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17 Undeniably Toxic TV Relationships That Fans Rooted For Anyway

Updated February 26, 2020 122.2k votes 19.1k voters 323.8k views17 items

List RulesVote 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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  • 1

    Penny And Leonard From The Big Bang Theory

    Penny And Leonard From The Big 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.

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  • 2

    Luke And Lorelai From Gilmore Girls

    Luke And Lorelai From Gilmore  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. 

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  • 3

    Chuck And Blair From Gossip Girl

    Chuck And Blair From Gossip Gi 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. 

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  • 4

    Veronica And Logan From Veronica Mars

    Veronica And Logan From Veroni is listed (or ranked) 4 on the list 17 Undeniably Toxic TV Relationships That Fans Rooted For Anyway
    Photo: CW

    Veronica's and Logan's love was epic. Or was it? Here’s another example of an on-again, off-again routine that was pretty toxic. Logan is awful to Veronica when the series starts, going as far as to threaten and bully her. He’s violent and self-destructive, always getting himself into some sort of a mess.

    On the other hand, Veronica holds Logan to a standard he can never reach, and is skeptical when it comes to trusting him. But the chemistry they share is the stuff of fairy tales, and Logan had grown a lot by the time the movie came out. Fortunately, they make it all the way to their version of domestic bliss in the series revival... but for how long? 

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