The CW is television's ultimate source for irresistible melodrama, and the biggest reason for that are the various CW couples. From fleeting romances to iconic partners, the shows on this network are notorious for creating different pairs of characters to see how their relationships unfold.
Because no relationship — romantic or not — is interesting to watch without drama, it's pretty likely that any given couple on screen will break up or be teased out - or both. On certain shows, that's actually a good thing, because some couples can be so bad that they flat-out ruin their TV show.
Sometimes, it's because viewers know that one of these characters is destined to be with another person, so they root against it. Other times, the couple completely lacks chemistry, making them a bad fit for one another. Other relationships can be downright problematic for a show.
The CW is no stranger to any of these scenarios, but the network can boast some pretty amazing couples as well. In these cases, these characters make the show better simply by being together. Their chemistry is undeniable, and fans support the relationship because they know it's meant to be.
Here are 8 Couples That Ruined CW Shows (and 7 That Saved Them).
15 Ruined: Serena and Dan (Gossip Girl)
Gossip Girl doesn't shy away from its melodramatic relationships, but Dan and Serena turned into more of a trope than a genuine couple.
Dan was the "lonely boy;" the smart, funny, relatable guy who just wanted to get the girl. He and Serena, a girl looking for redemption and a fresh start, felt like a perfect fit. For awhile, their relationship was cute, but because no relationship can last in a teen drama, they inevitably broke up. Then they got back together, then broke up again, then got back together.
This relationship turned into an endless "will they/won't they" cycle that sucked all the tension out of it.
Plus. Dan's father and Serena's had a lovechild - Dana and Serena's shared half-brother - and even got married to each other at one point. Oh, and it bizarrely turned out that Dan was secretly Gossip Girl and had been stalking Serena for years.
14 Saved: Alex and Maggie (Supergirl)
Alex and Maggie's relationship is simultaneously the most real and most tragic relationship on Supergirl. That's also what makes it one of the best CW relationships.
Alex first meets Maggie while the two are investigating an assassination attempt on the President. After some initial skepticism over one another's intentions, the two strike up a friendship that eventually turns romantic. This also leads to Alex's realization that she is a lesbian, which leads to a compelling and meaningful story arc for her.
The two seem like an excellent match with great chemistry.
They briefly get engaged, but Alex later learns that Maggie doesn't want children. Their differing wants in life ultimately lead to their breakup, but that doesn't change the impact the relationship had on the show.
13 Ruined: Rory and Logan (Gilmore Girls)
Logan was Rory's rich, privileged college boyfriend. Rory completely rejects him at first, believing him to be a player. However, she eventually warms up to him and the two begin an ill-advised relationship.
Logan is partially responsible for Rory's decision to take a break from college, since it was his father who told Rory that she may not have what it takes to be a journalist. This causes a sizable rift between Rory and Lorelei, and leads Rory to commit a crime by trying to steal a yacht.
Rory ultimately rejects Logan's marriage proposal (thankfully), but he resurfaces in A Year in the Life, where the two have an affair despite being in other relationships. The show gives Logan far too much screen time for being one of Rory's least interesting relationships.
12 Saved: Jughead and Betty (Riverdale)
Riverdale would not be as popular as it is today without Jughead Jones and Betty Cooper. Their connection is heartfelt and feels more real than any established relationship from the comics.
On the surface, these characters don't seem like an obvious match. Jughead is brooding and introverted, while Betty is upbeat and bright. However, the two both have a darkness within them that often bubbles to the surface. This helps them build common ground with one another.
On top of that, Cole Sprouse and Lili Reinhart are arguably the best actors on the show.
Their chemistry with one another is completely natural.
Jughead and Betty's relationship isn't without its bumps — particularly as Jughead gets more involved with the Southside Serpents — but their love is undeniable and a focal point of the series.
11 Ruined: Kara and Mon-El (Supergirl)
Kara and Mon-El's relationship is one that you initially want to root for, until the show stretches it out so much that this storyline gets completely stripped of almost all dramatic tension.
Mon-El crash lands into the show in a pod similar to Kara's. The two share a similar past, with both their home planets having been destroyed.
The show tries to pass Mon-El off as the reluctant hero who just needs a little help from Kara. They enter that familiar cycle of not recognizing their feelings, only to realize them too late. Th whole relationship falls apart after Kara defeats Mon-El's mother, banning Mon-El from Earth in the process.
Kara spends much of season 3 dealing with that decision, and even more so when Mon-El returns with his new wife, Imra. A love triangle is beneath Kara, and so is this relationship.
10 Saved: Haley and Nathan (One Tree Hill)
Nathan and Haley are one of the most iconic CW couples. What's refreshing about their relationship is that on One Tree Hill, they never fall into the teen-drama relationship pattern that we're all so used to seeing.
Rather than spending several seasons to reveal whether the two fall in love and get married, Haley and Nathan get married in the first season while still in high school. Not many people can say their relationship lasted after that point, but Haley and Nathan survived the best and worst of what the show threw at them and remained together through season nine.
The show didn't make things easy for them. From their differing life goals to Nathan's back injury, and raising their two children, Haley and Nathan endured a lot. Their relationship is put to the test in unexpected ways, which makes "Naley" that much easier to root for.
9 Ruined: Archie and Ms. Grundy (Riverdale)
There are bad relationships, and then there are relationships that are downright problematic. Archie's relationship with Ms. Geraldine Grundy was all that and more on Riverdale.
At the start of the series, Archie is a sophomore in high school, while Ms. Grundy is his high school music teacher. The two engaged in an affair that previous summer and rekindle their romance when Archie goes back to school, and the two become involved in the investigation of Jason Blossom's murder.
Their relationship is wrong on so many levels.
Not only is Archie underage, but Ms. Grundy is also his superior at school. This makes their relationship very, very illegal — a point that the show never fully acknowledges.
None of the drama associated with that relationship excuses the emotional abuse Ms. Grundy caused Archie. This "couple" is gross and inappropriate.
8 Saved: Clark and Lois (Smallville)
Clark and Lois' relationship is iconic in its own right, but Smallville created what is arguably the deepest, most fleshed-out version of the couple ever put to screen.
Given the pair's extensive comic book history, it was no surprise to any fan that Clark and Lois would eventually end up together. It wasn't a question of "if," but a question of "when." The show had fun playing with their dynamic, especially when Lois kisses the Green Arrow, who at that moment was actually Clark in disguise.
Clark and Lois started out as bickering friends, but everyone around them could see that the two had chemistry.
Their relationship evolved as they grew closer, until they finally become a couple in season nine. Smallville took its time setting up the relationship, making the payoff that much more meaningful.
7 Ruined: Sam and Amelia (Supernatural)
Sam and Amelia's relationship made sense on the surface. At the time, both of these characters had lost someone they cared about — Dean was in purgatory, and Amelia's husband Don was presumed dead. In that sense, the two provided comfort for one another in their time of need.
Their shared grief is just not enough to get over the fact that the two lacked chemistry.
Supernatural tries to amp up the tension when Amelia's husband is revealed to be alive. Sam, being the gentleman that he is, tries to step aside to let them be together. Yet, he returns to her again for a brief affair.
It felt like one of those relationships that the show wants you to root for, but ultimately, it just doesn't work and drags the show down.
6 Saved: Jane and Michael (Jane the Virgin)
CW couples are synonymous with heartbreak, but with Jane and Michael from Jane the Virgin, this concept takes on a whole new meaning.
At the beginning of the series, the couple get engaged after two years of dating. However, Jane's accidental artificial insemination complicates things, especially when Rafael, the father of the child, enters the picture.
Jane and Michael end their engagement, and enter into a somewhat on-again/off-again relationship. For Michael, though, Jane would always be the love of his life. When the two get married at the end of season two, it seems like they finally get their happy ending, but this all comes crashing down when Michael dies from an aortic dissection following a gunshot wound.
This relationship was dramatic and beautiful, making it a focal point of the show.
5 Ruined: Clarke and Finn (The 100)
Clarke has had multiple relationships and friendships over the course of the series, but her connection to Finn always felt forced.
Finn starts off as one of the "bad boys" of the series, and immediately strikes up a friendship with Clarke when they and the rest of "The 100" crash land on Earth. They seem like a good fit at first, but that quickly changes when Raven — Finn's girlfriend from the Ark — arrives on Earth. The three enter into a love triangle, which never turns out well for any character.
Things grow worse when Finn eliminates an entire village of Grounders in season two while looking for Clarke. This shows his obsessive and violent nature when it comes to Clarke and causes the show to take an unnecessarily dark, brutal turn. The Grounders sentence him to death for his crimes, where Clarke herself ends his life swiftly.
4 Saved: Clarke and Lexa (The 100)
What was interesting about Clarke and Lexa's relationship is that it started out as antagonistic. Clarke serves as the leader of the Sky People, while Lexa is the leader of the Grounder — two groups in constant, often violent opposition to one another.
Despite this, the two eventually share mutual respect for one another. This connection turns romantic, creating a unique twist on the "star-crossed lovers" trope. It's this bond that propels the show forward throughout several seasons, and keeps the peace between their people for a while.
Like so many other CW couples, though, their love turns tragic when, after consummating their relationship, Lexa gets shot by her subordinate Titus — who was aiming for Clarke.
Their dynamic — while ultimately short-lived — created dramatic tension that elevated the main conflicts within the show. Lexa's death was huge, and its effect on Clarke was immeasurable.
3 Ruined: Lex and Lana (Smallville)
This CW couple almost feels self-explanatory. The mere idea of Lex Luthor and Lana Lang being a couple was strange and doomed from the start.
Throughout the first few seasons of Smallville, Lex and Lana's romantic tension was hinted at, but never fully acted upon until later. In season six, the two sleep together, and Lana learns she is pregnant. Shortly after, they get married — a very quick turn-around for being uncertain about their relationship before. Lana then discovers that Lex had been injecting her with hormones, thus faking her pregnancy.
This level of manipulation is incredibly unhealthy, even for a fictional couple.
Their relationship falls apart, but Lex's toxic love for Lana continues to persist for the majority of the series. The pair are uncomfortable to watch, and it's one that the show would have been better off without.
2 Saved: Barry and Iris (The Flash)
Behind Clark Kent and Lois Lane, Barry and Iris are probably the second most iconic comic book couple, so it's only fitting that they make such a great couple on The Flash.
Since they were children, Barry and Iris had always been there for one another. Their relationship continues to deepen after Barry gets his powers from the particle accelerator explosion, and thankfully, the show doesn't wait too long to let Iris in on the secret.
Their strong friendship forms the base for a strong relationship — and eventually a marriage.
Barry and Iris are each other's tether, pulling one another out of difficult and life-threatening situations. As they tell each other in the latest season, "We are the Flash." Without them, the show wouldn't be as great as it is.
1 Ruined: Oliver and Felicity (Arrow)
Talk about a couple that actually derailed a great TV show. Arguably no other couple is a better example of that than Oliver and Felicity in Arrow.
In the first two seasons, the two shared a fun, sometimes comedic working relationship that kept the show from becoming too dark. However, the moment the show started to explore a romantic relationship in season three, the show took a downward turn that grew sharper in season four — the worst season to date — when they became a full-on couple.
The show focused more on their romance than Oliver being a hero.
The storylines became noticeably better in season five — when the two were not together — but with the developments in season six, it looks like Oliver and Felicity are the end game, unfortunately.
The pair worked better as friends, because their relationship overshadows everything else in the show.
What's your favorite CW couple? Let us know in the comments!
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