In the real world, dating someone from your friend group can easily end in disaster. Try telling that to these fictional TV friends who dated. Complicated TV friend groups are a dime a dozen, filled with attractive people who hook up among themselves like there’s no tomorrow. And while viewers definitely crave romantic drama, sometimes those relationships become so tangled it’s hard to keep up.
To be fair, some onscreen hookups resulted in the best TV couples. But for every Monica and Chandler, there's a TV pairing with no sexual chemistry whatsoever. You spend every episode hoping they'll break up. Just think about how Izzie and George from Grey’s Anatomy got together. Now try to forget it, quick!
Fictional TV friends who end up dating is not an uncommon trope – some of the greatest shows ever employed it successfully. Problems only ensue when it becomes so overused it starts to give you a headache. Here are a few TV friend groups where everyone hooked up.
Who doesn't hook up on Gossip Girl? Nate dates Blair, then Serena, then any other girl who looks his way. Serena dates Dan. Blair also dates Dan. Jenny hooks up with Chuck and Nate (not at the same time). Blair dates Chuck. And finally, Vanessa dates Nate, hooks up with Chuck, and dates Dan.
The fact that some of these people are still friends by the end of the show is baffling.
More like Lovers, right? Friends features two main couples: Ross and Rachel and Monica and Chandler. But, Rachel and Joey try to date. Phoebe and Joey kiss, although viewers never get to see anything romantic between them. Flashbacks also reveal that Ross and Phoebe almost hooked up back in the day. Plus, Monica was attracted to Joey when she first met him.
Once secondary characters are added to the mix, it gets even more complicated. Both Chandler and Ross date Janice. Both Joey and Chandler date Kathy. Both Ross and Joey date Charlie. And remember that time Monica finds out Ross is her midnight kisser? Ew.
The Vampire Diaries originally hinges on a love triangle: Elena falls for both the vampire Stefan and his brother Damon. But, she had previously gone out with Matt, who later ends up with Caroline. Caroline also briefly hooks up with Damon at the beginning of the series – although calling that "dating" is a stretch. She also dates Stefan later on. Both Stefan and Damon get together with Katherine, who looks exactly like Elena.
Bonnie is the only one who ever thinks about dating outside the group. Bless her precious soul.
Marshmallow and Lilypad forever! But while these two started and ended How I Met Your Mother together, the same cannot be said for their other three buddies. Robin dates Ted, then Barney, then hooks up with Ted, then marries Barney, then finally ends up with Ted and they get their (un)happily ever after.
To the show’s credit, viewers see in the last episode that Robin leaves the group after she and Barney get divorced. Not only is that painfully true, but it's arguably the only thing that finale got right.