17 Undeniably Toxic TV Relationships That Fans Rooted For Anyway 

Alexandra Plesa
Updated February 26, 2020 114.3k votes 18.7k voters 318.7k views 17 items

List Rules Vote up the effed TV couples you ship hardest despite their issues.

Plenty of TV couples give the good folks of the world actual #relationshipgoals. Think Eric and Tami Taylor. Marshall and Lily. Cory and Topanga. At the other end of the spectrum, there are those couples that are ridiculous and almost painful to watch, the truly terrible ones no one is rooting for. Sam and Ruby from Supernatural or Rachel and Joey from Friends. Somewhere in the middle, there’s a grey area of effed up TV couples everyone is still shipping. These bad TV relationships you still root for have such obvious issues you know they're bad for each other, but you love them in spite of their problems. 

Viewers are big fans of drama, so it’s not uncommon to ship two characters to death even if they treat each other poorly or have a damaging union. Yet characters enjoying their happily ever after doesn't mean their love is an example of an ideal, healthy relationship. Quite the contrary.

Often enough, TV writers have a special talent of making us root for characters who have done awful things to each other, ranging from cheating to being on-again, off-again to verbal abuse. Here are some undeniably toxic TV relationships you can still swoon over, messed up TV relationships you can't help but love because your favorite TV couples aren't necessarily the best for each other. 

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Penny And Leonard From The Big Bang Theory
Penny And Leonard From T... is listed (or ranked) 1 on the list 17 Undeniably Toxic TV Relationships That Fans Rooted For Anyway
Photo:  CBS

The beauty and the nerd – a story for the ages. Penny and Leonard are very cute together, and we’re still hoping they manage to get over their issues and live happily ever after. Since they’re married. Unfortunately, their relationship wasn't always of the healthy variety.

Penny has always been intimidated by Leonard’s intelligence, while Leonard’s mommy issues really put a dent in their romance. They’re both jealous, and have communication issues, not to mention that they’re complete opposites. Penny is bubbly and outgoing, Leonard is shy and neurotic. They’re unstable at best, toxic at worst.

Did you root for them?
Luke And Lorelai From Gilmore Girls
Luke And Lorelai From Gi... is listed (or ranked) 2 on the list 17 Undeniably Toxic TV Relationships That Fans Rooted For Anyway
Photo:  Netflix

The true Gilmore Girls OTP surely went through a lot before finally tying the knot in the revival. While Luke and Lorelai's chemistry was sizzling as early as Season 1, problems started shortly after they first got together.

L&L's banter was always witty and fun, so no one expected them to have communication issues. Turns out talking about David Bowie is one thing, making plans about the future quite another. Lorelai failed to tell Luke about her repeated encounters with Christopher, and Luke failed to tell Lorelai about the daughter who showed up unexpectedly in his life. Whoops. 

We hoped their issues would be solved after the series wrapped up, but then the revival came and – guess what? Eight years passed and these two never had an honest talk about marriage or children. That’s problematic. While fans are still wishing them all the happiness in the world, it's clear their relationship is anything but #goals. 

Did you root for them?
Chuck And Blair From Gossip Girl
Chuck And Blair From Gos... is listed (or ranked) 3 on the list 17 Undeniably Toxic TV Relationships That Fans Rooted For Anyway
Photo:  CW

Theoretically, Chuck and Blair two are perfect for each other. They have amazing chemistry, love to manipulate others, always play games to get what they want. It was expected for fans to root for this couple to live happily ever after; thankfully, they did. But their relationship was also incredibly frustrating. Chuck treated Blair poorly on more than one occasion, to the point of verbally abusing her after she slept with both him and Nate.

Plus, remember that time he wanted to exchange her for a hotel? How do you forgive that? In real life, these two would either be long separated, or making a couple counselor very rich. 

Did you root for them?
Ross And Rachel From Friends
Ross And Rachel From Fri... is listed (or ranked) 4 on the list 17 Undeniably Toxic TV Relationships That Fans Rooted For Anyway
Photo:  NBC

It was pretty clear from the very beginning of Friends that lovebirds Ros and Rachel were endgame. That’s mainly why it’s baffling to think about all the things that made their relationship problematic. Ross was controlling and ridiculously jealous. He jumped in bed with someone else literally hours after he and Rachel broke up, making it impossible for her to trust him again.

On the other hand, Rachel used the influence she had over him to break up several of Ross’s relationships, just because she couldn't make up her mind about whether she wanted to be with him or not. Their on-again, off-again routine was anything but healthy. And yet, she was his lobster. How can one root against that? 

Did you root for them?