I’ll be the first to admit that I get overly attached to a lot of TV couples. From A Different World’s Dwayne and Whitley to Gilmore Girls's Luke and Lorelai, these on-screen romances helped shape my own understanding of what a successful relationship should look like. But after rewatching a few classic shows during quarantine, I had to deal with a pretty disturbing realization: That some of my favorite couples are actually very problematic. And I get the feeling I’m not the only one who’s been there.
To be honest, a part of me can understand why it’s so easy for us to gloss over serious issues and brand popular couples as “relationship goals.” After all, much of the content that’s out there tends to normalize (or even glamorize) toxic behaviors in romantic relationships, making it easier for viewers to dismiss unhealthy practices. But thankfully, with the help of a few experts, we can cut through the glamour and see these beloved couples for how flawed and harmful they really are. Here, five iconic TV couples that are actually problematic, according to experts.