The best-ever TV couples include Jim and Pam, Tony and Carmela, and more.
Ever since Ralph Kramden first threatened to send Alice to the moon on the granddaddy of all sitcoms, The Honeymooners, television has been home to countless romantic pairings. Whether it’s a will-they-won’t-they vibe like Angela and Tony from Who’s The Boss or a pair that’s been together since the beginning like How I Met Your Mother‘s Lily and Marshall, TV couples have always been one of the best parts of following your favorite series from week to week. Here are the 8 Most Iconic TV couples of all time.
Carrie and Mr. Big (Sex and the City)
Throughout the original run of HBO‘s Sex and the City, Carrie Bradshaw (Jessica Parker) had many flings, but no one left an impression quite like Mr. Big (Chris Noth). When the series began, Carrie and Big (real name John James Preston) were a thing, but Big refused to commit to anything serious, leading to six seasons of on-again, off-again affairs, and breakups culminating in a series finale where Mr. Big finally admitted to Carrie that she was the one.
Not content to remain a TV couple, the two continued their relationship through two Sex and the City feature films where Carrie and Big finally tied the knot. Sadly, the sequel series And Just Like That… killed off Mr. Big in its first episode, leaving Carrie to grieve for the love of her life. Thankfully Carrie and Big’s rocky romance lives in through reruns and streaming.
Mulder and Scully (The X-Files)
The X-Files may have captured fans’ imaginations with alien conspiracies and random mutants, but it was the relationship dynamic between the two leads, Fox Mulder (David Duchovny) and Dana Scully (Gillian Anderson), that kept viewers coming back for each new installment.
Less of “good cop, bad cop” and more “skeptical cop, tinfoil hat-wearing cop,” Mulder and Scully were FBI agents tasked with investigating supernatural phenomena and frequently butted heads over what caused them. Mulder is finally able to make a believer out of Scully after seven seasons, right around the time the two share their first on-screen kiss.
While it may have taken Mulder and Scully the bulk of the X-Files’ original run on TV to become a couple finally, the years of barely concealed romantic tension made it all the sweeter when they finally did.
Tony and Carmela (The Sopranos)
The Sopranos is one of the highest-rated shows on IMDb, and it owes that honor at least partly to Tony and Carmela’s relationship. Tony Soprano, played with thuggish charm by the late James Gandolfini, was many things, a gangster, a cheater, and a brute, but the one thing no one would mistake him for was a good husband. And yet, his long-suffering wife Carmela, the immensely talented Edie Falco, saw something in Tony that no one else did, his humanity.
Tony may have strayed many (many) times, but he always found his way back into Carmela’s arms. Through ups, downs, and everything in between, Tony and Carmela were the embodiment of “for richer for poorer, in sickness and in health.” Together to the end (whether or not that means Tony getting whacked in a diner is a conversation for another day), Tony and Carmela remain one of the most endearing TV couples to this day.
Eric and Tami (Friday Night Lights)
Eric and Tami Taylor are the quintessential small-town couple. Meeting and getting married right out of high school, Eric (Kyle Chandler) and Tami (American Horror Story‘s Connie Britton) are proof that young love can survive the test of time. The couple–he’s a coach, and she’s a guidance counselor–often clash over academics vs. sports but always come together to raise their two daughters, Julie and Gracie.
One of the few TV couples to avoid a lot of drama, Eric and Tami are what the kids call “relationship goals,” and appeared in TV Guide’s list of the “Best TV Couples of All Time.”
Luke and Lorelai (Gilmore Girls)
Luke and Lorelai getting together was a long time coming. For many years Lorelai Gilmore (Lauren Graham) considered Luke Danes (Scott Patterson) just the guy that pours her coffee. Slowly over time, their platonic friendship starts to blossom into something more, culminating in a season 4 wedding proposal from Lorelai. Due to the usual television shenanigans, this proposal goes nowhere, leading to a rift between Luke and Lorelai that isn’t healed until the series finale.
Despite the tumultuous course the couple’s relationship takes over the course of Gilmore Girl‘s run, they do finally tie the knot during the short-lived 2016 Gilmore Girl revival. Sometimes true love is worth waiting for, and no TV couple proves that better than Luke and Lorelai.
Chandler and Monica (Friends)
Could Chandler Bing and Monica Geller be any more perfect for each other? Despite being overshadowed by another couple on this list, Monica and Chandler may just be the best couple to come out of Friends‘ decade on the air. Chandler (Matthew Perry) and Monica (Courteney Cox) spend most of the early seasons as comedic foils but slowly develop into more.
The duo’s relationship started out as a purely sexual one, but as a one-night fling turned into a repeat engagement, they quickly realized their physical attraction was merely a symptom of their growing love for each other. Not many women will wear a turkey as a mask to make up for cutting off someone’s toe. If that’s not true love, what is?
Jim and Pam (The Office)
Work sucks. Having an unrequited crush at work sucks even more. Luckily for Jim Halpert, his crush on fellow Dunder Mifflin employee Pam Beesley wasn’t a one-sided deal. Unluckily for Jim, Pam was engaged. And so began one of television’s most famous prolonged love affairs. When Pam isn’t taken, Jim is, and vice versa.
Finally, after four seasons of back and forth, Pam and Jim officially begin dating, and one of TV’s greatest couples is born. For the remainder of The Office, Pam and Jim were an unstoppable force of positive vibes and true love. As an added bonus, having a partner made torturing co-worker Dwight that much easier for Jim and that much better for the audience.
Ross and Rachel (Friends)
Ross and Rachel were the ’90s it couple. For a brief time, there was no TV couple more beloved than Ross Gellar (David Schwimmer) and Rachel Greene (Jennifer Aniston). Ross and Rachel were a pop culture phenomenon, with Ross’s “We were on a break” becoming one of those phrases that enter the public lexicon like Homer’s “D’oh!” or Archie Bunker’s “Meathead.”
Sadly, Ross and Rachel were often kind of toxic. Between Ross’s above-mentioned catchphrase, which was used to excuse him sleeping with another woman, to Rachel’s tricking one of Ross’s girlfriends into shaving her head, the two weren’t always good for each other. Despite being the first pair, most people think of when they think of TV couples, Ross and Rachel were eventually overshadowed by Chandler and Monica.
That didn’t stop the couple from still ending up together in the Friends finale, however, proving that for all their ups and downs, Ross and Rachel really were meant for each other.