Top 30 Most Heart-Wrenching TV Breakups We’re Still Not Over

Life can be pretty boring sometimes, so most of us are often happy when it comes to binge-watch our favorite TV shows, right? What would become of us if we didn’t have our most beloved couples to ship? Sadly, due to some mean writers, we have to answer that question every single time our favorite couples break up. And while most of the couples make it by the end of the season, our hearts still ache whenever we remember that time they had to break things off. From Riverdale and The Chilling Adventures Of Sabrina, to Gossip Girl and Grey’s Anatomy, we have put together a list of the saddest TV breakups. We still get pretty emotional when we think about #1, #5 and #13!

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#30. Archie And Veronica – Riverdale

Alright, Riverdale seems to be far from over, we know that. Still, there has already been a painful break up we just can’t get over. We’re talking about Varchie. The couple broke up during season 3 when Archie was running away from the town. He thought it was best to end things with Veronica and broke up with her during a phone call. Ouch…

Photo: Courtesy of Katie Yu/The CW

In spite of all the painful situations they have been through, Archie and Veronica have managed to overcome every obstacle! Their enemies (including Veronica’s father!) gave them no rest, but these two have proved to be a very solid team!

#29. Steve And DJ – Full House

Steve and DJ were one of the most likable couples. At first, it seemed that there was nothing this powerful teen unit couldn’t do. And even though people seemed pretty excited about them, they soon realized that they weren’t meant to be.


Viewers had realized that the romance had no future long before they did, so it didn’t come as a surprise when DJ decided to end the relationship. Most of us were honestly surprised when, in typical 1990s fashion, Steve came back for the last episode.

#28. Serena And Nate – Gossip Girl

Serenate, like most people would often refer to them, were the golden couple of the show. When we first met them, Nate was dating Blair, but it was pretty obvious that he was still in love with Serena, in spite of having had his heart broken by her more than once.

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Both of them ended up having many relationships over the show’s first couple of seasons, until they finally became an item during season 3. As you already know, their relationship ended when Serena cheated on Nate with Dan. Well, at least we got to see Serenate together for a few episodes, right?

#27. Joey And Dawson – Dawson’s Creek

During the 1990s Dawson’s Creek was a big hit. The show was about a group of teenagers who lived in a little town in Massachusetts and their daily struggles through their teenage years. Out of all the characters, Joey Potter, portrayed by Katie Holmes, was undoubtedly the girl with the most turbulent relationship history.

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Both her relationship with Dawson and their eventual breakup still make us cry. They had a nice friendship at first but their feelings for each other slowly developed into love. Unfortunately, on a cruel twist of fate, she ended up cheating on him, and their love didn’t survive.

#26. Eric And Donna – That ’70s Show

That ’70s Show‘s Eric and Donna were one of those couples that we couldn’t even imagine splitting. Their chemistry was undeniable, and their love seemed never-ending. But what happened?

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As you might have guessed since you opened our slideshow, this is another relationship that failed. Despite being together until the end of the show’s seventh season, Eric ended up ditching Donna, leaving her and us with a bittersweet taste of all that could have been.

#25. Alex And Ellen – Family Ties

Back in the 1980s, there wasn’t a single girl who didn’t want to be romantically involved with Michael J. Fox, or a single young man who didn’t dream about becoming Tracy Pollan’s dream guy. Since they became a couple in real life, we can conclude that they shared the same thoughts.

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Things were different on the small screen, though. When they met studying at Leland University, everyone thought that they were endgame. You can imagine how disappointing it was to watch Ellen leave to study in Paris.

#24. Penny And Leonard – The Big Bang Theory

Ever since we first saw Penny moving into the building where Leonard and Sheldon lived, we knew that she and Leonard would become an item. The chemistry between the pair was undeniable, and all of us knew it was just a matter of time.

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Even though the couple ended up getting married, the writers of the show still managed to put us through hell with their many breakups. Why?

#23. Marshall And Lily – How I Met Your Mother

Admit it, Marshall and Lily are the embodiment of couple goals. Maybe that’s why we suffered a lot when these two briefly broke up during season 1. I’m still not over it!

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Who could ever forget that scene of Marshall standing in the rain and clutching his wedding ring, suffering because Lily had left him? She eventually came back and the couple ended up getting married, but that moment will forever remain as one of the saddest breakups ever on TV.

#22. Donna And James – Twin Peaks

Twin Peaks wasn’t much of a romance TV show. Still, there were some moments and some couples we’re still not ready to let go. Let’s talk about Donna and James. The two became close while they were investigating who killed Laura Palmer.

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No sooner had they started to develop feelings for each other than things got complicated. Their relationship ended when James was forced to leave town. Their relationship was never mentioned again in the Twin Peaks universe.

#21. Tony And Carmela – The Sopranos

The public is still debating on this breakup, and while we think it was probably for the best, we still had to include it on our list because of the sadness it brought to some of those die-hard fans of the show.

Photo: Courtesy of HBO

Tony and Carmela had been having a pretty tumultuous relationship before they decided to end things, so as we said before, it was probably for the best. The sad part of this was the impact it had both on AJ and Carmela’s relationship with him.

#20. Darlene And David – Roseanne

If you have paid enough attention you must have surely realized that these two have starred together again on The Big Bang Theory. But long before they were Leonard and Leslie, they were David and Darlene.

saddest tv breakups

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They were lovely when they were together, but their breakups were more and more painful each time. When the show came back for a reboot we discovered that things didn’t work out and the pair had ended things for good.

#19. Cory And Topanga – Boy Meets World

While some may argue that their relationship was not the most exact portrayal of teenage love, no one can deny that Cory and Topanga will forever have a special place in our hearts.

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Their love seemed pretty solid until Cory kissed another girl during the fifth season of the show. Topanga ended things as soon as she found out, which lead to one of the most heartbreaking breakups on our list.

#18. Buffy And Angel – Buffy The Vampire Slayer

All 90s kids will agree. Buffy and Angel were the IT couple of the decade. Every goth kid wanted their love to thrive but, as all of you have probably already guessed by name of the show, their relationship was doomed.

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For those of you who need a little context: Angel was a cursed vampire, he had remorse and a human soul. After the course was broken, Buffy had to do her job, no matter how painful it was.

#17. Barney And Robin – How I Met Your Mother

How could we even begin to describe the relationship between Barney and Robin? After many ups and downs, we genuinely thought they were going to be the real deal. Especially after their wedding!

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But, as TV shows have taught us, you can never trust that happiness will last. By the end of the series we learn that even though they remain in good terms, they are no longer a married couple.

#16. Callie And Arizona – Grey’s Anatomy

Every Grey’s Anatomy fan was incredibly happy when these two found each other. All we wanted was to see them living happily ever after. For a while, it seemed that that was their future. However, something else was in store for them…

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Callie and Arizona had a relationship full of disagreements regarding children and career moves. The pair got divorced and Arizona had a really hard time coping with this, as she nearly lost the custody of her child.

#15. J.D. And Elliot – Scrubs

If you weren’t into Grey’s Anatomy, then you were most definitely a fan of Scrubs, right? If the answer is yes, then it means that you were as sad as we were when J.D. and Elliot ended their short yet intense relationship.

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After breaking up, the pair continued being friends with benefits and even shared a few sweet moments together. However, writers wanted their paths to never completely cross, which only lead us to disappointment. Even though they did get married in the end, the beginning of their affair was anything but simple.

#14. Brenda And Dylan – Beverly Hills 90210

They are still one of the most iconic couples of the 1990s. Their bad boy/good girl image had a particularly captivating charm, that made them the most beloved couple of that time.

Photo: Courtesy of Spelling Television/Torand Productions

What still makes us feel really sad about this couple is that he ended up cheating on her with her best friend while she was studying abroad. Not cool at all!

#13. Carrie And Aidan – Sex And The City

While Carrie was destined to be with Mr. Big, some of us still think that Aidan was perfect for her. He was kind to her and wanted to build a life with Carrie.

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Sadly, the heart wants what the heart wants, and shortly after the pair decided to get married, Carrie broke the engagement off.

#12. Finn And Rachel – Glee

When Finn and Rachel first started dating, everything seemed to be going so well that it was impossible for anyone to think that they would ever break up. They sure had some fights along the way but, eventually, they were able to work things out.

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Fans were devastated when Finn broke up with her so she could be free to follow her dreams and go to Broadway. While it made all of us really happy to see her chasing her dreams, we still think it was one of the most heart-wrenching moments of TV.

#11. Monica And Richard – Friends

We really liked Richard and Monica together. They seemed happy to be with each other, and the whole gang liked him as well! But what went wrong?

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Their relationship started to suffer as time progressed and both realized that they wanted different things in life. Their breakup was pretty sad but thanks to that, Monica was free to be with the person she was meant to be: Chandler.

#10. Elaine And David Puddy – Seinfeld

Elaine had many boyfriends throughout the nine seasons of the show, and while some of them turned out to be quite irrelevant, Puddy found a way to make an impact on the fans.

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He was completely different from the gang, so that’s why he really stood up. He and Elaine had completely opposite personalities yet somehow they made it work, at least for some episodes. In the end, it was sad to see him go.

#9. Ross And Rachel – Friends

Were they or were they not on a break? That’s the question that still divides the fandom. During the early seasons, their relationship meant everything for us.

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We were so invested in their relationship that when they started dating our hearts were jumping out of our chests with joy. The same happened when they broke up, we cried with them and our hearts broke as if that was our own relationship failing.

#8. Rory And Jess – Gilmore Girls

There was a point on the show where Rory really needed some balance in her life. That’s when Jess came in the picture. A tough guy on the outside with a sensitive soul on the inside.

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We all got our hopes too high when Rory met him but, unfortunately for Rory, he wasn’t the right fit for her. They broke up when he left her to go to California.

#7. Dwight And Angela – The Office

Although it was absolutely grueling at some points, this relationship still made us smile and hope for the best. We would often find us rooting for them to make it and be finally happy.

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After all the ups and downs you could ever imagine, the couple broke things off only to get back together and break up again after a cheating incident. This left us devastated. Luckily for us, they ended up together and with a baby!

#6. Cristina Yang And Preston Burke – Grey’s Anatomy

Whether we’re talking about a serious issue such as a terminally ill patient or about a more common situation, (let’s say, a relationship) Grey’s Anatomy is famous for making us cry episode after episode. And what went down between Cristina Yang and Preston Burke was no exception.

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Just when we thought at least one of the characters could have a happy ending, Shonda Rhimes surprised us with one of the saddest moments on TV: Cristina was left at the altar by the man she loved.

#5. Sabrina And Harvey – The Chilling Adventures Of Sabrina

This must be one of the most recent breakups on the list. The first episodes of the new show gave us everything we were expecting: magic, mystery, Salem and Sabrina and Harvey’s love story.

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But, as you may have already guessed, their love has been struggling a lot lately and, for now, they are no longer together. Who’s hoping to see them back together in the show’s new season?

#4. Clark And Lana – Smallville

It was Smallville fans’ greatest desire to see Clark and Lana together. The writers knew it and, even though they eventually made it happen, they used every trick in the book to keep them apart.

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By season seven, we got to watch their love blossom. Unfortunately for all, the relationship didn’t last, as Lana became infected with kryptonite and Clark had to say goodbye to her.

#3. Lorelai And Luke – Gilmore Girls

All bets were on Lorelai and Luke to be the real deal on the show, so when they finally got together after five seasons, we thought that we (and they) were finally getting the happy ending all of us deserved.

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They were perfect together and the really needed each other. Fans all over the world were crushed when Lorelai’s ex came in the picture. Eventually, the pair got back together and our hearts slowly healed.

#2. Will And Lisa – The Fresh Prince Of Bel Air

Lisa Wilkes was the only woman who was able to gain Will’s heart on The Fresh Prince Of Bel Air. Before meeting Lisa, Will was just an obnoxious young by who would chase any girl that crossed his path.

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They were through so much together that we actually thought that they were going to make it. That was until their wedding day, when Lisa left Will at the altar and called everything off. Painful, isn’t it?

#1. Blair And Chuck – Gossip Girl

Gossip Girl lovers, you knew this was coming. There’s no doubt that the most painful breakups on TV involved Blair and Chuck. During the six seasons of Gossip Girl we have seen them breaking up and getting back together.

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After every breakup, we thought that their love wouldn’t survive. But we were wrong, and the couple ended up facing all kinds of odds and their love became more solid than ever.

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