We probably shouldn’t expect TV shows to be perfect representations of real life, although plenty of people do. The real world can often be too gritty, dirty, and let’s face it - ugly, for network television executives to be willing to honestly portray it and the people who live within it. Everyone accepts the fact the people on TV are almost always more attractive than the people we meet in our normal life, beautiful snowflakes though we may all be. It’s one thing when the beauty is unrealistic across the board, but when only one gender is unnaturally gorgeous in a televised universe, some viewers have trouble believing certain coupled TV characters would even hook up in the first place.
The heart wants what it wants, and reality has in fact proven that all sorts of women fall for all sorts of men, and vice versa. Just because someone might not be conventionally attractive doesn’t mean their spouse can’t still see them as a knockout, but at least a couple TV shows have really stretched the idea by matching some of the goofiest and most uncouth men with women who in any other world would be recognized as downright supermodels.
Granted, most of the examples on this list are sitcoms, so these guys are typically pretty hilarious in lieu of their good looks (or at least they’re supposed to be). Others are exceptionally wealthy, and although that most certainly won’t win just any woman’s heart, there are definitely some ladies out there who see that as one of the most attractive qualities around. Keep reading to learn which 15 TV wives are so much more attractive than their than fake husbands it’s genuinely hard for some fans to believe.
15 Kellie Carey - The Drew Carey Show
It was a tough choice to include Kellie Carey on this list, but not for the reasons you might expect. The modern day Price Is Right host Drew Carey may actually be considered somewhat of a catch amongst the older audience who religiously loves that program, but when he was the star of his own sitcom, Carey was the textbook definition of an overweight, stocky nerd. Despite this reputation, over the 9 seasons The Drew Carey Show was broadcast on ABC, Drew Carey actually married not one but four women who were way out of his league, and he even through a more attractive man in the mix for good measure.
Drew’s first marriage was to a waitress who only lasted a handful of episodes, in a brief arc where Drew helped her retain custody of her children. Drew’s next three marriages came all at once, as former girlfriends Nikki and Kate reentered his life and were proposed to by Drew on the same day. The man in the mix was Mr. Wick, who Drew only married so Wick could get his green card. The “bisexual polygamy” as the show referred to it predictably blew up in Drew’s face when the women found out, but that only made way for Drew’s hottest and final wife, Kellie. Drew and Kellie married the day their first son was born in the show’s series finale.
14 Margaret Thompson - Boardwalk Empire
Boardwalk Empire is a period piece about the corrupt political with a hell of a lot of power, and like any character who meets those qualifications, Nucky Thompson has his share of gorgeous dames draped around his arms as the series progresses. Nucky twice marries well out of his league, first to a beautiful woman named Mabel, and then to an even younger and more attractive woman named Margaret. Despite all the power Nucky Thompson proves he has throughout the course of the program, it’s also worth noting the fact he’s portrayed by Steve Buscemi. Buscemi is a fantastic actor, but more than a few of his roles have revolved around his odd and bug-eyed appearance making him stand out.
Despite Buscemi’s unique leading man looks, much younger actresses portray his character’s wives throughout Boardwalk Empire. The show still manages to make sense of it all, slowly revealing that even a corrupt politician/mob boss can have a softer side, and turn on the charm when a lovely enough woman is in his company. Of course, he can only wow the ladies for so long before he needs to go back to being a mob boss, which is why neither of Nucky’s marriages survived to the end of the series.
13 Gayle Gergich - Parks & Recreation
The first time fans of Parks & Recreation were introduced to the family of Garry…Jerry…Larry…Terry Gergich, they were warned not to think about it too much, because it simply doesn’t make sense. The man who receives such little respect from his co-workers they changed his name four times throughout the 7 seasons Parks & Rec was on the air apparently has an entire family of drop dead gorgeous blondes, lovingly parented by Gergich and his wife, Gayle. To make sure the joke landed on every level imaginable, Gayle is portrayed by supermodel Christie Brinkley, a woman beautiful enough to be out of the league of every man on this list.
Although the audience is warned from the start it wasn’t going to make sense, the more we learn about Garry/Jerry/Larry/Terry, the less confusion about the whole situation there is. GJLTerry is an extremely nice and pleasant person, who could easily develop a magnetic personality when work time was over. And, of course, there’s the fact that a doctor informs us Terry has the largest penis he’s ever seen.
12 Barbara Reynolds - It's Always Sunny in Philadelphia
While a couple of the entries on this list will always leave fans guessing, It’s Always Sunny In Philadelphia is a crass and straightforward show in all the right ways, so we know exactly why Frank and Barbara hooked up. Frank Reynolds got the infinitely better looking Barbara to marry him the same way he got everything in life—through his exorbitant wealth, so vast at times it seems like he genuinely could buy just about anything he wanted to. Barbara is practically open about the fact she was a gold digger, down to proudly admitting to Frank after he finished raising her children that they were never his and she knew all along.
Of course, audiences around the world knew all along, too, as there was simply no way Danny DeVito was the father of Glenn Howerton and Kaitlin Olson. Barbara is a bit older by the time we see her on the show, but at any age she would never give Frank a second look were it not for his wallet. And even so, despite her age, she still remains to be way out of Mac’s league when he manages to hook up with her, too, proving Barbara was well aware of her ability to use her sex appeal for money and power as her life continued and the Frank well started to run dry.
11 Joy Hickey - My Name Is Earl
We’re cheating just a little to include Joy Hickey on this list, as the main action of My Name Is Earl takes place well after she and the titular Earl are divorced. In the actual present day of the series, Joy is married to Crabman, who everyone agrees is a cool dude and more appropriately on Jamie Pressley’s level. There are enough flashbacks and references to the previous marriage between Earl and Joy we feel it’s still worth questioning, although the manner in which the Hickey’s lived their lives does explain the mystery a little bit.
Earl might not be too bad looking if he cleaned himself up, but his main problem was that he was the dirtiest and most disheveled leading men in network TV history. Joy was fairly low class, too, but she was still naturally pretty and managed to clean herself up well enough to look like a leading lady. Joy was obviously never that into Earl for his looks, though, as it was more about the adventures and the insanity they would get one another into. Of course, when Joy got tired of adventuring, sobered up, and realized who she had been hanging out with, the relationship came to an end pretty fast.
10 Dorothy Baxter - Hazel
Hazel hasn’t stood the test of time, but in many ways it served as an archetypal show to the concept of a rich family using their wealth to interact with all sorts of hired hands. In this case, Hazel is the maid of the Baxter family, lead by wealthy patriarch, George. As is often the case on this list, George’s wealth is about the only explanation we can find for how he would end up with a gorgeous young wife like Dorothy, especially considering that in this case, the assumption is that Dorothy is a pretty successful interior decorator in her own right, without the assistance of George’s wealth.
The 1960s were a simpler time, so the issue of George and Dorothy’s marriage didn’t really come up. Their age difference was never mentioned, and any disparity in the fact George looked like he was well into middle age and Dorothy looked like she had her entire life ahead of her was glossed over by Hazel’s antics as the star. Even so, just based on that picture we used, it seemed like George was more likely to marry his maid than his beautiful young wife.
9 Lily Munster - The Munsters
The Munsters remains one of the most high concept sitcoms ever to succeed on network television some 50 years after it ceased its original run. The only real comparison is The Addams Family, but The Munsters delved even deeper into the family of horror monsters concept, flat out having a female vampire named Lily Dracula marry a Frankenstein’s monster type named Herman Munster. The entire family was monstrous in nature, but Lily’s vampirism was subtle and the closest thing to a 1960s television sexy, while Herman was, well, a big, bumbling monster.
In addition to being monsters, the Munsters were also a typical loving family, which starts to explain what Lily saw in Herman. Although oafish and simple, Herman cares about his family and has the thoughtfulness the original Frankenstein’s monster had. Vampires also may have a different definition of male beauty than us humans are aware of, too, as Lily often talks about how unbelievably gorgeous her lanky and brutish husband is throughout the course of the series. All things considered, it makes sense a union like this would result in their child being a werewolf.
8 Julie Kotter - Welcome Back, Kotter
Gabe Kaplan portrayed Mr. Kotter for four years on NBC, but perhaps a far more appropriate role for him would come later in life when he starred as Groucho Marx in a one-man show. Maybe Kotter isn’t obese or grotesque looking in the manner some of the husbands on this list are, but he’s still pretty weird looking in comparison to his far more conventionally attractive wife Julie, portrayed by Marcia Strassman. Strassman herself may not have been the typical knockout gorgeous TV leading lady, but she had a quiet cuteness to her than still made it hard to picture her falling madly in love with a guy who looked like Groucho.
Humorously enough, some speculate the reason Welcome Back, Kotter only lasted four seasons is due to the fact the actors playing Kotter’s students were getting too old to be believable as high schoolers. As this list proves over and over, television audiences will eventually accept the idea that any two people can end up married no matter what they look like, but it’s a little harder to pretend people pushing 30 are still taking social studies.
7 Claudia Finnery - Grounded For Life
Megyn Price is a special actress in terms of this list, as she could have appeared for either of the two sitcoms she starred in. The blonde beauty first appeared in the Fox sitcom Grounded For Life, portraying the wife of the slightly portly and unconventional looking Donal Logue. Shortly after that series was canceled, Price upgraded to Patrick Warburton when she starred in Rules of Engagement, but most fans would have to agree she was once again the far more attractive half of that union, as well.
The two men Price’s characters are linked with have a lot in common, but to be entirely fair, that has more to do with the fact they exist on extremely cookie cutter, uninteresting sitcoms. The only real difference in the shows is that Price had children with Logue’s character, while her and Warburton’s neighbors fill the kid’s role on the later show. Either way, it’s not the kids causing havoc that made these shows stick out in comparison to the other lightweight network fare. Rather, it was the fact Price is always lowering herself to marry tactless and uncouth jerks that left fans shaking their heads and changing the channel.
6 Cheryl David - Curb Your Enthusiasm
Larry David is both a funny and successful guy, and in fact, he’s successful on the merits of how funny he is. Considering women are attracted to power and success, perhaps it's not too shocking the older and plainer looking Larry was able to attract a beautiful younger wife in Cheryl. Cheryl is 18 years younger than Larry in addition to her obvious advantages in the looks department, but both of these things could indeed be overcome by David’s power, success, and ability to make her laugh. Well, they could if he wasn’t such a huge jerk, anyway.
Another reason Cheryl is significantly out of Larry’s league is their attitudes. Cheryl is funny herself, and maybe a little uncouth at times as per the nature of her series, but Larry is one of the biggest assholes ever on television. The whole point of his character is that he’s so rude and obnoxious he barely fits in anywhere, and it bothers him that people don’t like him in spite of this. The fact a woman as beautiful as Cheryl does like him probably helps feed Larry’s ego, but that ego in turn is also why Cheryl leaves David at the beginning of season 8.
5 Lindsey Fünke - Arrested Development
Lindsey Fünke is another character who requires no serious mystery as to why she would marry a man so obviously beneath her, because she answers the question for us plain as day. Lindsey married Tobias to upset her father, something she manages to do every time the two of them appear together in public or even at a family gathering. Tobias isn’t as conventionally unattractive as some of the other men on this list, but he’s still just an average Joe compared to his supermodel wife, and there are moments in the series where Uncle Teabag starts to physically decompose and become one of the most hideous creatures to grace network TV.
Lindsey and Tobias also attempt to prove again and again throughout the series that they do share some sort of connection, and appear to care for each other in some strange way [footage not found]. When they really look at things, though, it doesn’t take an analrapist (that’s a-nal-ra-pist, should the pronunciation bothers you) like Tobias to see their connection is psychological and based on self-destructive qualities at best. The couple attempt to break up multiple times throughout the show, and even think an open relationship could work for them, despite Tobias being certain it has never worked for anyone else. Somehow, the couple sticks through their sexual disinterest in one another for decades. Maybe it has something to do with their daughter.
4 Lois Griffin - Family Guy
We tried to keep cartoons off this list, on the Jessica Rabbit principle that cartoons can’t look bad; they’re just drawn that way. An exception had to be made for Family Guy, though, because never has there been a disparity in a television couple’s ability to attract the opposite sex greater than that exhibited by Peter and Lois Griffin. As a cartoon, Peter is able to be ugly in ways humans can’t, and the same is true of Lois appearing like a physically perfect cartoon woman at all times. Despite three kids and a perpetual baby keeping her away from any kind of exercise, Lois always looks like she’s in great shape, while Peter gets fatter, stupider, and less generally attractive in almost every episode of the show.
Comically enough, Lois is presented as one of the woman on this list most physically attracted to their husbands, often mentioning the fact she wouldn’t be married to Peter if he weren’t so sexy to her. The fact Lois is perhaps a bit sex crazed only makes the union less likely, unless we’re to consider her some sort of extreme fetishist with a love of the obese and simple minded, in which case this marriage makes plenty of sense. It doesn’t make it any less bizarre to think about, though.
3 Gloria Pritchett - Modern Family
The entire point of Gloria Pritchett’s marriage to Jay Pritchett is that she looks like the archetypal trophy wife. Jay is much older than his supermodel Latina wife, and was never quite blessed with the natural good looks of his future bride in the first place. Jay is, however, extremely wealthy thanks to wild success in the closet industry, so when people see that Jay nabbed a woman half his age and twice his attractiveness (or more), it’s easy for them to apply Occam’s razor and not overthink it.
The truth is, though, Gloria clearly loves Jay as much as any other spouse loves their significant other on the vast collective of families on their show. Gloria is a dominant and strong woman in her own right, but she likewise is seen to be highly attracted to power herself, and as the leader of a closet empire and his own familial empire, she was quickly drawn to Jay despite the differences in their looks and ages. The fact he was a multimillionaire definitely didn’t hurt, but Gloria is far less of a trophy wife than she appeared on first glance. Which, frankly, only makes the union between the two characters even crazier to us.
2 Cheryl - According To Jim
Everything about Jim Belushi’s career is unfair, makes little sense, and is often assumed to be based solely on the fact his brother was a comedy legend. The fact the younger Belushi’s career even exists confuses the hell out of most critics, so it’s somehow appropriate enough that when the human void of comedy was given a sitcom, he would have an uncharacteristically beautiful wife just for the heck of it. Belushi was paired with the gorgeous Courtney Thorne-Smith, previously known for her appearances in Melrose Place as a particularly attractive actress on a show filled to the brim with drop dead gorgeous women.
While many of the other sitcom husbands on this list can say they attracted their wives through humor, Belushi most definitely doesn’t have that ability, as even the characters on his show know his “humor” is dated and patently unfunny. There’s truly no explanation how characters like this wound up together, let alone lasted 8 entire seasons on network television. But of course, the same is true of Belushi’s entire career, so all we can do is shrug and move on before wasting more time thinking about a horrible TV show.
1 Carrie Heffernan - The King of Queens
Kevin James is set to star in the new CBS series Kevin Can Wait premiering this fall, and from the early looks of that show, it could easily wind up in this list were we to make it just a few months later. Even so, it doesn’t come close to James’s first sitcom, The King of Queens, in terms of pairing up Kevin with a woman so out of his league audiences can’t understand what she sees in him. The new show will partner Kevin with the younger and more attractive Erinn Hayes, and the first improbably featured Leah Remini playing the role of the King’s Queen.
The fact Remini was far out of James’s league was actually barely mentioned on the show, outside of a brief and highly questionable arc during Remini’s pregnancy when James started to unfairly criticize her for gaining weight. It was presented as a farce, but the mere idea a guy who looks like Kevin James would ever tell a woman who looks like Leah Remini to lose weight is the sort of thing that would result in those guys getting slapped. Somehow, Remini’s character stuck with James throughout 9 entire seasons, wrapping around to being way, way hotter than him by the end of the run after she lost the baby weight, which she did very quickly.
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