10 Of The Most Cringeworthy Romances On TV

From The Office to Friends, many timeless shows have introduced us to some awesome romances. But some of them are just downright cringey...

Sometimes, TV can bring us some of the best romances ever. Beautiful dynamics such as Brooklyn Nine-Nine's Jake and Amy, Friends' Monica and Chandler, The Office's Jim and Pam, Grey's Anatomy's Derek and Meredith, and so many more - are considered to be the best of the best, when it comes to television romances.

The aforementioned relationships were very well-written and often healthy and admirable, making audiences everywhere swoon. Those romances are treasured by fans everywhere.

And then there are the less-than-swoon-worthy romances. The relationships no one ever asked for. The romance feels contrived, the chemistry is fake, and every scene that features these two characters makes us cringe and feel that awful secondhand embarrassment.

While there are a lot of great romances on TV, there is also no shortage of completely cringe-worthy ones, so let's take a look at them.


Caterina Scorsone and Kevin McKidd as Amelia Shepherd and Owen Hunt in Grey's Anatomy

Owen struck up a romance with Amelia shortly after Cristina made the move from Seattle to Switzerland. This was received by audiences as a fairly distasteful move on Owen's part, but the relationship that he and Amelia would eventually have, only made matters worse.

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In typical Grey's style, these two had an on-again-off-again dynamic, sometimes being madly in love with each other, and other times hating each other with a fiery passion. Neither of these two faces of Owen and Amelia's romance were very appealing, though. When they fought, it felt forced. When they were in love, it felt contrived. This romance has been featured in several seasons of Grey's, but most fans still are not rooting for these two.


Friends did a lot of good things during its extensive life on TV. The series had several well-written storylines, and featured a wonderful cast of fleshed out, multidimensional characters. This show did a lot of things right, but that doesn't mean that the crew didn't make their share of slip-ups during the years the series aired.

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In the later seasons of Friends, many viewers noticed a very significant decrease in quality, regarding both storylines and character development. One of the most infamous, terribly received plots that Friends writers came up with, was a romance between Rachel and Joey. Given the duo's long history as close friends, and the nature of their platonic, familial-feeling bond, a romantic relationship between them just felt very wrong.


Carrie and Mr. Big had the most significant, famous romance on Sex And The City. But just because this couple is very well-known, doesn't mean that their relationship was good or well-written, by any means. Sure, this couple had their redeeming moments. Sometimes they made us swoon, but mostly, they just made us cringe.

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A notable thing that most fans have against this relationship is the fact the Mr. Big left Carrie at the altar. That's...bad, no matter how you slice it.


Ezekiel and Carol break up on The Walking Dead season 9

The Walking Dead isn't exactly strong in the relationship department. The show actually rarely features very many romantic relationships - at least at one time. When two characters do have a romantic connection, the writers usually find some way to screw it up.

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The build-up to Carol and Ezekiel's romance was virtually non-existent. This is the case for several Walking Dead romances - as most relationships seem to materialize out of the blue, rather than being built on a proper foundation. There was really not a whole lot of development put into Carol and Ezekiel's romantic relationship, but there definitely was a notable cringe-factor.


Since most fans considered Meredith's epic romance with Derek to be one for the ages, any relationship Meredith would have after Derek's death, would understandably pale in comparison. While this is definitely the case for Meredith's love affair with fellow surgeon, Nathan Riggs, there are so many more reasons to detest this relationship.

For one, it seemed that Grey's writers couldn't really make up their minds on whether or not Nathan was a jerk. In one episode, he'd be portrayed as a cheating ass, and in the next, the writers would play the sympathy card for him. Due to the glaring personality flaws with the character, he and Meredith just never seemed that compatible. Sparks never really flew, no matter how hard Grey's writers tried to force it.


The Walking Dead Season 8 Honor Rick Michonne Carl Burial

As aforementioned, romance is not one of The Walking Dead's strengths. The hit zombie drama is good at many things, including evoking scares (and sometimes laughs) from their audience. But from all the romantic relationships that have been featured in the show's nine seasons, the good ones are few and far between.

Rick and Michonne's dynamic is sometimes regarded in a positive light, with many fans calling them the "power couple" of the show. This relationship definitely could have been something amazing, but it's due to the writers' weaknesses when it comes to portraying romance, that this couple falls short.


For a sitcom, The Office's portrayal of romantic relationships was something very admirable. They often held back in the comedy department when it came to writing romance, just enough so that the bonds would feel real.

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While most of The Office's romances were completely adorable, there were, of course, a few that were simply...not. In season 7, The Senator (aka Robert Lipton) is introduced, and thus, his and Angela's romance began. This relationship thankfully ended before the series did, but is still regarded today as one of the worst storylines on The Office.


The Umbrella Academy - Leonard Peabody

The Umbrella Academy has already seen massive success, with its first season airing on Netflix just a few months ago. In those ten episodes, viewers were given the chance to fall in love with the Hargreeves siblings and their dysfunctional but endearing way of life.

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Vanya, for most of the season, is portrayed as the meek, underdog of her family. She is quiet, analytical, and reserved. Not many people noticed her, so when Leonard did, it was a big deal for her. As revealed later in the season, Leonard was not who he appeared to be, and this whole thing kind of overshadowed just how cringey their short-lived romance really was.


Good Omens Anathema Device and Newt Pulsifer

Neil Gaiman's Amazon Prime mini-series was very well-received for its humor, creativity, and wondrous aspects. Good Omens is a beautiful show, some parts scary, some parts gripping, some parts downright hilarious.

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There was a lot of material packed into the first season, making six episodes feel more like ten. Due to the fact that the series had such a limited amount of time and such a large amount of topics to cover, some things understandably felt rushed. Anathema Device and Newton Pulsifer were, separately, two great, intriguing characters. But when their romance ultimately took off, things felt a bit forced and rather cringey.


Stranger Things 3 Trailer - Eleven and Mike Kiss

Stranger Things is a carefully devised, intricately written show. It's clear that the crew no exactly what they want to say with this series, and their confidence is one of the reasons why Stranger Things has been so wildly successful.

One of the less tasteful and alluring aspects of the series, though, comes from the relationship between Mike and Eleven. The duo is two of the most major characters in the show, and in the first season, they had an adorable friendship. The second season presented this friendship blossoming into a romance, and the third season appears to take that even farther. Mike and El are cute kids, but that's all they are: kids. Their friendship was great, but their romance can't help but feel a little cringeworthy.

NEXT: Stranger Things: 10 Things That Make No Sense About Eleven

Next Friends: 10 Hidden Details About Chandler & Joey's Apartment You Never Noticed