Ross and Rachel (Friends)
You’d be forgiven for thinking that the relationship between a man who’s been married (and divorced) three times, and a woman who ran out on her wedding day wouldn’t exactly be a pinup for a healthy partnership. But then this is no normal relationship. Instead it was the on-off love affair that provided the impetus behind most of Friends’ more memorable moments, a story of a woman and her lobster that survived accidental marriages, babies and one very controversial relationship break.
Susan and Karl Kennedy (Neighbours)
Okay, so let’s overlook Karl’s dabble with alcoholism and infidelity for a moment, and instead focus on a marital unit that holds a special place in the hearts of soap fans of a certain age. Childhood sweethearts Karl and Susan have shared the best part of 5,000 episodes together since they first moved to Ramsay Street in 1994. And even though they’ve got divorced, re-married and separated on seemingly countless occasions during that time, their picture perfect (for soap land anyway) relationship is still the backbone on which much of the show is built.
Homer and Marge (The Simpsons)
They say that opposites attract and that’s certainly true of TV’s first couple of animated comedy. A hot mess of ongoing arguments, unrealised dreams and bad parenting, on the surface the Simpsons are hardly what you might call happy. But underneath their brightly coloured beer bellies and gravity-defying weaves, this cartoon couple offer perhaps one of the most accurate portrayals of the shades of grey that make up most modern relationships. As Marge herself says: "Our differences are only skin deep, but our sames go down to the bone.” Altogether now: AWWWWWWWWWWWWWW.
Jack and Vera Duckworth (Coronation Street)
Although it’s probably fair to say that they didn’t always like each other, Jack and Vera’s love certainly stood the test of time as they shared more than 50 years on the famous cobbles of Coronation Street. Of course there were affairs, and an array of disagreements that could lurch from mild annoyance to thermonuclear arguments in the time it would take to pull a pint of mild in the Rovers, but deep down you always knew they’d somehow get through it. It was a solidarity that provided a rare crumb of comfort amidst the turbulent goings-on that make up Manchester’s most famous show.
Fox Mulder and Dana Scully (The X-Files)
More odd couple than bonafide lovebirds, Mulder and Scully are back in the limelight thanks to the much-anticipated reboot of Chris Carter’s smash hit sci-fi series. The intervening years have done nothing to dull the razor-sharp sexual chemistry between this duo of FBI agents, who managed to find time between investigating little green men and paranormal shenanigans to develop one of the most enduring “Will they? Won’t they? Did they?” relationships to ever grace the idiot box.
Mick and Pam (Gavin and Stacey)
Forget the show’s titular lovebirds, even if they are totally adorbs, the real magic in the Beeb’s beloved sitcom came from the unlikely figures of Gavin’s meddlesome parents. Played to perfection by Larry Lamb and Alison Steadman, they’re about as close to the perfect partnership as you’re likely to find on primetime TV; a pair of star-crossed lovers who are just as much in love today as they were when they first met.
Bert and Ernie (Sesame Street)
The exact relationship status of Sesame Street’s rubber duckie loving BFFs has long remained a point of contention. But whether or not their living arrangement is purely platonic, there’s no doubt that they’ve taught their impressionably aged audience plenty about real-life relationships in the 50+ years they’ve been on our screens.
Becky and Steve (Him & Her)
Normally, when it comes to TV relationships, the sailing is anything but plain. After all where’s the fun in watching a happy couple go about their lives with the very minimum in drama? But therein lies the charm of Him & Her’s Becky and Steve, a duo of lazy lovers who are quite happy sharing DVD marathons and a rundown just like real-life couples do.
Tim and Dawn (The Office)
While David Brent’s foot-in-mouth moments provided much of the comedy for the critically acclaimed mockumentary, it was the furtive glances and longing looks over the photocopier that provided The Office’s real heart. And it was with as much a sense of relief as romantic satisfaction that audiences rejoiced in unison as Tim (Martin Freeman) and Dawn (Lucy Davies) finally got it together during that Christmas special.
Cameron Tucker and Mitchell Pritchett (Modern Family)
Modern Family is crammed full of well-crafted couples, but the best of the bunch has to be Mitchell and Cam, polar opposites who provide a refreshingly progressive take on 21st Century relationships. They’ve blossomed into one of the most relatable relationships to grace the schedules in quite some time; a fully formed family unit that serves up laughs and love in equal measure.
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