Watching two people fall in love is a beautiful thing; unfortunately two people falling out of love sometimes seems to be inevitable, and happens just as frequently, especially on TV. The portrayals of beloved characters realizing that they are not made for one another on television seems to be portrayed with the elegance and range of emotion that one feels they are incapable of emoting in their own life. Below are ten of the most heartbreaking and devastating breakups in (relatively) recent history.
10. Angela and Dwight – The Office
While all eyes in the office were on lovebirds Jim and Pam, another office romance was blooming behind the scenes. Angela and Dwight spent seasons keeping their relationship under wraps with covert meetings in the break room and rendezvous in the warehouse. The eventually not so secret relationship intrigued the other characters and viewers alike, until Dwight, thinking he was doing something good, killed Angela’s beloved cat. That was too much for Angela and the duo’s love affair was over.
9. Joey and Pacey – Dawson’s Creek
Nothing is better than young love, and while Joey had, as a child, given her heart solely to Dawson, but as we get older we begin to love others, and soon she realized that she and Pacey had an unbelievable chemistry. Joey and Pacey had the epitome of a teenage love – that grew into something more and although it was revealed in the series finale that the two did get their happily ever after, it didn’t make it any less hard to watch the two navigate through the low point of their relationship.
8. Donna and Eric – That 70’s Show
Another teenage love, fans thought that the boy and girl next door would get their happy ending, when their wedding was planned and set to go off without a hitch in a season finale – except there was a hitch. With his nerves finally getting the best of him, Eric never showed at the rehearsal dinner and skipped town before the wedding. The two, although they would give their relationship another shot, never did end up together, a sad pay off for the fans who invested so much time into watching their relationship blossom.
7. Jason Mesnick and Melissa Rycroft – The Bachelor
Given the show’s history, no one expects the Bachelor and whichever lady he chooses to successfully make it down the aisle, so very few expected Jason and Melissa to have found a lasting love. However, what made the ending of this season of the Bachelor so different and so much more horrific than normal, is that after he chose Melissa, he went on to change his mind and dump her publicly during the show’s reunion special. Her heartbreak was felt by women all over the world.
6. Michael and Holly – The Office
The Office’s Michael Scott is an awkward, politically incorrect man who had been very unlucky in love until he met Holly, the ying to his yang, she was the only woman whoever truly got him and connected with him in a real way; which made it all the more harder when Holly was transferred out of town and it became abundantly clear that a long distance relationship would not work for the two of them. Having the lovable Michael find and lose his true love played on the heartstrings of the viewers and leaves them hoping for Holly to somehow return.
5. Lorelei and Max – Gilmore Girls
Lorelei’s soul mate was undoubtedly Luke, but during the first two seasons of the show she found herself in a serious relationship with Max, a teacher from daughter Rory’s school. Their rocky relationship culminated in a season filled with engagements, and fun wedding planning but as the day of the wedding got closer, it became crystal clear to Lorelei that she was not in love with Max and that marrying him would be a mistake. So she and her daughter took off on a road trip and skipped out on the wedding.
4. Christina and Burke – Grey’s Anatomy
Christina was always a complicated character, and Dr. Burke, as strong-willed and pompous as he was always had a soft, protective spot for her. Their relationship was cluttered with drama, mostly having to do with her not being able to open up to him and truly let him in. However when she seemingly got over her own drama and the two were engaged, it was a shock to fans and characters alike that Burke felt she hadn’t changed and left her at the alter – only made harder by the fact no one saw Burke again, due to Isaiah Washington’s controversial exit from the show. Without any real closure or explanation, viewers were left with many questions and a broken Christina.
3. Carrie and Aidan – Sex and the City
Carrie Bradshaw had her share of breakups, but none stung more than the two she had with Aidan, one of her great loves. When Carrie first dated Aidan she fell to a lapse of judgment and cheated on the man she loved with Mr. Big, her on-off lover through the six seasons of the show. The two split and moved on, until they saw each other again. When Aidan finally let go of his nervousness and decided to open himself up to Carrie again the two got engaged, and everyone thought the ultimate single girl was finally going to tie the knot, but his trust issues and her ill feelings toward marriage led the two to a final, heartbreaking split, the kind when no matter how much you know you love each other, there’s just something that you can’t get over.
2. Kevin and Winnie – The Wonder Years
The first legitimate puppy love tale told on television was depicted with innocence and beauty on the Wonder Years. Kevin and Winnie grew up together, went to grammar, high school and college together and had a turbulent, drama-filled romance that spanned decades and showed, at each age, just how heartbreaking and hard loving someone and losing them can be. In the series finale we learn that, although they remain good friends, Winnie and Kevin never worked it out and each married someone else.
1. Rachel and Ross – Friends
They would eventually go on to become the model of a will-they-or-won’t-they romance, but when Rachel and Ross finally began dating, viewers hoped that would be it for the wondering and that the two lovebirds would work through their issues and stay together for the long run. Unfortunately that didn’t happen, and after a misunderstanding over whether or not the two were on a break, and Ross’ infidelity, the two broke up in a devastating episode that touched everyone, yet still somehow kept the hope alive for reconciliation.