A sitcom is short for Situational Comedy. So if there aren’t any situations to be laughed at and poke fun at, then there aren’t any sitcoms to be had. Some of the funniest sitcoms have some of the most ridiculous situations to deal with. The writer’s room on TV shows are also filled with a lot of zany and creative people. After all, they’re the ones coming up a lot of these storylines. They work with each other and the cast of their show to create compelling and funny bits for their characters to be a part of.
Every so often, there’s a big misstep in their writing that can lead a show down a bad road - “the darkest timeline,” as Abed Nadir might have said. While plenty of shows have overcome cast changes and wild storylines, their great runs are marred with asterisks. X show used to be so good until X happened, and then it just wasn’t the same.
Had Two And A Half Men called it quits when Charlie Sheen decided he was a spider monkey from the ninth ring of Saturn, they might be remembered a little more fondly than they were. Ashton Kutcher wasn’t bad, but the whole series changed focus. These issues in this piece, while not that bad, wound up giving fans some groan-inducing moments.
Here are 20 Couples That Iconic Sitcoms Are Trying To Make Us Forget.
20 Haley And Andy – Modern Family
Modern Family has been a juggernaut on TV for nearly a decade now. Chronicling the entire lives of the Pritchett-Dunphy clan and all of their triumphs and foibles; the series has helped to redefine a traditional sitcom. While most of their storylines have seemed natural and genuine, if not silly, one relationship remains a head-scratcher.
The eldest of the Dunphy kids, Haley was becoming slightly less vapid and began to fall for Andy, Gloria and Jay’s nanny. It was clear that the writers were trying to show that Haley was falling for someone like her dad, but these two just didn’t have any chemistry together.
19 Rachel And Joey – Friends
Plenty of articles like always include Ross and Rachel on this list. Sure, Friends’ most annoyingly frustrating couple would take the cake in real life. But in TV land, the constant on and off again of their relationship is right on par with a lot of television’s romances.
But Rachel and Joey? C’mon Friends writers, you’re supposedly better than that. By the show’s middle seasons, perhaps they decided there was only so many times Joey could say “how you doin?” and paired him up with the love of his best friend’s life.
18 Zoey And Ted – How I Met Your Mother
Only a series that was known for sending a heap of awful women Ted Mosby’s way could they make a likable actress like Jennifer Morrison pretty unlikeable. Every season on How I Met Your Mother, throngs Of bad choices were heaved in Ted’s way and there weren’t too many worse than Zoey.
For a guy who yearned for the kind of love that his friends had, Zoey was the complete opposite of that. First, she was married. Second, she tried to undermine the guy at every turn - while he had finally realized his dream of designing a building in New York City. Ted almost changed every one of his principles and his friendships for a girl who wasn’t even nice to him.
17 Stella And Ted – How I Met Your Mother
One of the constant problems on How I Met Your Mother was watching our hero, the hopeless and hapless romantic, Ted consistently circumvent his beliefs and his ideals to fast forward straight to the wife and kids part of life. Stella was one of the first girls that he completely gave up on his own love story for to join her’s.
Luckily, Stella would wind up back with her ex, even though it meant leaving Ted at the altar. Ted was left heartbroken, but viewers knew that he didn’t belong with Stella, the girl never even saw Star Wars.
16 Jackie And Fez – That 70's Show
High school is a strange place for dating. Even stranger on TV, when you have a finite cast of characters. Jackie on That 70’s Show pretty much ran the gamut of the dating scene during the series’ run. With the exception of Eric, she ran through all of the main characters.
While the two main boyfriends she had during the show were Hyde and Kelso, Fez is the one who never stopped creeping on Ms. Burkhardt. Besides the connotations this meant for Jackie, the pairing just didn’t feel right.
15 Susan And George – Seinfeld
Seinfeld might be the only show on this list, and in TV history where putting two completely incompatible people together was the joke. Most shows would use the chemistry between the couple and play up the opposites attract angle. But here, Susan and George just had no interest in one another.
Much of the seventh season of the show featured George trying every which way he could to get out of his engagement. Some of this was funny, some of it was proof that Larry David was just tired of writing the show.
14 Jess And Nick – New Girl
New Girl was one of those shows that crammed a new person (Jess) right into the lives of several lifelong friends (Schmidt, Coach, Winston, and Nick). The premise was simple enough - they needed a roommate and posted an ad, Jess answered. Instead of there being any sort of rivalry over who would get the girl, the five-some simply became friends.
Until it was apparent that Jess and Nick were warm for each other’s form. So they did why plenty of TV couples do. They deny their feelings until it’s too late, then act like they’ve been dumped, then circle around each other until finally hooking up. Then rinse and repeat. Perhaps this would’ve been fun to watch, but it changed the Nick character and completely zapped the fun out of Jess.
13 Penny And Leonard - The Big Bang Theory
Kaley Cuoco is so good at playing the preening, self-centered, but sometimes sweet girl next door, Penny. So good that it’s hard to remember, she’s probably not that vapid in real life, but boy, was Penny kind of mean to Leonard for the first few years of The Big Bang Theory.
You’d have to assume that she knew full well what she was doing, or at least how much Leonard liked her. It finally paid off for the little guy when they finally married several years ago. However, it was painful to watch Leonard sheepishly devote himself to Penny no matter how bad she treated him.
12 Chelsea And Charlie – Two And A Half Men
Charlie Harper was a jingle writer with a heart of gold, and a voracious appetite for women and womanizing. The entire series, Two And A Half Men was putting a recent divorcee and his kid into Charlie’s hedonistic environment. Towards the end of Charlie Sheen’s run on the show, the writers decided to ask, “what if Charlie Harper settled down?”
He met, fell for, and proposed to Chelsea. But from that point on until Sheen’s meltdown, the core of the show had already changed. Charlie wasn’t supposed to care, and now he did. The series became just like any other sitcom on TV.
11 Britta And Troy – Community
In the world of Community, seemingly anything could happen. Thanks to Abed and his wild imagination, it usually did. One of the stranger storylines on the show even he couldn’t have dreamt up with was Abed’s friend Troy dating Britta.
However, even for this show, this pairing was totally weird. It so weird that even they seemingly knew that and the characters both forgot their anniversary. Troy and Abed even pretended to switch bodies so that Troy could avoid the topic.
10 Mindy And Ben – The Mindy Project
After her run on The Office ended, Mindy Kaling went out on her own sitcom, aptly-titled, The Mindy Project. Kaling took her unique brand of comedy to her own quirkiness in the workplace sitcom.
Towards the end of the series, she wound up shacking up and then marrying Nurse Ben. Ben is content with his decision to marry. However, Mindy is just not used to being in that kind of a life, nor is she a domestic goddess. If the goal was to bore viewers and make them feel uncomfortable, then the story was a great success.
9 Pam And Roy – The Office
Pam and Jim would wind up having one of the most heartwarming romances in recent TV memory on The Office. But the couple’s beginnings on the show weren’t that rosy. Pam was dating Roy from the warehouse when the series first began, and a huge obstacle in the way for our two favorite Dunder-Mifflin employees.
It wouldn’t have been so awful to sit through had it not gone on for three seasons, or if Roy been a nicer person to Pam, and everyone else. Or that she and Jim were just made for one another.
8 Ann And Tom – Parks And Recreation
Only on TV would a pairing as awkward as Ann and Tom take place. Supposedly, opposites attract, but this was just plain ridiculous. No one wanted it to happen, and it lasted way too long for anyone to even bother to pretend to care.
She can’t stand the little guy and is annoyed by everything he does. They stayed together just because of a bet and what their coworkers might think, not to mention break up at nearly every turn. While this all could have been used for some funny scenes, it was just strange to watch.
7 Donna And Randy – That 70’s Show
Sometimes a TV show needs to know when to call it quits, which is usually when the top stars start to leave. That 70’s Show lost not one, but two of their male leads to part-time heading into the seventh season and they would both be just about done for the eighth and final season.
So, the writers did what most shows do - try to introduce a new character to balance out everything. Randy Pearson wasn’t an awful addition to the series per se, but he wasn’t Eric or Kelso. We didn’t grow up with him for seven years. So, when he put his stinking paws on Donna, it just seemed completely icky.
6 Rebecca And Sam – Cheers
Going into the way back machine, back to TV’s most famous bar - Cheers. The show lasted 11 years and garnered countless awards and accolades. It made stars out of Ted Danson, Woody Harrelson, Kirstie Alley, and several others over the course of the series’ run. Danson played bartender, Sam Malone. Diane was the uptight student opposed to Sam’s hijinks.
By season five, actress Shelly Long (Diane) left the show, and Alley was brought in to fill the void. Try as she might, but plenty of fans just missed the banter between Sam and Diane.
5 Kelly And Zack – Saved By The Bell
Plenty of us ate our Fruit Loops and watched our Saturday Morning Cartoons. But then right after those ended, we watched the exploits of Zack Morris and his buddies on Saved By The Bell. What used to seem like harmless mischief on Zack’s behalf, becomes comically awful thanks to FunnyOrDie’s Zack Morris Is Trash web series.
The guy was a total jerk to Kelly (and just about everyone else). Imagine if you finally landed the girl of your dreams and then treated her like anything less than a queen. The guy just couldn’t help himself always try to do the wrong thing by everyone. Why Kelly stayed with him is something that could (hopefully) only happen on TV.
4 Maddie And David – Moonlighting
Maddie (Cybill Shepherd) and David (Bruce Willis) from Moonlighting are the OGs of “will they or won’t they” television. It wasn’t your typical sitcom, the dramedy featured the two stars as private detectives who clearly liked one another, but always held back from acting on it.
However, when they finally did, fans initially liked it. But then ratings dropped. The creator doesn’t think the event led to a decline in viewership, but the series didn’t last much longer after that. Evidentially, the romantic tension was far better than the actual romantic relationship.
3 Daphne And Niles – Frasier
The spin-off to Cheers, Frasier allowed Kelsey Grammar to continue to play Dr. Frasier Crane for eleven years on that show. Combined, he’s one of the longest lasting live-action characters on TV. But his series wasn’t without the misstep or finally putting Daphne and Niles together.
It was a case of watching two people finally get together, but it turned out to be just not as exciting as watching them pine for one another. Once they got together, the writers tossed aside much of what made their romance interesting in the first place - them pining for one another.
2 Taylor And Ryan – The O.C.
The O.C. was one of TV’s biggest dramedies for several years. It filled the void for a hot teen drama show left by Beverly Hills, 90210 but thanks to comical characters like Seth, Summer, and later on Taylor, the show played more like a comedy than a high stakes teen drama.
After Marissa passed away, the entire show went bobsledding downhill. The core four characters were done, and the writers tried to inject Taylor more and more into Ryan’s life. The relationship seemed like one more of consequence than two people who genuinely liked one another.
1 Pam And Louie - Louie
For anyone who is a single parent and has friends with other single parents, attraction can happen sometimes. On Louie, the show’s titular character constantly pined for, and flirted with his other single parent friend, Pamela. Because of how realistic the series was, it was hard not to fall for Pam ourselves and still feel bad for Louie.
However, never once did she lead him on at all. She in fact constantly told him she wasn’t interested in a romantic relationship, and she knew full well he did want one. However, that didn’t stop the lovelorn half-sack Louie and in the episode of “Pamela, Part 1,” Louie crossed a line that no one should ever; which made the rest of the series uncomfortable to watch.
Are there any more iconic sitcom couples that you are trying to forget? Let us know in the comments!