When it comes to teen dramas, nothing sparks debate quite like the relationships between characters, especially when those relationships become romantic.
Did you cross your fingers that Veronica would wind up with Piz instead of Logan on Veronica Mars? While watching Buffy the Vampire Slayer, were you Team Angel or Team Spike? In terms of One Tree Hill, did you feel that Lucas belonged with Brooke or Peyton? These were - and still are - divisive issues for many fans.
Sometimes, life imitates art and the actors find themselves with the same feelings as their fictional counterparts. Although these relationships make fans swoon, they are also notorious for causing drama behind the scenes. This is why many people in any profession choose not to form romantic relationships with coworkers. However, the fact that these stars are so intimate with each other on a day to day basis must make it pretty difficult to deny their feelings.
Every one of these couples had amazing chemistry and helped define love for generations of viewers. Some of them kept their romance quiet, letting word get out only after the relationship was over. Others excited fans across the globe by revealing that everyone’s favorite couple was together in real life as well.
Whether they met in secret or were scarcely seen apart, here are 20 Teen Drama Couples That Dated In Real Life.
20 Adam Brody and Rachel Bilson - The O.C.
Forget about Ryan and Marissa. For most fans of The O.C., Seth and Summer were the real couple to root for. Imagine everyone’s excitement when it turned out that Adam Brody and Rachel Bilson were dating in real life. Their relationship continued for most of the show’s run. According to People, the couple got together during the first season and called it quits shortly before the fourth and final season came to a close.
Bilson went on to date her Jumper costar, Hayden Christensen, for ten years, but the couple broke up last September. Brody wound up marrying Gossip Girl star, Leighton Meester.
Although Brody and Bilson did not find their happily ever after together, at least Seth and Summer got the ending that they deserved.
19 Sophia Bush and Chad Michael Murray - One Tree Hill
One Tree Hill fans who felt that Peyton and Lucas were meant to be together were shocked by the season 2 revelation that he was actually in love with Brooke. This was likely due in large part to the real-life romance between Chad Michael Murray and Sophia Bush.
E! reported that the actors had been dating for less than a year when Murray proposed to Bush in May of 2004. They tied the knot in April of 2005. Sadly, the marriage lasted for a mere five months. Making matters worse, their characters were now a couple again.
Before their divorce was even finalized, Murray proposed to One Tree Hill extra Kenzie Dalton - who was a high school senior at the time. According to US Weekly, the pair were engaged for seven years before splitting in 2013. Bush went on to date a couple of OTH costars as well.
18 Cole Sprouse and Lili Reinhart - Riverdale
Since the beginning of their Riverdale romance, "Bughead fans" everywhere have been hoping that the chemistry between Cole Sprouse and Lili Reinhart comes from a real life relationship. Viewers read into every Instagram post and photo shoot, uncovering plenty of evidence to fuel their suspicions. After a year of speculation, and an adamant refusal on either actor’s part to confirm or deny the rumors, it would seem that the couple finally has finally gone public.
Elle reported that last week, as the couple was returning from a Paris vacation, they were ambushed at the airport by an aggressive photographer who refused to take a hint. Although photos had surfaced of the two kissing while on their trip, he was still hounding them for verbal confirmation.
When asked if it was more difficult for a celebrity couple to be open about their relationship status, Reinhart finally replied, “It’s an obvious answer.”
17 Natalia Dyer and Charlie Heaton - Stranger Things
Stranger Things fans who wanted Nancy Wheeler and Jonathan Byers together were overjoyed when Natalia Dyer and Charlie Heaton revealed that they were indeed a couple in real life.
Rumors of a romantic relationship between the two had been swirling since they were spotted together at LAX nearly a year before. However, it was all speculation, considering how close the cast is off camera.
Their social media accounts are proof that these actors spend a lot of time together.
People reported that Dyer and Heaton were spotted on the red carpet for the 2017 Fashion Awards back in December. The pair have been seen together ever since, loving it up. They don’t discuss their personal relationship much, but it’s clear that their chemistry extends beyond what we see onscreen.
16 Jason Segel and Linda Cardellini - Freaks and Geeks
Few series have managed to explore the pain and awkwardness that accompanies adolescence with the same amount of heart and humor as Freaks and Geeks.
One of many relationships the show delved into was the one between Nick and Lindsay. In real life, the romance between Jason Segel and Linda Cardellini outlasted the series, which was canceled long before its time.
Segel told LA Times that it was his breakup with Cardellini that motivated him to write Forgetting Sarah Marshall. However, she wasn’t the one who infamously broke up with the actor while he was wearing his birthday suit. Segel has stated that although Cardellini inspired the film, the titular girlfriend was more of an amalgam of past relationships that he has been in.
He and Cardellini dated for several years after Freaks and Geeks ended, splitting up in 2007.
15 Crystal Reed and Daniel Sharman - Teen Wolf
Many Teen Wolf fans were too hung up on Allison and Scott to make room in their hearts for Isaac. Well, at least one person let Isaac in: Crystal Reed. She began dating Daniel Sharman during the show’s second season.
However, the relationship didn’t last much longer than the one between their onscreen counterparts. According to US Weekly, the couple called it quits in 2013.
Apparently, Sharmen was the one who ended their relationship. Reed explained that this was her first experience of having someone break up with her. The actress said that she handled the heartbreak by taking a trip to Paris and jamming out to Alanis Morissette’s Jagged Little Pill. As for her choice of tunes, Reed stated, “You need something that feels empowering”.
14 Joshua Jackson and Katie Holmes - Dawson’s Creek
Another much debated topic among fans was whether Joey belonged with Pacey or Dawson. According to Kevin Williamson, the chemistry between Katie Holmes and Joshua Jackson was apparent early on, which is how he decided that the relationship between Joey and Pacey would eventually turn romantic.
We know that Katie Holmes once crushed on Tom Cruise, but back in 1998 when Rolling Stone asked the actress about Jackson, she replied, ”I’m just going to say that I met somebody last year, I fell in love, I had my first love, and it was something so incredible and indescribable.” Of course, Holmes famously went on to marry - and divorce - Cruise and Jackson dated Diane Krueger for ten years.
US Weekly reports that the actors remain close friends to this day.
13 Melissa Benoist and Blake Jenner - Glee
Ryder and Marley’s affair on Glee may have been quite brief and largely one-sided, but the relationship between Blake Jenner and Melissa Benoist resulted in a marriage.
People reported that the actors got engaged in 2013 and wed two years later. Apparently, Jenner proposed to Benoist by singing “Will You Marry Me?”, a method that Glee fans would surely approve of.
The couple was very open about their feelings for one another, but quite secretive about their engagement and subsequent marriage.
Their divorce was finalized December 2017, but Benoist filed a year earlier, citing irreconcilable differences. The actress has since been linked to her Supergirl costar, Chris Wood, who plays Mon-El on the show. Jenner recently told ET that he is currently single.
12 Jennifer Garner and Scott Foley - Felicity
Jennifer Garner didn’t have a large role on Felicity, but she did play Noel’s long distance girlfriend, Hanna. Their onscreen relationship may not have lasted long, but Garner and Scott Foley were married for four years.
When discussing the marriage with Allure, the actress stated, “We were full-on grown-ups, but looking back I’m aware we did not know what hit us. We didn’t have a shot. He’s a really good guy, and we just imploded.”
Not too long after her 2004 divorce, Garner started dating Ben Affleck and married him the next year. The couple stayed together for about a decade and had three kids before separating. As for Foley, the Scandal star went on to marry actress Marika Dominczyk in 2007. The pair has two children.
11 Taylor Lautner and Billie Lourd - Scream Queens
It turns out that Chanel No. 3 and Dr. Cassidy Cascade weren’t just a couple on Scream Queens, but in real life as well. Portrayed by Twilight star Taylor Lautner and American Horror Story actress Billie Lourd, the pair were outed by their own costar, Keke Palmer. She shared an image of Lourd and Lautner making out on Snapchat and when the picture appeared on E!, Scream Queens fans echoed Palmer’s caption of "omg omg omg OMG”.
Lautner was with Lourd when she lost her mother, Carrie Fisher, and grandmother, Debbie Reynolds, in close succession.
He even joined her at the hospital in the days leading up to Fisher’s untimely passing. According to People, the couple split last year after dating for eight months, but remain friendly.
10 Kaya Scodelario and Jack O'Connell - Skins
The relationship between Effy and Cook on Skins was always incredibly combustive and it turns out that the chemistry between the characters extended beyond the small screen.
Kaya Scodelario and Jack O'Connell were real life sweethearts. The actress told The Telegraph of their relationship, “Oh, it was first love. It was everything to me at the time. Everything’s a 'first', isn’t it, and it felt so wonderful, obsessive even.”
The couple broke up in 2009 after about a year together, but remain close friends. Scodelario married actor Benjamin Walker in 2015. They met on the set of The King’s Daughter. O’Connell has since been linked to both X-Factor judge Tulisa Contostavlos and model/actress Cara Delevingne. As of September 2017, the actor told Elle that he was happily single.
9 Brendan Fehr and Majandra Delfino - Roswell
Roswell fans grew quite invested in the romance between the hybrid Michael, and his human love, Maria. What many viewers didn’t realize though, was that Brendan Fehr and Majandra Delfino were an item off screen as well.
Although the two actors didn’t initially get along, the Chicago Tribune reported that the couple dated on and off for two years. These days, Fehr is married to Jennifer Rowley and Delfino got hitched to actor David Walton. Fun fact: Prior to marrying Walton, Delfino was actually married to Devon Gummersall, who played Brian Krakow on My So-Called Life.
Fehr and Delfino weren’t the only love connection behind the scenes of Roswell. Katherine Heigl and Jason Behr, who portrayed siblings Max and Isabel, reportedly dated in real life too.
8 Blake Lively and Penn Badgley - Gossip Girl
According to Vanity Fair, Blake Lively and Penn Badgley initially kept their romantic relationship a secret because they were nervous about what the reactions from their bosses would be. Only in retrospect did Lively realize that the higher-ups were probably thrilled that Dan and Serena were together in real life. In fact, the actress stated that at a certain point, it seemed as though fans felt that she was interchangeable from her Gossip Girl counterpart.
Badgley and Lively were together from 2007-2010 and when they ended things, the crew didn’t even realize what had happened for months.
These days, Lively is married to Deadpool star Ryan Reynolds, who she met on the set of Green Lantern. The couple has two children. As for Badgley, he married singer Domino Kirke last year.
7 Sophia Bush and Austin Nichols - One Tree Hill
While many One Tree Hill fans were hung up on Brooke and Lucas reuniting, just as many were grateful to see her eventually move on to Julian. After Sophia Bush and Chad Michael Murray ended their brief marriage, there were plenty of fans that were excited when the actress began dating her other costar, Austin Nichols.
According to Daily Mail, Bush and Nichols were together on and off for six years.
Somewhere in there, Bush had a brief relationship with James Lafferty (Nathan) as well.
Bush and Nichols split up for good in 2012 and she then dated her Chicago P.D. costar, Jesse Lee Soffer, until they spilt in 2015.
Last year Bush wrote an essay in Cosmopolitan about how we should all stop obsessing about finding “the one”, stating, “…the relationships that don’t lead to lifetime commitments are not failures. Not every love can last forever.”
6 Alexis Bledel and Milo Ventimiglia - Gilmore Girls
Few TV relationships have been as hotly debated as which of Rory’s beaus she should’ve ended up with on Gilmore Girls. Unfortunately, the situation remains murky even after the conclusion of A Year in the Life. Although the argument still rages, many fans come down on the side of team Jess, who was played by Milo Ventimiglia.
Alexis Bledel has always been very secretive about her private life. According to People, Bledel and Ventimiglia split up in 2006 after three and a half years together. Many fans didn’t even realize that they’d been a couple until they had already broken up.
Bledel went on to marry Vincent Kartheiser in 2014. The couple met on the set of Mad Men. Like Bledel, Ventimiglia has always kept his love life under the radar, but the This is Us star attended last year’s Emmys with his girlfriend, Kelly Egarian.
5 Keri Russell and Scott Speedman - Felicity
Ben Covington may have made Felicity Porter’s heart go pitter patter, but Keri Russell’s heart skipped a beat for Scott Speedman off camera as well. During a mini reunion on Jimmy Kimmel Live!, Speedman and Russell shed some light on their romantic past.
According to both actors, Speedman was “a disaster of a boyfriend.”
Apparently, one of many transgressions was his reaction to Russell’s infamous haircut: “I got to work and she turned around the corner and my face sort of froze in a half panic, half smile sort of situation.” Although Speedman had a hard time masking his true feelings about Russell’s newly shorn locks, even she had to admit that there was a bit of a “chia pet” look going on there.
Russell has been in a relationship with her The Americans costar, Matthew Rhys, since 2013. Speedman recently starred in Animal Kingdom and will appear on Grey’s Anatomy.
4 Lea Michele and Cory Monteith - Glee
Of all the broken relationships on this list, none ended quite so tragically as the one between Lea Michele and Cory Monteith.
The actors met on the set of Glee, and their characters, Rachel and Finn, weren’t the only ones who fell in love. As early as 2010, when Michele was still dating Theo Stockman, rumors were already swirling about a romance with Monteith. However, the two did not officially become a couple until 2012. They were together until Monteith lost his fight with addiction. He was found in his hotel room July 13th, 2013.
According to Huffington Post, Michele has two tattoos dedicated to Monteith’s memory. She has one that says, “If you say so,” which were the final words he spoke to her. Michele penned a song titled with those words as well. She also has a tattoo of the number five, Finn’s football jersey number.
3 Leighton Meester and Sebastian Stan - Gossip Girl
Before Leighton Meester married Adam Brody, the actress who portrayed Blair Waldorf on Gossip Girl met and fell for Sebastian Stan. The actor had a recurring role on the series as Carter Baizen.
Although the tryst between Blair and Carter was quite brief, Meester and Stan dated for two years. US Weekly reported that the couple split in 2010.
Stan went on to play Bucky Barnes, aka, the Winter Soldier, in the MCU and Meester embarked on a musical career. There has been speculation that her debut album, Heartstrings, was inspired by her difficult breakup with Stan.
Meester stated, “It used to be about some stupid breakup that I had when I was 25 or earlier… Now, it really does have more meaning.” Her two-year relationship with Stan ended when she was twenty-four.
2 Ian Somerhalder and Nina Dobrev - The Vampire Diaries
Although there was much debate among fans as to whether Elena was meant to be with Stephen or Damon, in real life, Nina Dobrev’s heart definitely belonged Ian Somerhalder.
The pair began as friends, but although they were romantically linked in 2010, they didn’t really make it official until 2011, giving fans of The Vampire Diaries reason to jump for joy. From then on, Somerhalder and Dobrev were often seen together.
Many were shocked when the couple’s 2013 split was confirmed by US Weekly. The press has tried to manufacture drama between them, blaming Dobrev’s early TVD exit on bad blood. However, neither actor has handled the situation with anything other than class.
Dobrev told E!, “…we didn’t break up because anything bad happened or because there wasn’t love or friendship.” The actress even spoke kindly about Somerhalder’s marriage to Twilight star Nikki Reed, calling their 2015 wedding “beautiful”.
1 Alexis Bledel and Jared Padalecki - Gilmore Girls
Although Alexis Bledel’s relationship with Milo Ventimiglia has become common knowledge over the years, the romance between Bledel and Jared Padalecki has only recently been confirmed.
Shortly before A Year in the Life dropped, casting director Mara Casey let it slip to Life & Style Magazine that the chemistry between Rory and her first love Dean was very real indeed. Casey stated, “We did have a joke about casting all of Alexis’ [real-life] boyfriends. She dated Jared and Milo.”
Few details have been revealed outside of this bombshell. The timeline of the relationship is unknown, but it’s unlikely that Ventimiglia had a hand in Bledel and Padalecki’s breakup like Jess did in Rory and Dean’s. Surely, that drama only played out on camera.
Still, we’ll probably never know, considering how tight-lipped these actors remain. It is, after all, called a private life for a reason.
Do you know of any other teen TV couples who dated IRL? Let us know in the comments!