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12 TV Couples Who Absolutely Hated Each Other In Real Life

Updated September 23, 2021 158.5k votes 55.6k voters 5.8m views12 items

List RulesVote up the actor pairs who effectively concealed their burning hatred for each other.

Many people have a coworker they just don't like. Sometimes, it's an issue of personalities not clicking or an out-and-out difference in interests and ideologies. But what happens if you're forced to like that coworker? Like, it's literally your job to pretend you adore that person? This is the dilemma faced by famous TV couples who hate each other off-screen.

All cherished TV twosomes give their best impression of being happy, lovey-dovey partners. While there are some TV couples who got together in real life, there are plenty of other actors who hated each other in reality. Many people look to television for entertainment and escapism, so it's easy to forget the actors you're watching are actually working - and not every job, work environment, or colleague is going to be pleasant.

These professionals, who had to pretend to like someone they despised, took their acting abilities to a whole new level. Despite often appearing on some of the funniest shows on television, there were no laughs shared between certain actors behind the scenes. Even a couple on one of the most iconic CBS comedies of all time had an acrimonious behind-the-scenes relationship. In most cases, they were successful in making fans believe they loved their TV partners. Off-screen coffee breaks, holiday parties, and downtime were probably pretty brutal, though - just ask these TV co-stars who hate each other.

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    Gillian Anderson & David Duchovny - 'The X-Files'

    Photo: FOX

    Not the much-loved Scully and Mulder?!? Yes, it's true. Gillian Anderson and David Duchovny of The X-Files have kept the truth out there: as co-workers, they've had their share of ups and downs. "There were periods when we hated each other," said Anderson, who, tellingly, neglected to thank her co-star in her Emmy acceptance speech. Duchovny has also confirmed the two had no real relationship off the set.

    It's also important to point out that both appear to have been professional despite their differences, and they continue to work together in various X-Files incarnations in the 21st century. According to Duchovny, they now "have a successful working relationship and that’s the best way to go about this job."

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    Jean Hagen & Danny Thomas - 'Make Room For Daddy'

    Photo: ABC

    During the first three seasons of the classic sitcom Make Room for Daddy, Danny Thomas's character, Danny Williams, was married to Jean Hagen's character, Margaret. Plotlines often revolved around Margaret managing the household and raising the kids while Danny was out earning a living to support the family. At the time, it was a novel concept that proved successful, due in no small part to Thomas and Hagen's chemistry.

    Yet not everything was perfect in classic-sitcom land. Thomas and Hagen reportedly clashed on the set and didn't care that much for one another. Hagen tired of the show and of Thomas, and left at the end of the third season. Thomas was apparently so incensed at her leaving that he demanded the writers kill off the character.

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    Nina Dobrev & Ian Somerhalder - 'The Vampire Diaries'

    Photo: The CW

    The swoon-worthy stars of The Vampire Diaries dated for three years during the show's run. Their breakup was rumored to be ugly, but Nina Dobrev's Elena and Ian Somerhalder's Damon were also a couple on the show. This made for some extremely difficult and more-than-a-little awkward tension on-set.

    Eventually, Dobrev left the series. She seemed to take it all in stride, looking back. "Yes, we're professional and that's fine," she said in 2015 of her rocky relationship with Somerhalder. "We were friends long before we dated and we still are now."

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    Patti LuPone & Bill Smitrovich - 'Life Goes On'

    Photo: ABC

    Life Goes On was one of those shows that felt revolutionary at the time, but somehow wasn't remembered kindly years after it aired. When it debuted in 1989, the weekly drama chronicled the life of the Thatcher family in the Chicago suburbs: mother Libby (Tony-winner Patty LuPone), father Drew (Bill Smitrovich), daughters Becca and Paige, and son Corky.

    Corky, portrayed by Chris Burke, had Down syndrome and many early plots revolved around him; a principal character (and actor) with Down syndrome in a major television show was a first at the time, and it's unfortunately still pretty rare. As the show went on, the focus shifted to Becca and her relationship with an HIV-positive classmate, another pioneering move during that time period.

    But the two actors who presided over the Thatcher family couldn't stand one another. In her self-titled autobiography, LuPone describes she and Smitrovich as "oil and water…from the very beginning," calling him a "self-absorbed bully."

    "If only he had been a talented or generous actor, his behavior might have been justified," she writes. As the show went on, the two stopped speaking altogether outside of their on-camera dialogue. LuPone summed up the animosity with her typical candor:

    We played love scenes, we played parenting scenes, we kissed, we hugged, and when the director yelled "Cut," we never even looked at each other. That's acting. (On my part. He just stunk.)

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