TV shows offer the audience a chance to vicariously live their fantasies through fictional characters. This can be something as simple as being in a relationship with a beautiful/handsome person.
The exact definition of attractiveness varies widely from person to person, so it’s not unusual to see relationships on television where there is a significant age gap between the couple.
There have been occasions where the age gap is so wide that it becomes creepy. These can be played straight, with both participants aware of how inappropriate their relationship is, while other examples are blissfully unaware of how disturbing their coupling is to the audience.
We are here today to look at the creepiest age gaps in relationships that happened on TV shows– from the Khaleesi who couldn’t even buy a packet of cigarettes before her wedding to the nuclear grade daddy issues that somehow morphed into granddaddy issues.
Here are the 15 Biggest Age Differences In TV Shows!
15. Daenerys Targaryen & Khal Drogo – Game Of Thrones
One of the first hurdles towards adapting the A Song of Ice and Fire novels into a TV series was the age of the cast members. This is something that George R. R. Martin approves of, as he has stated that he made many of the characters too young.
For example, characters like Bran Stark have an emotional depth and maturity that is far beyond their years.
It was vitally important that Daenerys Targaryen’s age had to be increased for Game of Thrones, as she is only thirteen years old at the start of the series.
She is married off to a much older man early on, with the details of their private life being an important part of her story in the first book.
14. Buffy & Angel – Buffy The Vampire Slayer
It would be tempting to fill this list with the human/vampire couples that have been popular on TV for so long. There are plenty of examples of human characters dating vampires that are centuries, if not millennia older than they are.
It’s harder to justify examples where the human character is a fully grown adult, even if there is a five century age gap between them and their partner.
One example that needed to make this list was the case of Buffy and Angel. When the two of them first started dating, Buffy was only sixteen years old.
Angel was several centuries older than Buffy and really should have known better.
13. Puck & Shelby – Glee
The relationship between Puck and Shelby was creepy for lots of different reasons, with the twenty-year age gap between the two of them being just one.
Puck and Quinn have a daughter, whom they name Beth in the first season of Glee. Beth is later adopted by Rachel’s mother, Shelby.
This storyline was mostly forgotten throughout the second season of Glee, before returning in the third, as Shelby wanted Puck and Quinn to still be a part of their daughter’s life.
This storyline culminates in Puck growing closer with Shelby, which leads to a romantic relationship forming between the two. This means that Puck falls for the adopted mother of his daughter, who also happens to be a woman in her forties.
12. Abraham & Rosita – The Walking Dead
It’s a lot easier for your relationship to avoid being judged by society when most of society has been eaten by zombies.
Abraham and Rosita are both introduced as the ones protecting Eugene on his journey to Washington. It was during their previous time traveling together that Abraham and Rosita began a relationship, which was complicated by Eugene’s presence, as he was starting to develop feelings for Rosita as well.
This relationship ended when Abraham fell for Sasha and was denied the chance of ever being rekindled when Negan killed him.
The age gap between Abraham and Rosita is around twenty years.
11. Aria & Ezra – Pretty Little Liars
The idea of sleeping with one of your attractive teachers is a common fantasy in real life that is shared by both men and women. Indeed, this is a desire so prevalent that it’s not unheard of for teacher/student relationships to occur in real life once they cease to be part of the same educational establishment.
One of the biggest issues with these kinds of relationships is the ethical questions posed by one partner being in a position of power over the other. Pretty Little Liars decided that this dynamic wasn’t problematic enough, and established that the relationship between Aria and Ezra happened when Aria was too young to legally give consent.
Aria and Ezra’s relationship began when she was a student in his class, but also when Aria was only sixteen-years-old.
10. Rhonda & Roman – Big Love
Big Love was an HBO drama about a polygamist Morman family that lived in Utah. Big Love showed a united front by the various polygamist sects in the region, who all interacted with each other in different ways.
Roman Grant was the leader of the United Effort Brotherhood, as well as being the self-proclaimed Prophet of the Juniper Creek compound.
He was also a polygamist who had fourteen wives and was engaged to a fifteenth. Roman has thirty-one children from these various unions, with his oldest son being fifty-nine years old.
9. Sansa Stark & Petyr Baelish – Game Of Thrones
Petyr Baelish was one of the most mysterious characters in Game of Thrones. It seemed as if he was playing the political game at a much higher level than everyone else, as he was manipulating events in such a way that no one knew that he was behind them.
Baelish was the architect behind the War of the Five Kings, yet only Sansa Stark was aware of this fact.
The one time we see Petyr lose his cool in the A Song of Ice and Fire novels happens when he notices how much Sansa looks like her mother, whom Petyr loved in his youth. Petyr then ensures that Sansa is safely removed from King’s Landing and brought to the Vale with him.
Petyr kisses Sansa when they are in the Eyrie together, which she doesn’t stop.
Sansa later tries to manipulate Petyr, as she lets him know that she knows what he is after.
8. Fizz & Bunny – Eldorado
Eldorado was a soap opera produced by the BBC in the early ’90s. It followed the lives of several British families that had moved to Costa Del Sol in Spain. This was an attempt by the BBC to emulate the success of several prominent Australian soap operas that had become popular in the UK at the time.
Eldorado had numerous problems which ended up derailing the show, which led to it being canceled after only a single year.
One of the biggest concerns that the audience had with the show involved the storyline of Bunny and Fizz.
The two were a married couple, even though Bunny was in his forties and Fizz was seventeen.
7. Pacey & Tamara – Dawson’s Creek
It didn’t take long for Dawson’s Creek to court controversy with a storyline involving a middle-aged teacher starting a relationship with a much younger student. In this case, it was Tamara Jacobs pursuing Pacey Witter, who was around fifteen-years-old at the time.
The relationship between Pacey and Tamara started in the pilot episode of Dawson’s Creek. Their relationship suffered a setback when rumors of their union became so prevalent that it led to Tamara being dragged to court.
Pacey lied to the court in order to get Tamara off the hook, but she was forced to leave town due to the scandal. They were able to find closure when she returned in season two, but it was obvious that the two still had feelings for each other.
6. Bud Bundy & Miss McGowen – Married… With Children
The Bundy family from Married… with Children were cursed with bad luck which affected every aspect of their lives. This is why Al Bundy was trapped in an unhappy marriage while selling women’s shoes. Al’s kids, Bud and Kelly, were also destined to receive the same bad luck as their father.
It seemed as if Bud’s luck had finally changed in the episode called “Teacher Pets”, as his attractive new substitute English teacher seems to reciprocate his affections.
This leads to Bud and Miss McGowen starting a brief affair, which became public knowledge at the school and even leads to Bud finding a new girlfriend.
5. Monica & Richard – Friends
The relationship between Monica Geller and Richard Burke doesn’t seem that odd at first glance. Monica is in her mid-twenties when the two of them start dating, while Richard is in his mid-forties. A twenty-year age gap might seem like a lot, but the two of them are adults who can make their own decisions about their lives.
What makes the Monica/Richard relationship so creepy, however, is their previous association.
The two of them know each other because Richard is a friend of Monica’s father.
The Geller/Burke families had been close for a long time, with Richard being around Monica since she was young, as he makes comments about being around her when she was still overweight.
4. Archie & Mrs. Grundy – Riverdale
One of the biggest complaints about Riverdale is how it objectifies the teenage members of the cast. This can best be exemplified in the scene where Betty and Veronica kiss each other during cheerleader tryouts, even though TV audiences have long since moved past the point of being shocked by two actresses being paid to kiss on screen for cheap shock value.
It isn’t just the teenage cast members of Riverdale that have been changed for the TV show adaptation, though, as the previously elderly Miss Grundy was now an attractive middle-aged woman, who also falls for Archie.
The two of them start a relationship, even though Archie is still a teenager. The show milks every drop of fan service and immature teacher/student fantasy out of the coupling before Miss Grundy is finally exiled from the town when their secret is almost uncovered.
3. Francis Urquhart & Mattie Storin – House Of Cards (UK)
The original version of House of Cards that was made by the BBC followed Francis Urquhart, who was a high-ranking member of the British Conservative Party.
Urquhart wanted to oust the current Prime Minister of the country so that he could take on the position himself. This led to Urquhart leaking lots of information to the press, in order to force the Prime Minister to resign.
Francis Urquhart’s link to the press was a woman named Mattie Storin, with whom he engages in a romantic relationship.
Urquhart is thirty-years-older than Storin, which is partly what prompted her attraction to him in the first place, as there was a disturbing paternal aspect to their sexual relationship.
2. Nathan & Stuart – Queer As Folk (UK)
The original version of Queer as Folk that was broadcast in the UK was an immediate source of controversy. This was due to how graphic the romatic scenes were in the first episode.
The first episode of Queer as Folk also caused controversy due to the ages of the two characters involved in the scene.
Stuart Jones is a twenty-nine-year-old man who picks up a fifteen-year-old boy named Nathan in a nightclub and takes him back to his apartment.
Queer as Folk was first broadcast in the UK during a time when there when the age of consent laws were accused of being discriminatory towards gay couples. This led to the age of consent being lowered from eighteen to sixteen in regards to gay couples.
1. Paris & Asher – Gilmore Girls
Teacher/student relationships aren’t treated as harshly when it comes to universities, as the people involved are at least of age. It usually still isn’t tolerated and will likely lead to the teacher losing their position, but it isn’t the career destroyer that it is when it involves high-school students.
It seems that age is just a number and teacher is just a title to Paris Geller of Gilmore Girls, as she ended up dating Asher Fleming, who was one of her professors at Yale.
Paris Geller was fine with dating one of her professors when she was still in her freshman year, even though the professor was over forty years older than her.
The relationship between Paris Geller and Asher Fleming ended before her sophomore year began, as he passed away from a heart attack before the two of them could reunite.
Can you think of any other huge and creepy age differences between couples in TV shows? Sound off in the comment section!
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