For ten seasons, Smallville chronicled the adolescence and adulthood of Clark Kent, the man who would become Superman.
While it was very much every bit a superhero origin story, there's no denying that the series also had its fair share of soapy elements. After all, it aired on The WB and The CW, networks best known for programs aimed at teenagers.
Since the series catered to that demographic, it's no surprise that much of the non-superheroic elements of the series revolved around romantic relationships, love triangles, breakups, and the like.
Some of these relationships happened during high school, and therefore, the eye roll-inducing storylines were to be expected.
However, some of the worst relationships of them all came when the characters were full grown adults, capable of knowing better, being better, and just not being all around messes.
Thankfully, for every bad relationship the series somehow thought was worth exploring, a genuinely enjoyable relationship would almost always take its place.
Whether the relationships were meant to last or not, the series did eventually find its footing, producing some love stories worth remembering fondly.
Here are 11 Couples That Hurt Smallville (And 9 That Saved It).
Girl likes boy. Boy like girl. Boy is a shy, nerdy photojournalist, while girl is a teenage alien who understands nothing about the human world. What could possibly go wrong?
The relationship between Kara Kent and Jimmy Olsen was a confusing misstep for the series.
Their connection was never believable, beyond the obvious cliché of nerdy boy getting the pretty girl, and the chemistry was never, ever there.
It didn't help that their relationship, brief as it was, was clearly only ever meant as a road block in the story between Jimmy and Chloe, a relationship that developed with far more nuance and natural connection than the one between the Kryptonian and Jimmy ever had been.
What could possibly go wrong when spoiled half-siblings wind up getting together?
Smallville was making the most of dark and soapy sibling romances long before Game of Thrones did on HBO.
The alternate reality world of Clark Luthor provided a glimpse at what Clark could have turned out to be had he been raised by Lionel Luthor, and not the endlessly compassionate Kent family.
As Tess Mercer is revealed to be Lionel's secret daughter, there's no way to ignore the ick factor that comes with this entire dynamic.
However, making matters worse is the fact that Clark Luthor is ruthless, violent, and utterly without anything remotely healthy or sympathetic.
Even if Tess isn't the best character Smallville ever created, she never deserved anything that Clark Luthor put her through.
Is it really a teen drama series if one best friend doesn't spend half the series longing for another, only to have their affections never be returned?
It's one of the oldest clichés in the book, and unfortunately a trope that Smallville relied far too heavily on during its establishment of Clark and Chloe's friendship in the first few seasons of the series.
The duo always worked far better as friends and partners in investigating freaks of the week, along with Pete and later Lois, than they ever did as a romantic possibility.
No matter how many wistful moments the series tried to shoehorn in, their chemistry always came across as much more akin to siblings than lovers - and thankfully, the series learned how to move on from that idea.
We're not sure what it says that one of the few times Lana was given a good storyline, it involved a relationship that would ultimately turn out to be a horrible mistake.
Nevertheless, even if Jason and Lana would eventually spiral out of control once Jason's true intentions were revealed, there's no denying that Jason's character added a lot to Lana's storyline.
For the first time, Lana had a romantic foil with whom she shared real on screen chemistry, as Kristin Kreuk and Jensen Ackles felt far more believable opposite one another than Kreuk ever did with Tom Welling or Eric Johnson.
Her time with Jason also made her a wiser, more worldly person, for better or worse.
Few relationships have such bordering on abusive a premise as this one. Davis Bloome, eventually revealed to be the host of the legendary DC villain Doomsday, has struggled with violent tendencies for quite some time.
However, somehow, around Chloe, the violent urges go away, and he can be "himself" again.
Looking past the absurd, alarming connotations of this codependent development, Chloe and Davis's relationship couldn't have come at a worse time.
Putting endless strain on Chloe's relationship, and eventual engagement, to Jimmy Olsen, her toxic connection with Davis would lead to one of the worst decisions the show ever made.
It would be Davis himself who was ultimately responsible for Jimmy's tragic end, an unforgivable act that prevents any possible redeeming qualities from being found in this mess of a relationship.
Sometimes, relationships really are star-crossed from the beginning. Clark and Alicia were one of the series' most volatile relationships, even in the brief time that they were actually together.
Initially, Alicia's means of winning Clark over were less than reputable, given her reliance on Kryptonite to get him to do what she wanted.
However, despite her occasionally sketchy ways, there's no denying that Alicia was one of the first people to offer Clark something that very few people ever could: acceptance.
She was able to understand him, the parts of himself that he very rarely let anyone know about. From one Kryptonite freak to another, their connection was genuine, sweet, and made for some of the series' most adorable couple-related moments.
However, since Alicia entered the series as someone who posed a threat to the status quo, it came as no surprise when their relationship met an untimely, permanent end.
Nothing says romantic like being forced into an uncomfortably tense dynamic with a zombified stalker.
Somehow, that's actual logic used by Smallville, which found Lana Lang entering into a flirty friendship for a brief time with Adam Knight, played by future Lost and The Vampire Diaries star Ian Somerhalder.
What at first seemed like an innocent enough connection between two people working through physical rehab training soon turned very much darker.
It was revealed that Adam was a previously deceased individual brought back to life by Lionel Luthor in order to spy on Clark and Lana back in Smallville.
It suffices to say that Lana wasn't exactly thrilled to learn of this development.
Smallville never really was very good at the whole first love thing. Teenage relationships were often overly melodramatic or lasted for far too long, sometimes even into adulthood.
Few of these first love relationships contributed anything of worth to any of the characters or the series as a whole.
One of the only young love relationships that felt genuine and sweet was, ironically, one of the few unrequited dynamics the show briefly explored.
Pete Ross and Chloe Sullivan were always depicted as the best of friends, but Chloe was too lovesick with her crush on Clark to ever give Pete the time of day in that way.
However, that didn't stop Pete from secretly loving her from afar throughout their high school years, something that he admitted was his best kept secret when he finally impulsively kissed her.
Few characters have been less smoothly integrated into a long-running series than Tess Mercer.
From the very beginning, her personality was in direct conflict with almost everyone's, and her eventually revealed connection to the Luthor clan would always make her impossible to trust.
It was with her relationship with Oliver, however, that the show finally tried to make her somewhat sympathetic.
Through their shared history on the island, and their instances of saving each other and falling for each other, Smallville was clearly trying to set them up as some sort of destined to be couple... at least for a little while.
However, their storyline was never interesting enough to merit the amount of screen time that it received.
Their characters were too stubborn, too incompatible, and ultimately lacked the necessary chemistry and connection to make any meaningful relationship possible.
Nerd girl meets nerd boy. Nerd girl and nerd boy fall in love. Nerd boy and nerd girl get swept up into the world of superheroes and villains and find themselves an unlikely team of heroes in their own way, reporting and photographing the latest breaking stories.
The relationship between Chloe and Jimmy was far and away the strongest one that the series ever allowed Chloe to have.
In Jimmy, she found someone who finally fully respected her and her talents, who saw her for who she was, and who didn't always consider her just a friend.
Their marriage was a truly joyful moment for the show - one of very few of them, at that - and their union was all too brief, following the unfortunate plot line involving Chloe and Davis Bloome.
It's inevitable that long-running series based on comic books are going to do weird things with established characters and the relationships they find themselves in.
However, perhaps one of the weirdest - and, thankfully, the briefest - romantic digressions the series took was the choice to pair Lois Lane with none other than Arthur Curry, Aquaman himself, for a single episode.
As AC, Arthur was depicted as a spoiled, spacy surfer bro - someone who didn't at all work with Lois's tough as nails personality.
Their chemistry was never right, and although it offered an opportunity to open Lois up as a potential romantic lead going forward, it was definitely a good decision on the series' part to leave their missed connection as just that.
It wouldn't have been easy for anyone to come in and be Martha's new love interest after Jonathan's untimely, tragic end.
However, Perry White had a considerable and truly adorable advantage when the series revealed in season nine that the veteran journalist and Martha were now a couple.
Michael McKean, who played the future Editor in Chief of the Daily Planet, has been married to Annette O'Toole since 1999. O'Toole, of course, played Martha Kent on the series.
Due to their natural chemistry, it was entirely believable that these two would work as a couple.
While no one would ever compare, at least in fans' eyes, to the man that Jonathan Kent was, it was a safe bet that the series took in putting Martha together with Perry, when O'Toole and McKean had a lifetime of chemistry to back them up.
As if it wasn't bad enough that the series saddled Oliver with the on again, off again with Tess for years, insult was only added to injury when they made the choice to have him end up with Chloe.
By the end of the series, there were really only a few lead characters left on the show, and Clark and Lois were clearly meant to be and therefore were off limits.
As a result of the process of elimination, the powers that be behind the scenes somehow decided that these two characters, who had never previously shown any remote interest in or attraction to each other, were destined to be together.
The pairing never made any remote narrative sense.
With Chloe shoehorned into the role at Watchtower, the series had to make her a quasi hero in order to make their interactions possible and plausible, albeit totally unrealistic nonetheless.
To be fair, this pairing very well could have been considered part of Clark and Lois on this list.
However, the storyline that the series used of Lois investigating the identity of The Blur, and having various missed connections and mysterious romantic moments with Clark's alter ego, brought a whole new level of excitement and chemistry to the pair's relationship.
Even the few times Lois found herself heading down the wrong paths, pursuing the wrong person whom she believed to be The Blur, the plot was re-energized and gave audiences a relationship with real, impending stakes to keep track of.
By the time the truth of The Blur's identity was revealed to Lois, it didn't just serve as long-awaited payoff for her relationship with Clark, but also was a payoff of her long-running investigation into The Blur's real identity.
You'd be hard pressed to find a more toxic relationship than the one between Lana Lang and Lex Luthor.
Lex's interest in Lana begins out of jealousy, verging on obsession, when she is still the teenage girlfriend of his onetime best friend, Clark Kent.
Over time, the two grew closer, forming a real friendship that somehow developed into something more.
By season six, they were married, and things seemed like they could work out between them, despite Lex's growing evil side.
However, as a sickening plot revealed, Lex injected Lana time and again with hormones to make her think she was pregnant, and therefore, potentially trap her in their relationship.
If that doesn't scream unbearably toxic, we don't know what does.
Aquaman wasn't the only member of the Justice League that the series put Lois together with before she and Clark got their act together and made it work.
However, unlike with Arthur Curry, Lois found a far more suitable match in the Green Arrow himself, formerly spoiled billionaire Oliver Queen.
The couple had intense chemistry from the moment they met, and it was inevitable that their relationship was an extremely passionate one.
Even though they weren't able to make it work in the long run, mainly since Lois wasn't yet ready to be with someone who had a double life, the two remained incredibly close friends, trusting one another almost more than anyone else in some of the series' most crucial moments from then on.
Pairing the person who represents the voice of reason with the person who embodies the true looming danger is always an appealing idea for any story. It provides tension, raises the stakes, and generally ups the ante for all level of interest in the story.
However, any and all attempts at making Lionel Luthor a sympathetic romantic lead could not have been more misguided.
His friendship with Martha Kent allowed for some of the series' most surprisingly kindhearted moments, particularly when he was blind.
However, as their relationship edged toward something less innocent, it was impossible to support the direction that the series was taking them - especially when compared with the depiction of Jonathan and Martha's relationship.
It's rare to find a couple that feels so immediately believable, so completely realistic, and so utterly compassionate and loving as Jonathan and Martha Kent did on Smallville.
From the series' very beginning, the strength of their marriage is foregrounded, and they withstand everything that comes their way - whether in the form of a little boy that they find after a meteor shower, Luthor schemes, or political campaigns.
Jonathan's tragic end is a dark moment for the series as a whole, and its after effects linger on for years and years to come.
However, it's the absence of this couple's natural warmth and kindness that leaves one of the biggest holes in the series' second half - and one that the series never quite fills.
Sometimes, young love lasts far longer than it should. In certain cases, the overly long relationship can even lead to a real decrease in overall quality of a series.
For some reason, Smallville felt it necessary to drag out the on again, off again relationship between Clark and his original crush, Lana Lang, for nearly eight whole seasons.
The pair may have been suited for one another when they were young and naive and unaware of what the world was really like, but as they grew older, and closer to the people they were ultimately meant to be, it was clear that things were never going to be right between them - and that maybe they never really were.
Particularly unforgivable was the continuation of their flirtation following Lana's destructive relationship with Lex.
Few couples have ever had a more genuine, more emotionally compelling romantic development on television than Smallville's version of longtime soulmates Clark Kent and Lois Lane.
From the moment Erica Durance boarded the series in the recurring role of Lois Lane in season four, it was clear that the show had finally found something special - and further, it discovered what had been missing from it all along.
As the two bantered and sparked their way from being frenemies to friends to partners and eventually lovers, each step along the journey was just as rewarding as the next.
Although the series definitely took its sweet time revealing the truth of Clark's powers to Lois, there's no denying that the development of the couple was natural, romantic, and everything that so epic a love story rightfully deserves.
Which couples were your favorite or least favorite on Smallville? Let us know in the comments!