10 Most Toxic Relationships On TV

zaib055June 9, 2022

Television has a way of mirroring the world back to the viewer. Like the real world, TV is full of many kinds of relationships, including romantic, familial, and platonic. Throughout history, television series have featured relationships that make audiences envious of the support and love that’s displayed between characters.

RELATED: 10 Worst TV Couples

From Lucy and Desi in I Love Lucy to the Pearson family in This Is Us, many TV relationships have become iconic. However, for a variety of reasons, some television relationships are toxic. While these interactions make for excellent entertainment, they are far from relationship goals.

10 Kate And Joy Wallis Are A Toxic Mother/Daughter Duo (Cruel Summer)

Cruel Summer is a young adult mystery/drama about a kidnapping that rocks a small town in Texas. The protagonist, Kate Wallis, is surrounded by unhealthy relationships. However, her relationship with her mother, Joy, is the most heartbreaking.

Joy is constantly focused on making sure that her daughter is popular, regardless of the cost. Not only does Joy slap Kate in the kitchen, but she also suggests that Kate should run away. To make matters worse, Joy sends Kate an anonymous message after she is saved from her abduction where she calls Kate a liar and tells her daughter that it was sent by someone else.

9 Owen And Cristina Are Wrong For Each Other (Grey’s Anatomy)

Owen and Cristina’s relationship in Grey’s Anatomy had many problems, proven by the multiple breakups they endured with one another. For some reason, they always decide to get back together and try again, only to find themselves with the same problems.

RELATED: Grey’s Anatomy: 10 Times Owen Proved He Was Completely Wrong For Cristina

Owen and Cristina lacked trust in one another, which is shown by all the things they kept from each other. The couple was also terrible at communicating. When discussing children, Cristina made it well-known that she did not want kids, but Owen was convinced he could change her. After her abortion, Owen became threatening, dark, and unforgiving.

8 Alex And Piper Bring Out The Worst In One Another (Orange Is The New Black)

Piper and Alex’s relationship in Orange Is the New Black is the definition of toxic. They cause so much drama that it’s hard to say which of them is the most toxic in the relationship. Prior to landing in prison, they dated and Alex pulled Piper into the drug ring she worked for. Years later, Alex named Piper during her trial, which led to Piper’s incarceration.

In prison, they rekindle their romance in a dramatic on-again-off-again relationship, which often leads to betrayal and heartbreak. Alex brings out the bratty, entitled side of Piper and Piper brings out the calculating, vengeful side of Alex. They are a prime example of a TV couple that’s better off apart.

7 Rory And Dean Are Not Meant To Be (Gilmore Girls)

Dean was Rory’s first official boyfriend on Gilmore Girls and at first glance, he seemed perfect. Dean got along with Rory’s family, was devoted to her, and was the king of big gestures. However, there were still quite a few red flags in their relationship.

An early sign of toxicity was when Dean told Rory he loved her and she wasn’t ready to say it back. Instead of understanding and respecting her boundaries, Dean grew angry and forced her to tell him what he wanted to hear. Add to that the lying, cheating, and dropping their other friends to be together, and it’s a recipe for disaster.

6 Cal Is A Bad Example For Nate (Euphoria)

Cal and Nate are a tragically toxic father and son pairing in the teen drama series, Euphoria. Cal is a callous character and lives a secret life, cheating on his wife with frequent short-term romances that are often with young men.

RELATED: Euphoria: 10 Times Nate Was The Worst

Due to his issues with his past and his secrets, Cal raised his son to be just as toxic as he is, often blaming the way his life turned out on his wife’s unexpected pregnancy with Nate when they were teenagers. Their relationship has caused Nate to have serious rage issues as well as toxic masculinity ideals.

5 Cersei And Jamie Have A Tumultuous Sibling Relationship (Game of Thrones)

Game Of Thrones is full of toxic relationships. Almost every episode features characters behaving in ways that are hard to understand. The most notable of these toxic relationships is the one between twins Cersei and Jamie Lannister.

Their incestuous relationship began when they were young and continued into adulthood. Due to this, their judgment is often clouded and bad choices are enabled within the duo. At times, their relationship turns violent, and they will stop at nothing to protect their secret.

4 Joe And Love Are Violent Enablers (You)

You centers around Joe, who appeared to be the “perfect” man until the series revealed that he is a violent stalker. When season 2 introduced his new obsession, the sweet and demure woman named Love, audiences worried about her safety. However, the plot twist revealed that Love was as violent as Joe.

In season 3, the couple moved to the suburbs to raise their new baby together. This is when their toxic relationship erupted in full force. Not only did they enable each other’s violence, but they began to grow suspicious, inevitably turning against each other.

3 Eve And Villanelle Ensure Mutual Destruction (Killing Eve)

When Eve and Villanelle are introduced in Killing Eve, Villanelle is destroying Eve’s life. Among other things, she’s murdering Eve’s loved ones and stalking Eve. However, the devastation that Villanelle causes only seems to make Eve more obsessed with her as Eve gets closer to capturing her.

RELATED: Killing Eve: Villanelle’s 10 Most Memorable Kills

Throughout Killing Eve, Eve and Villanelle’s obsession for one another costs them loved ones and jobs, and can only end with mutual destruction. Yet, this doesn’t stop them from returning to each other time and time again.

2 Buffy And Angel Care More About Their Love Than The Fate Of The World (Buffy The Vampire Slayer)

Buffy the Vampire Slayer rested on the premise that Buffy is a vampire slayer. So, when Buffy falls in love with an ancient vampire, Angel, complications are expected. In Buffy’s defense, Angel is a vampire cursed with a soul and is intent on making amends.

However, it is known that if Angel experiences true happiness, he will lose his soul and become an evil being that’s intent on destroying the world. Despite this knowledge, the two decide to have a romantic relationship and put the fate of the world at risk when his soul is ripped away.

1 Aria And Ezra’s Relationship Is Inappropriate (Pretty Little Liars)

Aria and Ezra’s relationship should never have happened in pretty Little Liars. When they first get together, Aria is a student at Rosewood High School and Ezra is her teacher, which makes their relationship toxic and illegal. Although Ezra and Aria met at a bar before the start of the semester, Ezra learns that Aria is one of his students fairly quickly, but their relationship continues.

In addition to the inappropriate nature of their relationship, a later twist reveals that Ezra knew exactly who Aria was when they met. Ezra even used Aria and her friend’s assumed death as inspiration for his novel.

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