You know you are addicted to a show when a character’s breakup feels personal. You, being a devoted viewer, mourn the end of the relationship and wonder how this could have happened. You wonder if they will get back together or if their broken hearts will ever mend. You also wonder how you will ever recover from this traumatic television breakup…
In most scripted television, it is inevitable that couples will face hardships, some leading to breakups. However, these characters become so close to our hearts that we cant help but feel sad when they go through pain.
It is a scientific fact that breakups suck; they are painful and at least one person normally leaves with a broken heart. Breakups are hard to stomach and TV breakups are almost as hard on you as real life ones. Although most television breakups don’t last forever, the dramatic depiction of heartbreak on screen is very emotional for die-hard TV fans. Fans take their television shows seriously, and when a couple they love calls it quits, they are immediately filled with sadness.
Although numerous television breakups have left us sad, some breakups hit us harder than others. The following ten breakups were truly devastating for one way or another. Although the following ten couples are realistically perfect for each other, it is television and they are destined to hit bumps here and there. Whether it is because they want different things in the future, or because they thought they were on a break, when the following characters’ hearts broke, the hearts of so many viewers broke with them.
The following ten breakups are truly the most devastating and heart-wrenching television breakups ever.
10. Jess and Nick – New Girl
After spending an entire season watching Jess and Nick figure it out, after contemplating whether or not they should even be together when the breakup happened, it still hurt viewers like hell. Although viewers expected it, we haven’t really accepted it. When the couple called it quits, over a day while hung-over, it was a surprise to many viewers. The couple admitted the love they still had for each other, but similar to many off-screen relationships, finding you don’t share the same view of the future is sometimes too much to overcome. Viewers love this couple together and it wouldn’t come as a shock if the two eventually reignite the fire.
9. Spencer and Toby – Pretty Little Liars
Spencer is an amazing character because she is a strong, independent, intelligent girl who does not let anyone get to her. That is until she finds out her boyfriend Toby has been working with the evil sociopath terrorizing her and her friends. Spencer, who has literally been sleeping with the enemy, understandably looses it. Watching one of the most composed characters on television become so emotional is rough. Although we later find out Toby was playing double agent, the breakup was so intense it deserved to make this list. The pure and devastating breakup left viewers in tears and Spencer’s fragility was very touching.
8. Carrie and Mr. Big – Sex and the City
Carrie and Mr. Big have broken up more than once, and each time left viewers in tears. These two are the typical “why can’t they just be together” television couple. However, out of all of their fights, all of their breakups, the first is still the most devastating to watch. On the stairs of her building, before letting him whisk her away to paradise, Carrie asks Big a question that would forever be the central focus of their failed relationship. Carrie asks Big to simply tell her she is the one. After Mr. Big is unable to iterate what she wants to hear, she breaks down in tears telling him “I cant…I love you but I cant.”
7. Ted and Robin – How I Met Your Mother
Breakups are hard for a lot of couples, but having to fake happiness after the breakup is a tough pill to swallow. Ted and Robin break up a few weeks before Marshall and Lily’s wedding and don’t want to drag the rest of their friends into their troubles. What was heart wrenching about this particular on-screen breakup is that they both still loved each other, they simply had different dreams and goals and knew it would ultimately never work out.
Both life and television work in mysterious ways and whether or not you were happy with or disappointed by the series finale, Ted and Robin end up together years later sending the message that you never know what can happen in time.
6. Charlotte and Harry – Sex and the City
The short but devastating breakup between Harry and Charlotte in Sex and the City came as a surprise to a lot of people. Charlotte, the beautiful Episcopalian princess fell head over heals for Harry, the sweet but not so attractive Jewish lawyer. After Charlotte converted to Judaism, viewers were anxiously waiting Harry’s proposal. The harsh breakup which happened over their first Sabbath dinner was truly heart wrenching. Charlotte, who was so in the wrong, said a few words that were so painful to Harry, viewers felt his heart break.
The couple eventually got back together, when Harry surprised her with a proposal and they eventually got over this sad and hurtful breakup.
5. Mindy and Danny – The Mindy Project
This breakup gave viewers the same feeling they would get from watching a car crash. Viewers saw it coming but were unable to save this relationship. From the first time this couple locked lips on the airplane, there was a sense that something was not going to work out. Although there were indications that the breakup was coming, watching the heartbreaking scene did not make it any easier. Danny using the “I don’t want to ruin the friendship” card did not make Mindy hurt any less. When Danny leaves her apartment and she falls to her bed in hysteria, millions of women felt her pain.
4. Ryan and Marissa – The O.C.
Ryan and Marissa’s relationship was iconic on the show The O.C. The idea that a good-hearted boy from the wrong side of the tracks could save a poor little rich girl was a modern day fairy tale. Although Ryan tried, Marissa had a lot of demons she couldn’t seem to escape. Unlike most on again, off again television couples who get together in the series finale, Ryan and Marisa had a different fate. Marissa dies before they can rekindle their love. Ryan is then stuck with Taylor Townsend as a lame love interest for the rest of the series. I think we can all agree that killing Marissa in a way killed the series.
3. Leonard and Penny – The Big Bang Theory
The nationally loved couple from The Big Bang Theory, Penny and Leonard shattered many hearts when they decided to break up. The romantic relationship blossomed when Leonard returned from the North Pole. Penny greeted him with a kiss and he greeted her with a preserved snowflake from the North (how sweet is that?). The couple began dating after that and viewers thought they would never see an end to Penny and Leonard, but what is television without a little drama? The couple surprised viewers by breaking up and the two go on to date different people, however they always long for one another. Penny and Leonard thankfully get back together and viewers can’t wait to see her walk down the aisle in the upcoming season.
2. Chuck and Blair – Gossip Girl
Chuck and Blair were a perfectly twisted television couple who broke the hearts of thousands of viewers when they broke up. The two manipulating schemers were trying to get Chuck’s hotel back from his sleazy uncle Jack when Blair found out Chuck had agreed for her to sleep with his uncle in order for this to happen. Repulsed and heartbroken, Blair ended the relationship. The hearts of Gossip Girl fans shattered into a million pieces when this scene finished, and viewers secretly hoped for them to get back together. In the end, like most epic television loves, the two find happiness with one another and get back together.
1. Ross and Rachel – Friends
There was no TV breakup harder to watch than Ross and Rachel’s. The relationship ended in a domino effect. After Rachel begins her new job and Ross starts getting jealous of Mark, her coworker, Rachel decides they should go on a break. Ross, being a man, sleeps with someone else on this short break and when Rachel finds out, she is mortified. She decides she can no longer trust him, ending their relationship. Throughout the rest of the series, the writers give us hope for them, but they somehow never could work it out, until the series finale that is, where they confess their love and come together as one just as viewers always wished.