Over the past eight seasons, American Horror Story has been filled with witches, ghosts, aliens and all sorts of other supernatural creatures. While the hit horror anthology series doesn't try to be particularly realistic, the relatable characters found within it allow viewers to picture themselves in those characters' shoes as they're haunted, cursed and attacked, making the series even scarier. Audiences initially tuned in for the chance to be scared, but fans have stuck around since the series began in 2011 to watch the complex relationships shared between AHS' most dynamic and interesting characters.
While most television shows try to preach the message that "love conquers all," American Horror Story reminds audiences that sometimes, love simply isn't enough and that not everyone gets a happy ending. Each season is filled with a number of couples, but few relationships on the hit show actually last until their season's finale—couples either find it too difficult to stay together in the face of danger, temptation and horror or they're physically torn apart by horrific creatures.
Some of these memorable but short-lived relationships were so real and heart-warming, they actually helped save American Horror Story. Viewers looked forward to seeing their chemistry play out each week and nervously crossed their fingers that the couple's love would help them survive whatever horrors were thrown their way. Unfortunately, the majority of the series' top couples only managed to hurt AHS, because audiences grew tired of watching them struggle and fall apart week after week.
Here are 10 Couples That Hurt American Horror Story (And 10 That Saved It).
20 HURT: BEN AND VIVIEN HARMON, SEASON 1
Viewers were clearly meant to care about Ben and Vivien Harmon's marriage and hope for their survival in the first season of American Horror Story, but it quickly became difficult to stay invested in their flawed relationship.
After Vivien miscarried their second child, she fell into a depression that was only made worse when she discovered that Ben had been unfaithful to her with one of his students. She remained with her husband after his infidelity, but since she was too hurt to be intimate with him, both Vivien and Ben would have been far better off just separating. They tried to repair their relationship by starting over and moving into the incredibly haunted Montgomery House, but Vivien still struggled to forgive her spouse.
19 SAVED: TATE LANGDON AND VIOLET HARMON, SEASON 1
Tate Langdon took the lives of fifteen students at his high school and impregnated his girlfriend's mother, but fans still rooted for his relationship with Violet Harmon in American Horror Story's first season.
When Violet showed up in the house his spirit was trapped in, Tate finally found someone who could see him for who he really was deep down. Viewers could tell he was changing for the better when he tried stopping Violet from taking her own life, because it proved that even though he wanted to be with her forever, he loved her enough to want her to live a long life. The AHS writers redeemed Tate in Apocalypse by revealing that his evil actions were the result of the Devil's presence in the Montgomery House.
18 HURT: LANA WINTERS AND WENDY PEYSER, ASYLUM
Even though Wendy and Lana kept their relationship a secret at the start of American Horror Story: Asylum, the couple seemed very happy and healthy. Until, of course, Wendy signed a statement which allowed Sister Jude to lock Lana up at Briarcliff so she could avoid social repercussions and keep her job as a schoolteacher.
When Lana uncovered what was really happening behind the scenes of the asylum, Sister Jude knew she had to keep the journalist from revealing Briarcliff's secrets to the world. When she threatened to expose Wendy and Lana's relationship, Wendy signed away her girlfriend's freedom. It's true that Wendy could have lost her job if Sister Jude followed through with her threat, but audiences never forgave her for choosing career over love.
17 SAVED: KIT AND ALMA WALKER, ASYLUM
Alma Walker shared Wendy's concerns about the public's reaction to her controversial relationship. Interracial couples weren't accepted back when Asylum was set, so Alma pretended to be her husband's housekeeper to avoid social condemnation. Unlike Wendy, however, she never gave up on her lover even after she was abducted by aliens and returned to find Kit had seemingly replaced her with another woman.
Alma accepted her sister wife Grace for a long time before her traumatizing experiences caused her to have a mental breakdown and end Grace's life. That still wasn't enough to make Kit stop loving his wife, though. When she passed away in Briarcliff, he buried Alma and mourned the loss of his soulmate. There were a number of similarities shared between Asylum's two main couples, but viewers cared way more about the Walkers because they never gave up on each other.
16 HURT: HANK AND CORDELIA FOXX, COVEN
Cordelia was a powerful enough witch to become her coven's Supreme, so it's hard to believe that she had no idea her husband of several years was secretly a witch hunter with some seriously psychopathic tendencies.
Hank was born into the life of a witch hunter because his father was a member of the Delphi Trust, a multimillion-dollar corporation that firmly opposes witches. He was hired by Marie Laveau to take out the witches of New Orleans, and spent years secretly eliminating the Salem descendants. If that wasn't bad enough, Hank was also unfaithful to his wife and casually took the lives of several of his lovers. His attack on the Voodoo Queen's beauty salon and refusal to eliminate his wife's coven proves he did really care about Cordelia, but that didn't make the twist about him being an undercover witch hunter any less ridiculous.
15 SAVED: LUKE RAMSEY AND NAN, COVEN
When the girls of Miss Robichaux's Academy discovered their young, attractive next-door-neighbor Luke Ramsey, viewers assumed he'd take a liking to Madison Montgomery, the school's most desirable witch. Instead, Luke seemed drawn to Nan.
Luke spent most of his life obeying his mother's commands, but when his mother forbade him from spending time with Nan and the other witches, Luke finally stood up to her. His mother then attacked him, and when Nan heard his cries of pain, she rescued her crush and the two made plans to run away together. Unfortunately, Luke then stepped in front of a bullet to try to protect Nan and was hospitalized. Their unexpected romance was incredibly short-lived, but this couple remains an AHS fan-favorite.
14 HURT: IVY AND ALLY MAYFAIR-RICHARDS, CULT
American Horror Story: Cult was set in modern times, so Ally and Ivy didn't have to hide their love the way Wendy and Lana did in Asylum. Unfortunately, they had a laundry list of other problems that kept their relationship from ever being healthy and kept viewers from caring about whether or not they stayed together.
Ivy was never able to get over the fact that Ally was the one who gave birth to their son Oz, and was resentful of Ally and Oz's close bond. Kai was able to use Ivy's jealousy and anger to convince her to join his cult and commit a variety of horrible crimes. She repeatedly betrayed her wife's trust until Ally finally poisoned her in an act of revenge. Viewers are typically meant to cheer for central couples to work things out and earn a happy ending, but Ivy's passing was one of the highlights of Cult.
13 SAVED: HARRISON AND MEADOW WILTON, CULT
Meadow and Harrison Wilton's relationship is definitely one of the most memorable in AHS history. In high school, the two best friends made a pact to marry each other if they were still single at 35, even though Harrison was gay. Meadow allowed her husband one night a week to do whatever he pleased, as long as he didn't make a fool of her. It was a very unconventional marriage, but it was incredibly fun to watch and the duo really did seem to care about each other.
Unfortunately, Meadow was actually in love with Harrison, and he wasn't able to reciprocate her feelings. Kai was able to take advantage of her insecurities and loneliness, and she quickly became enamored with the cult leader. Fans reacted so well to Meadow and Harrison as a couple, the AHS writers paired their actors together again in Apocalypse.
12 HURT: MATT AND SHELBY MILLER, ROANOKE
If Matt and Shelby Miller never purchased the Roanoke house, they may have remained a perfectly happy and healthy couple for their entire lives. Unfortunately, the stresses that came with living somewhere so haunted proved to be too much for them.
Matt repeatedly ignored his wife's concerns about their new home because they invested everything they had into buying it. He refused to listen to Shelby's pleas to relocate, and chose to fight for their new home until they had the opportunity to sell it. His stubbornness quickly grew tiresome, so viewers didn't blame Shelby when she eventually left her husband. When Matt replaced his wife with Scáthach, an ugly immortal witch, the Millers cemented their place as one of the least likable couples in the history of the show.
11 SAVED: JIMMY DARLING AND THE TATTLER SISTERS, FREAK SHOW
The writers behind American Horror Story definitely seem to like actor Evan Peters, because the majority of the best relationships in the show seem to feature him.
Jimmy Darling spent most of Freak Show obsessed with the fortune-teller Maggie, but after he showed kindness to the Tattler sisters during their first meeting, Dot fell in love with the Lobster Boy. Jimmy and the Tattlers knew what it was like to be born with a physical abnormality, and the three members of Elsa Mars' circus all experienced some incredibly horrible things together, including the elimination of the majority of their family members and friends. It made total sense for the show to reveal in its closing moments that these commonalities brought the Lobster Boy and Tattler sisters together.
10 HURT: CHAD AND PATRICK, SEASON 1
Right before the Harmon family purchased the haunted Montgomery House, it was owned by Chad Warwick and his boyfriend Patrick. The couple restored the house in hopes of selling it at a profit, but when the economy and housing industry collapsed, their plan fell apart as well. They were forced to remain in the house, and the evil within it damaged their relationship beyond repair.
Chad repeatedly accused his boyfriend of being unfaithful to him, and did everything he could to spice things up to keep Patrick interested. His suspicions were eventually proven correct, as Patrick admitted to having a relationship with his gym trainer because there was "nothing special" about their own relationship anymore. When Tate eliminated them, he did the show's audience a service because viewers had grown tiresome of the couple's nonstop fighting.
9 SAVED: LIZ TAYLOR AND TRISTAN DUFFY, HOTEL
Male model Tristan Duffy always went out of his way to act narcissistic and arrogant, but his bad boy behavior was just an act used to disguise his inner need to be loved. When he met Liz Taylor, he finally found a compassionate partner he could confide his deepest truths in and truly fall for, and audiences found a couple to become invested in and cheer on.
Liz introduced Tristan to books by Brontë and Oscar Wilde, opening his eyes to a variety of new thoughts and emotions. When they both acknowledged that they were falling in love with each other, they agreed to tell the Countess about their relationship. Sadly, the Countess feigned acceptance before getting rid of Tristan for good, which was her way of proving that Tristan belonged to her.
8 HURT: LEO AND TERESA MORRISON, ASYLUM
Over the past eight seasons, American Horror Story has cast some seriously talented actors. Kathy Bates, Jessica Lange, Evan Peters, and Sarah Paulson have been phenomenal in every role they've played on the show, but Maroon 5 frontman Adam Levine won't be remembered as one of the series' top stars anytime soon.
In Asylum, Levine's character Leo Morrison and his newlywed wife Teresa took a self-curated haunted honeymoon tour, so they could consummate their marriage in a variety of dark and disturbing locations. They were basically asking to be sliced up by a madman, so audiences didn't particularly care when that's exactly what happened. Levine's role seemed to be nothing more than an excuse to have the artist appear on the show, and his scenes were a complete waste of time.
7 SAVED: TIMOTHY CAMPBELL AND EMILY, APOCALYPSE
Timothy Campbell was selected by the Cooperative to survive Michael Langdon's apocalypse because he had exceptional DNA. All of his friends and family were left to perish, so all hope seemed to be lost for the handsome young man until he met Emily, a fellow resident of Outpost 3.
The couple's attraction to each other was instant, and while Miss Venable's rules forbade them from being together, they frequently found ways to show their affection for each other. They kept up their secret romance for over a year, kissing each other once every day in private. When Miss Venable was tricked into poisoning the inhabitants of Outpost 3, Timothy and Emily perished while holding hands. Timothy and Emily's relationship was one of the few sources of hope and light in AHS's incredibly dark eighth season.
6 HURT: THE COUNTESS AND DONOVAN, HOTEL
When The Countess saved Donovan's life by infecting him with her virus, he fell for the manipulative owner of Hotel Cortez and did everything he could to try to win her heart. Elizabeth seemed to appreciate his obsession with her and did just enough to string him along, but since she never actually cared about Donovan, their relationship was incredibly hard to watch.
The moment Elizabeth discovered Tristan, she dropped her former lover and replaced him with the young male model. Donovan was outraged when he found the Countess in bed with Tristan and ended their relationship, but he never stopped loving Elizabeth. Years later, he reconciled with his maker and jumped in front of several bullets to save her, ending his own life. Donovan was a sympathetic character, but his inability to see the Countess for who she really was got tiring.
5 SAVED: FIONA GOODE AND THE AXEMAN, COVEN
The Axeman and Fiona Goode were both villains in American Horror Story: Coven, but their relationship was actually one of the highlights of the series' popular third season.
The Axeman's spirit was trapped in Miss Robichaux's Academy for nearly a decade, so he got to see Fiona grow up within the school and develop into a powerful witch and Supreme. He admired her strength and fell for her, so once he was released and given a physical presence by Zoe, Queenie, and Nan, he pursued a relationship with Fiona. She initially hesitated to reciprocate his feelings because of her disease and impending passing, but after some convincing, they entered into a steamy romance. Unfortunately, Fiona was incapable of really loving anyone other than herself, so she used her new beau to help her stall for time until she could eliminate the next Supreme.
4 HURT: MADISON MONTGOMERY AND KYLE SPENCER, COVEN
Emma Roberts and Evan Peters were dating in real life when they were both cast in Coven, but fans never took a liking to their characters' relationship during that season.
Madison Montgomery's carelessness and refusal to use her witch powers responsibly led to Kyle Spencer's untimely demise. After she encouraged Zoe to piece Kyle together and bring him back to life, Madison immediately became jealous of Kyle and Zoe's relationship. She was able to seduce Kyle for a brief period of time, but even though she initially claimed that her moments with Kyle were the only ones where she actually felt anything, it became clear she was just using him. Luckily, Kyle eventually came to his senses and made it clear that he only wanted to be with Zoe.
3 SAVED: ZOE BENSON AND KYLE SPENCER, COVEN
The amazing chemistry between Evan Peters and Taissa Farmiga in American Horror Story's first season was a major contributor in its success, so it wasn't surprising when the show's writers paired them together again. Since Tate and Violet didn't quite work out, Coven gave fans a chance to see the actors finally get a happy ending together.
Kyle spent a majority of the season unable to really communicate, but that didn't make his character any less endearing. Viewers tuned in each week hoping he and Zoe would figure out a way to be together, and when he finally proclaimed his love for the young witch and spurned Madison's advances, audiences rejoiced. Zoe and Kyle aren't quite as beloved as Violet and Tate, but they're still one of the best couples in AHS history.
2 HURT: BEN HARMON AND HAYDEN MCCLAINE, SEASON 1
The only thing worse than seeing Ben Harmon continually ruin his marriage was watching him interact with Hayden, the vindictive young student he decided was more interesting to be with than his wife.
When Vivien grew distant from her husband after her miscarriage, Ben sought affection from Hayden and started having a relationship with her. Hayden became pregnant, and when Ben made it clear that he'd rather stay with his wife than be with her, she seemingly went mad. Larry Harvey ended her life while she was on the grounds of the Montgomery House, and her ghost proceeded to attack Vivien and attempt to get revenge on Ben. It's tragic that she was impregnated and left by the man she loved, but Hayden didn't make it particularly easy to like her.
1 SAVED: VOODOO QUEEN AND THE MINOTAUR, COVEN
Marie Laveau's tragic relationship with the frightening Minotaur in Coven was proof that true love is blind. When one of Delphine LaLaurie's daughters took advantage of the slave Bastien Laveau, the cruel socialite blamed Bastien. She forced another slave to place a hollowed-out bull's head over Bastien's, and his pained and muffled cries made him sound like the Minotaur of myth. He passed away, but Marie somehow managed to bring him back to life and grant him immortality as an actual minotaur.
Marie kept her former lover chained up, but he remained loyal to her and followed her every command. When Fiona decapitated the minotaur and sent his head back to Marie, the Voodoo Queen's tears and anger proved that she was still in love with her husband despite his scary form.
Who is your favorite couple from American Horror Story? Let us know in the comments!