Fictional couples that seem to be perfect for each other until you really think about it. Boy meets girl, boy and girl face some sort of drama together, boy gets girl. That’s the basic storyline of almost every romance film ever made, yet we swoon every single time. Stale plotlines be damned! The love stories that play out in books, on our TVs and on the big screen inform our real-life hopes and dreams: aren’t we all just searching for the Noah to our Allie, the Big to our Carrie, the Simba to our Nala?We took a look some of cinema’s most iconic couples and realized, in retrospect, that we’ve been romanticizing some straight-up unhealthy fictional relationships. Read on: you won’t see these unhealthy movie and TV relationships the same way ever again.
- Photo: Universal PicturesWhy We Swooned: Every Christmas, we swoon all over again when Mark shows up on Juliet’s doorstep to confess his true feelings with handwritten signs: “To Me, You Are Perfect.”
Why It Was Actually F'ed Up: Mark’s behavior throughout the film is predatory, stalker-ish, and cray cray. First, he ruins Juliet’s wedding video by creepily zooming in on her face—and her face only—for the whole ceremony. Rude. Then, he treats her like shit to mask his true affection, like a six-year-old in the schoolyard (not that that’s acceptable behavior for six-year-olds, either). Finally, he goes behind his best friend’s back to share his feelings with Juliet, tempting her to cheat on her husband. Keep it to yourself, Mark!5,1381,365Does this seem unhealthy?
- Photo: Universal Pictures
Why We Swooned: When the popular girl and the alternative outcast kiss at the end of The Breakfast Club, worlds collide. We love that their love crosses the riskiest of lines: high school social castes.
Why It Was Actually F'ed Up: John verbally and physically assaults Claire, calling her a bitch and even wedging his head between her legs. He is condescending and mean and still gets the girl. Huh?5,0781,845Does this seem unhealthy?
- Photo: Paramount Pictures
Why We Swooned: At the movie’s end, bad-boy Danny Zuko puts his heart first and risks looking like a dork to win over Sandy. Danny and Sandy’s story gives us hope that a summer fling can turn into a long-term thing.
Why It Was Actually F'ed Up: Throughout the film, Danny humiliates Sandy in order to uphold his reputation. They eventually get together by changing who they are completely: good girl Sandy ditches her saddle shoes for cigarettes and Danny trades in his leather jacket for a letterman’s sweater. That’s not how love should work, is it?!5,1292,405Does this seem unhealthy?
- Photo: Walt Disney PicturesWhy We Swooned: Beauty and The Beast is the epitome of the phrase, “Love conquers all.” Belle and the Beast overcome every imaginable obstacle to find love together. Be still, our elementary school hearts.
Why It Was Actually F'ed Up: The Beast captures Belle and holds her prisoner. He abuses her by shouting, throwing things at her and locking her up. Belle essentially develops Stockholm syndrome to “fall in love” with the Beast. When you think of it that way, the whole thing seems a little less romantic.4,1433,919Does this seem unhealthy?