The drama that used to be Beverly Hills, 90210 was an immediate sensation when it first graced television sets in 1990. The mixture of attractive actors, wealthy backdrops, and insane drama kept fans coming back season after season to keep up with the exploits of Brandon and Brenda Walsh, Kelly Taylor, Dylan McKay, and the rest of the cast. We got to watch them mature from high school teenagers to college students to adults navigating the corporate world. One thing the series should be known for is all the various hookups and couples that formed during its run.
Before there was “Team Jacob” or “Team Edward” in Twilight, Beverly Hills, 90210 could have had teams for Brandon, Brenda, Kelly, and Dylan. The kids in the 90210 area code had no qualms with hooking up with each other’s exes. It’s insane to look back at how friends had no issue with sharing the same mates or double-crossing alleged “best friends.” Some people went out of their way to steal a boyfriend or girlfriend, while others blamed their infidelity on falling in love. I’m sure the choice was made by whichever allowed them to sleep better at night.
No one was off limits, be they teacher or best friend’s current mate. All these various hookups did was create some of the most memorable couples to grace a prime time cable network, along with the benefit of added drama. With that in mind, it is time to list the hottest couples in Beverly Hills, 90210‘s history.
15. Steve And Kelly
When Brandon and Brenda Walsh moved with their family from Minnesota to Beverly Hills, they both befriended blond-haired companions Steve Sanders and Kelly Taylor. Both are what you would consider the popular kids on campus. Steve is the son of a famous actress and Kelly’s parents are rich, which in turn made her very self-absorbed. So it should come as no surprise that they dated in the past. While Kelly only wanted to be friends, Steve still had a soft spot for her which he brings up anytime Kelly is single. Try as he might, but Steve can never convince Kelly to give him another chance. Even though we never saw the two as a couple on-air, their relationship is referenced enough to warrant inclusion. They probably could have lasted as a couple with their equal good-looks, but more than likely Steve’s obsession with Kelly would have turned them into a one-sided relationship.
14. Donna And Ray
Between the time that Donna Martin and David Silver were a couple, Donna found time to snuggle up to a musician named Ray Pruit. Ray was different than the type of guys Donna usually dated. He didn’t come from a lot of money, had a tough exterior, and wasn’t a part of the Beverly Hills, 90210 clique from high school. Donna didn’t let these differences stop her from managing to find a caring heart inside Ray. I’m sure his singing ability had nothing to do with his sex appeal. The couple may have lasted longer until the writers decided to turn Ray into an abusive jerk. During a heated argument, Ray pushed Donna down a flight of stairs. No one would have found out about it if not for Valerie Malone witnessing it happen. Ray’s mother even found out and did her best to keep the two together, but for selfish reasons. She liked that Donna was rich and wanted to exploit it for personal gain. Donna did her best to hide the fact that Ray hurt her but the truth finally came out.
13. Donna And Noah
In a stark contrast to Ray is Noah Hunter, another rich kid and non-woman beater. He joined the show during the time when the Beverly Hills, 90210 crew took a vacation to Hawaii in Season 8. Though he originally had his eyes set on Valerie, it was Donna who Noah spent the majority of his time with on the show. For the longest time, Noah hid the fact that his family was wealthy because he didn’t want to be looked at as another privileged spoiled brat. This was the sole reason Valerie was interested in him in the first place. He also hid other things from Donna, like the times he got drunk and had sex with Valerie. She always seems to be in the middle of these separations, though Valerie was also drugged at the time by Noah’s brother. Donna wasn’t an angel either since she also cheated on Noah. All these events lead to their relationship dissolving in Season 10.
12. Brandon and Emily
Emily Valentine entered Brandon’s life like a tornado in Season 2. As the new kid at West Beverly High School, Emily quickly dated Dylan and Brandon on consecutive nights, before settling in with Brandon. During a night out partying she spiked Brandon’s drink, which causes him to break up with her. Distraught, Emily began stalking Brandon and even attempted suicide on a homecoming float. This lead to Emily being institutionalized and leaving the show. She would return for cameo appearances here and there, always running into Brandon and rekindling their relationship. One time Brandon went to San Francisco in search of Emily. Of course, he finds her and they spend Thanksgiving together. Try as he might, but Brandon could never get Emily out of his mind. He obviously likes his women on the crazy side. Brandon and Emily were one of the couples that also dated in real life, which is probably why she made so many appearances over the years.
11. David and Clare
Clare Arnold went through a metamorphosis when she was introduced in Season 4. Like Noah, she went from a supporting character to joining the main cast over multiple seasons. Clare was the daughter of California University’s Chancellor which is where the Beverly Hills, 90210 cast spend their college years. She initially made a move on Brandon, but he ultimately eluded her advances. Her free-spirited personality meshed better with David Silver’s more artistic side. The two wound up in risque predicaments that involved David handcuffed to a bed while Clare’s father was in the house, and recording themselves having sex. That video was almost viewed by Donna’s parents, which would have been a humiliating experience for everyone involved. Clare initially hid her relationship with David from her father, who had high expectations for his daughter. The Chancellor always dreamed of her and Brandon becoming a couple. David and Clare would break up and make up a few more times before finally calling it quits.
10. David and Valerie
Valerie was a family friend of the Walsh’s from back in Minnesota and replaced Brenda as a main cast member in Season 5. There was a lot of drama with the Malone family that stayed hidden, the most notable being the abuse that Valerie took from her father. She would have her revenge by killing him in self-defense. Though she had many relationships (some lasting longer than others) during her time on Beverly Hills, 90210 it was her point with David that truly stands out as the most fulfilling. Valerie found comfort in David, something she wasn’t able to find in other men. Valerie was also there for David when he discovered his mother tried to kill herself. It’s obvious the couple share some of the same issues with their parents. In happier times, the duo goes into business together as co-owners of the Peach Pit After Dark night club. What made their relationship even spicier was the fact that actors Brian Austin Green and Tiffani Thiessen were dating in real life.
9. Steve and Clare
Clare’s time with Steve equalled her longest on-screen relationship. After David and Clare broke up, she began tutoring Steve in math and started to display a softer, more caring side of herself. This was different than what she portrayed in her previous relationship with David. Clare and Steve brought out the best in one another, always having each other’s backs. One rocky patch for their relationship was when a gentleman named Prince Carl came back into the picture to win her heart. Clare was able to turn down his advances and stick with Steve. The driving factor in the end of them as a couple had nothing to do with them, but with their parents. While the two were a couple, Steve’s mother was dating Clare’s father. The parents would split up, which drove a wedge between Steve and Clare. She wound up leaving California with her father, never to see Steve again.
8. Brandon and Lucinda
Lucinda Nicholson was a college professor at California University and her husband was one of Brandon’s professors, named Cory Randall. Though she was married at the time, she began a flirtatious relationship with Brandon that lead to an affair. Brandon was normally the straight-laced perfect role model, so for him to get involved with a married woman was a shocking turn of events. It was a smart move on the writers behind Beverly Hills, 90210 to lock the “by the books” Brandon with a temptress like Lucinda. It is always entertaining to see the contrast in styles from two totally opposite personalities. It also didn’t hurt that Lucinda was drop-dead gorgeous. Lucinda’s flirtatiousness towards Brandon was picked up by D’Shawn Hardell, a basketball player at California University who Brandon was tutoring at the time. D’Shawn even tried to blackmail Brandon by threatening to tell Lucinda’s husband about their relationship. Brandon would call D’Shawn’s bluff, and Cory found out about the affair on his own.
7. Dylan and Valerie
Dylan loses one cast member (Brenda) as another enters to take her place (Valerie). Though Valerie appeared to be sweet to the Walsh’s, she had a mean streak in her. It wasn’t much of a surprise that Dylan and Valerie hooked up once she moved to Beverly Hills. They both have their wild sides, and Valerie provided Dylan with a distraction from being swindled out of his fortune and the budding relationship between Brandon and Kelly. In some senses, they made the perfect couple, but perhaps they were too much alike to last, though it added more excitement on screen when they were together. Dylan would recruit Valerie to help him find the people who stole his fortune by going to Punta Brava with his associate Jonesy. They were successful in getting Dylan’s money back, and Valerie was compensated greatly for her effort. Valerie was all about helping her friends, especially when money was involved.
6. Valerie and Noah
Valerie quickly put Noah in her crosshairs when he made his debut in Season 8 as the Beverly Hills, 90210 cast took to the island of Hawaii for a vacation. However, Noah constantly blocked her advances and she eventually moved on with the assumption that he was low on money. Valerie would come to regret that decision after finding this to be false when it was revealed that Noah was a part of the wealthy Hunter Oil & Chemical company. Another reason for Noah declining Valerie was because he was still grieving the death of his ex-girlfriend, Beth. He was responsible for her death in a car accident years before meeting everyone on the show. Perhaps if it wasn’t for Noah’s grief he could have built something special with Valerie, but now we’ll never know. Valerie and Noah would find themselves in bed together a few times, even when Noah and Donna were a couple.
5. Dylan and Brenda
One of the many subplots that ran through the initial seasons of Beverly Hills, 90210 involved the love triangle between primary cast mates Brenda, Dylan, and Kelly. What increased the level of drama was that Brenda and Kelly were friends but competed over the same man (Dylan). What should be considered is even though Dylan and Kelly grew up together, she didn’t become interested in Dylan until Brenda entered the scene. Also, Brenda had Dylan first, which gave her a leg up on Kelly. Brenda can be considered the first woman Dylan truly loved, as she showed him much compassion during a stressful time in his life feuding with his parents. That didn’t stop Kelly from getting her claws into Dylan while Brenda was away in Paris for the summer. Once Brenda returned she could tell things were different between her and Dylan. One secret she kept from Dylan was that she also cheated while in Paris, so they both have to share blame in not being faithful.
4. David and Donna
Probably the most wholesome of couples in Beverly Hills, 90210 history was David and Donna, especially when you take into account he respected Donna’s highly-touted virginity for so long. The duo began dating in high school and would go on to break-up and make-up while in college. Donna even forgave David for cheating on her, though it did lead to one of their many breakups. No matter who they ended up with, they would always find their way back to one another, culminating in their wedding in the series finale. If the series was to come to an end, it only made sense for the finale to show them still together through thick and thin. It’s hard to think of a time when David and Donna weren’t together as a couple. One of the more humorous times David tried to have sex with Donna involved their two-year anniversary. The next day she agrees to have sex with him, so David proceeds to dress her bedroom in a romantic way when suddenly the doorbell rings. Assuming it’s Kelly, David goes to answer the door in his underwear. Surprise, it was really Donna’s parents. Not good. Sex was not had that day.
3. Dylan and Kelly
All it took for Dylan and Kelly to fall in love with one another was the presence of Brenda. While the former Minnesota native was away in Paris for the summer, Dylan and Kelly began spending more time together. After Dylan and Brenda broke up, Kelly asked her if she cared who he dated. Brenda replied she didn’t, so naturally, Kelly took that as a sign that she was free to be with Dylan. Brenda quickly became jealous, however, and hated watching the two together. Making the decision to stay a couple formed a wedge in all of their friendships. Drama always followed these two, so that’s another thing they had in common besides both looking like supermodels. The girls even made Dylan choose between the two. Can you guess which beauty he chose? That’s right, it was Kelly. Many of Dylan’s personal demons would come into play while he was with Kelly and put a strain on their relationship.
2. Brandon and Kelly
The relationship that was Brandon and Kelly proved to be one of the longest in Beverly Hills, 90210 history. They persisted between rendezvous with Dylan, Lucinda, Emily, Noah, and a host of other suitors on both sides. The duo began as a couple in high school, transitioned into college, and remained linked all the way to the series finale. When you factor in the drama surrounding them, from cults to fires to near-death experiences, Brandon and Kelly have a bond that will last a lifetime. Brandon and Kelly were a part of one of the show’s most notorious love triangles with the inclusion of Dylan. Just like the previous triangle of Brenda, Dylan, and Kelly, this new one tore friendships apart. The men even presented Kelly with an ultimatum of choosing between the two. Brandon came with a ring and Dylan with a trip anywhere in the world of Kelly’s choosing. In the end, Kelly chose herself.
1. Dylan and Toni
The couple that went through the most tragic tale on Beverly Hills, 90210 was between Dylan and Antonia “Toni” Marchette. Dylan’s father, Jack, was murdered and he was in search of his killer. His investigation lead him to a Toni Marchette that was enrolled at California University. In Dylan’s mind, he’d befriend Toni and get close enough to his father. As it turned out, he was a she, and she was beautiful and kind. Toni’s sweet soul was enough to mend Dylan’s broken heart and lust for vengeance, and they ended up getting married. Tony Marchette vowed to end this union and put a hit out for Dylan, the same as he did for Dylan’s father. The hitmen wound up shooting up Dylan’s car, but it was Toni behind the wheel. Dylan appeared to hold his wife’s lifeless body one final time on a dark, rainy road as he yelled out in pain.