enduring union of the Bunkers (played by Jean Stapleton and Carroll O'Connor) wasn't exactly the stuff of fairy tales, but their complementary personalities proved irresistible to viewers throughout the grim 1970s in the U.S. She had a voice only a husband could love, and he had a slew of lessons to learn about the world around him — a world that, much to Archie's dismay, had been swiftly changing for many years prior to All in the Family. But it was clear that the characters of Archie and Edith had decades of marriage to fall back on. Those were the days!

08 of 27

George and Weezy, The Jeffersons


The All in the Family spin-off was a rare representation of Black love and marriage on TV for the era. So it's no surprise it ran for 11 seasons from 1975–85. At the heart of the show was the spirited rapport between Sherman Hemsley's sometimes surly George and his sweetly sassy wife Louise (Isabel Sanford). Together, they survived a move on up from Queens to Manhattan and brought with them enough love to fill a deluxe apartment in the sky.

09 of 27

David and Patrick, Schitt's Creek

Schitt’s Creek

Simply the best — emphasis on the simple. In keeping with the sitcom's warm-hearted tone, this relationship faced fairly minimal friction. Instead, we got a delightful fly-on-the-Rosebud-Motel-wall view of high-fashion fish out of water David (Dan Levy) finding his heart and his home with small-town business advisor–turned–business (and life) partner Patrick, who was portrayed by Noah Reid in a low-key, note-perfect performance.

10 of 27

Meredith and McDreamy, Grey's Anatomy


Call it the longest one-night stand in Seattle Grace Mercy West history. From the moment Meredith Grey (Ellen Pompeo) and Derek Shepherd (Patrick Dempsey) drunkenly stumbled out of Joe's Bar to the first of many rendezvous (often in the hospital staff lounge), fans instantly knew this coupling would be the beating heart of Grey's Anatomy. (It was absolutely devastating when Derek shockingly died in a car crash, and yet there was no revolt when Mer and Der reunited in an otherworldly encounter — unlike another couple from the show we shall not name.) Suffice it to say, we pick them. We choose them. We love them.

11 of 27

Jin and Sun, Lost

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A marriage that proves its mettle on a time-warped, smoke monster-haunted island is not one to underestimate. Though their end was tragic, when Jin (Daniel Dae Kim) chose to drown with Sun (Yunjin Kim), that doesn't mean it wasn't romantic in its own way. And as the first Asian American couple to be so richly portrayed on primetime TV (often speaking to each other in South Korean), Jin and Sun ushered in new chapter of representation for TV viewers.

12 of 27

Diane and Sam, Cheers

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Thanks to Ted Danson and Shelley Long's expert timing, tuning in each week to watch brash bartender Sam and prissy waitress Diane was like sitting in first-row, center-court seats at a championship tennis match. Each verbal volley popped just as hard as the last, conveying their undeniable "opposites attract" magnetism. The pair ultimately wasn't built to last — both because of their polar personalities and because Long left the show in season 5 — but it was frothy fun while it lasted.

13 of 27

Cameron and Mitchell, Modern Family

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Just a classic story of a Missouri farm boy finding his match in a ginger lawyer from L.A. and presenting their newly adopted baby like Simba from The Lion King. You've probably heard it a million times. Sure, these two bickered and tried to outdo one another constantly, but their beautiful synchronicity showed itself each week, including when they simultaneously proposed. It didn't matter that the hours before they popped the question — and doubtless most of the days after — were filled with hilarious chaos and zany misunderstandings. All that mattered was that they had the same destination in mind and always managed to find their way to each other.

14 of 27

Jim and Pam, The Office

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Dating your coworkers usually isn't advisable, but these two proved that sometimes you have to follow your heart, whether it takes you to Scranton, New York City or Niagara Falls. The best friendship–turned–more between Jim (John Krasinski) and Pam (Jenna Fischer) was forged over epic pranks, charged casino nights and extremely awkward coworker dinners. Even in their toughest times as newlyweds and new parents, they had a relationship that was deeper than most onscreen couples, equipping them with the solid foundation and good humor to make their marriage last.

15 of 27

Tami and Coach, Friday Night Lights

Virginia Sherwood/NBC

The fact that Dillon High School's resident football coach (Kyle Chandler) and guidance counselor (Connie Britton) were both professional motivators surely didn't hurt the chances of their long-term success as spouses. Regardless of what life threw at them, there was never any doubt that the Taylors had each other's backs — and also just really enjoyed each other's company. Even in trying times, they partnered with clear eyes and full hearts. With that, you can't lose.

16 of 27

Uncle Phil and Aunt Viv, The Fresh Prince of Bel-Air

Kassa Zakadi/NBCU Photo Bank/Getty; Danny Feld/NBCU Photo Bank/Getty

Now this is a story all about how a Los Angeles judge (James Avery) and his academic wife (Janet Hubert, later Daphne Maxwell Reid) took in their troubled teen nephew and grew him into a man with tough love and quick wit. As the Fresh Prince's title made clear, this sitcom was far more centered on Will Smith's character, but it was the steadiness provided by Uncle Phil and Aunt Viv that grounded both Will and the series itself. And did we mention that Phil proposed at Soul Train? What more can you ask for?

17 of 27

Glenn and Maggie, The Walking Dead

The Walking Dead
Gene Page/AMC

It takes a strong couple to nurture love and stability in the midst of a zombie apocalypse. Yet Glenn (Steven Yeun) and Maggie (Lauren Cohan) achieved the seemingly impossible and even conceived a baby while facing down their own mortality literally every day. Eventually, though, Glenn's final day did come. His last words? "Maggie, I'll find you."

18 of 27

Joey and Pacey, Dawson's Creek

Dawson's Creek
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One of the greatest TV couples that almost never was. Tomboy Josephine Potter (Katie Holmes) was originally intended to be the final girl for her cinephile best friend Dawson Leary (James Van Der Beek), but Holmes' simmering chemistry with Joshua Jackson, who played Pacey, captivated the show's audience and eventually the pair were together onscreen — just as Holmes and Jackson were in real life briefly during the show's run. The spark was so strong that some fans still harbor hope the actors will rekindle their relationship nearly two decades after the show ended. Like so many teen romances, though, this one is best relegated to the tides of memory.

19 of 27

Laura and Rob, The Dick Van Dyke Show


The on-camera connection between Mary Tyler Moore and Dick Van Dyke, who played Laura and Rob Petrie from 1961–66, was so strong it often confused viewers in the real world. Van Dyke told CBS News in 2017, "I think the greatest compliment we ever had is that most people thought we were married in real life." Years later, when Moore starred in her own eponymous show about a single woman trying to "make it after all," one detail proved crucial. Network executives refused to let Moore's character be a divorcée, not only because it was still fairly revolutionary for the time, but also (according to some Hollywood lore) because there were concerns that viewers would think Moore had divorced Van Dyke or her character was moving on from Rob.

20 of 27

Overton and Synclaire, Living Single


Sure, Max (Erika Alexander) and Kyle (T.C. Carson) had that classic sitcom banter, but Synclaire (Kim Coles) and "Obie" (John Henton) remain one of the sweetest small-screen love stories around. Balancing her space cadet cuteness with his handyman dependability, this couple was like a warm hug. When Synclaire finally got the chance to live out her Hollywood dreams at the end of the series, she couldn't have had a better partner than her supportive, and very resourceful, husband Overton.

21 of 27

Donna and David, Beverly Hills, 90210


Good things come to those who wait. And what a long, long wait it was for Donna (Tori Spelling) and David (Brian Austin Greene). Their first kiss was an act of rebellion by the purity-minded good girl, so it seemed unlike the pair would make it — after all, how many high schoolers do? But after years of personal dysfunctional and toxic relationships, they found their way back to one another. "I can't picture a time when I wasn't in love with you," David told Donna during their wedding in 90210's series finale. "Without you my soul would be empty, my heart broken, my being incomplete," she replied. "I thank God every day that you were brought into my life, and I thank you for loving me."

22 of 27

Uncle Jesse and Aunt Becky, Full House

Full House
Bob D'Amico /Disney General Entertainment Content/Getty

The poised and pert morning show host (Lori Loughlin) was the ideal mate to keep the cocksure creative (John Stamos) on his toes from the moment he met her and fumbled his words. But the conversation — including plenty of playful ribbing — flowed more smoothly as the years went on, with Jesse even singing to Becky at their wedding: "If every word I said could make you laugh, I'd talk forever." Thanks to an era of TV reboots in the 2010s, fans got to catch up with Katsopolises 25 years later as they renewed their vows on Fuller House. Have mercy!

23 of 27

Winnie and Kevin, The Wonder Years

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Childhood love can lay the cornerstones of your soul. In The Wonder Years, Kevin Arnold (Fred Savage) and Winnie Cooper (Danica McKellar) navigated surging hormones, desperation to be one of the cool kids and plenty of family drama both together and apart, with the tumultuous 1960s as their backdrop. It was clear from the final moment in the pilot, as 12-year-old Kevin offered Winnie his letterman jacket and leaned in for an innocent first kiss, that the fact these two were young was only a good thing, giving them years to discover themselves — and rediscover each other — along the way.

24 of 27

Carol and Doug, ER

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The pediatrician (George Clooney) and the nurse (Julianna Margulies) had off-the-charts chemistry. "That can't happen if you don't have a crush on each other," Margulies told PEOPLE in 2021. "And with George and me, it was so organic." Fifteen years after the couple first appeared together on screen, they returned one last time to unknowingly help secure a kidney for their friend former colleague John Carter (Noah Wyle) in what turned out to be a deeply emotional payoff to the long and winding journey for the team at County General Hospital.

25 of 27

Zack and Kelly, Saved by the Bell

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It's hard to pick which senior superlative suits Bayside High's most prominent couple Zack Morris (Mark-Paul Gosselaar) and Kelly Kapowki (Tiffani Thiessen): Cutest Couple, Most Likely to Succeed, Best Dressed, Most Athletic … so why choose? Let's go for Best All-Around. Thanks to Saved by the Bell's many franchises, fans witnessed the pair's evolution from high school to college and eventually to the California governor's mansion. And to paraphrase their friend Jessie (Elizabeth Berkley), we've been "so excited" every step of the way.

26 of 27

Ralph and Alice, The Honeymooners


Ralph (Jackie Gleason) loved Alice (Sheila MacRae) to the moon and back — even if he had to send her there! And though some of the Honeymooners' humor has not aged well, the show's impact on television cannot be denied. The Kramdens' push-pull dynamic set the mold for countless small-screen couples to come after Gleason and MacRae took their final bow in 1956.

27 of 27

Luke and Laura, General Hospital

Luke and Laura's wedding on General Hospital. Bob D'Amico/Disney General Entertainment Content/Getty

A sudsy supercouple for the ages, their first meeting wasn't at all innocent: Luke (Anthony Geary) date-raped Laura (Genie Francis). But the rules of romance were once different in Port Charles, and the couple captured the country's attention both in spite of and because of their relationship's tawdry origins. Luke, Laura and fans overcame the controversy, and the pair's 1981 wedding still stands as the highest-rated hour in the history of American soap operas. Twenty years after the "rape-seduction," as producers once called it, Laura confronted Luke about the assault in a demonstration that TV couples often evolve with the times.

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