As powerful and impressive as the Twilight franchise phenomenon has proven to be, no one can deny that the series has its problems, both in film and book form. It has been ridiculed for having a bland "Mary Sue" as its protagonist as well as for being speckled with abusive behavior between teens that should in no way be the #relationshipgoals as they are routinely celebrated as by fans. The teens of the series still need a lot of practice when it comes to managing a healthy relationship, despite the fact that several of them really aren't teens anymore given their actual ages.
If any of the couples in the series seem as if they truly have it all together as an example of a solid, healthy relationship, it has to be Carlisle and Esme Cullen, the family patriarch and matriarch. Carlisle is known as the compassionate town doctor, and his wife is possibly the kindest person in Forks, let alone her coven. The two have gone well beyond their pact to simply be vegetarian vampires, refusing to dine on human beings, and strive to improve their community and family as well. Even so, these two still have the issues that we have to grimace over, from their doctor-patient status to the questions about them that are never truly answered in the series.
From their unconventional meeting to their weird decisions as a couple, here are Twilight: 25 Things That Make No Sense About Carlise And Esme Cullen’s Relationship.
25 He's A Doctor Who Married His Patient
In many circles, a doctor marrying a patient would be considered taboo at the very least. Relationships with power imbalances can be particularly harmful, and lines drawn to keep personal and professional matters separate exist for a reason. Many people in power might take advantage of their status in order to gain the upper hand over a patient, while patients themselves might simply be after a rich and powerful person.
Many might argue that this marriage transcends the normal boundaries of doctor-patient borders, but it doesn't change the fact that he is a doctor who married his own patient.
24 They Settled In An Area With Werewolves
If you're a family of vampires attempting to keep a low profile, it stands to reason that you would research an area heavily before making plans to settle down there. The fact that the Cullens decided to live in Forks with the shape-shifting Quileute tribe already living there seems rather stupid.
Even with the truce between them on the table, the fact that the enmity between the tribe and the coven exists means that the Cullens were pretty much asking for a war at some point. Research your neighbors before you settle into a vampire-hating area, Cullen family.
23 What Are The Odds That Carlisle Would Serve As A Doctor In Both Columbus And Milwaukee?
Carlisle Cullen travels around a lot to ensure that no one ever learns his deep, dark secret: he doesn't age. In some way, it's the ideal life for a vampire bachelor who wants to see the world, dine on local fauna without detection and keep a low profile, but it doesn't make sense that he'd meet Esme Platt (nee Evenson) twice in his random travels.
After serving as her doctor in Columbus, he later saved her life and turned her into a vampire in Milwaukee, a city to which she had fled after leaving her terrible first husband behind.
22 They Adopted A "Kid" Who Is Older Than Esme
It's often pointed out that Esme Cullen is the oldest of her clan, but Jasper is actually older than his own mother. He may be stuck at a younger chronological state than she is, but he was born well before she was, making him older than... his mom.
This is so weird that it's a storyline often poked at when someone marries a person who is younger than his or her own child, making the step-parent younger than the stepson or stepdaughter. It just doesn't make any sense for her to be his mom.
21 Carlisle Had To Be Sweet On Her When She Was 16
Most fans say that since Esme was 26 when Carlisle changed her, it's not creepy that they first met when she was only 16 years old. If that's the case, why doesn't Carlisle change all of his patients who are passing? He only changed this pretty young thing who left such a big impression on him all these years.
This implies that he harbored some feelings for a long time. He also remembers the "happy girl" she was at 16, not the somber young woman she's become, as he turns her. This makes his motives suspect as he wants herself has a teen, who was still developing and practically a child.
20 They Repeatedly Enroll Their "Kids" In High School
If the Cullen patriarch and matriarch are so supportive of their "kids," why don't they support a better existence for them than the perpetual high school they are doomed to repeat? For anyone else, this is an endless nightmare, and the vamps not being affected by everything from blood spilled during fights to menstrual cycles still makes zero sense.
Why not send their kids on student exchange programs, or encourage them to "dress up" or wear makeup to enter much more interesting job forces? They could always leave and start a new gig when they start to look too young, which would still be more interesting (and meaningful) than repeating high school somewhere else!
19 She Fell For Him (A Much Older Doctor) At Age Sixteen
Having a crush on your doctor at the tender age of 16 when you're still in development is one thing, but marrying that guy is quite another. For many people, this represents an uneven relationship due to their ages as well as his position of power, resulting in a creepy marriage.
There are entire books, songs and movies written about young women who fall for their professors and other older men in positions of authority, but most of those make it clear that it's inappropriate, not something to be emulated as Esme's feelings are meant to seem in the books.
18 They Look Different In The Films
Like most of the people adapted from novel to screen, the Cullen family looks quite different from their book descriptions. To be fair, Stephenie Meyer created such impossibly beautiful people that it would be difficult to manifest their doppelgangers, but they definitely don't match on several levels.
Actor Peter Facinelli was much older than the age at which Carlisle was described, and he was supposed to be tired looking, with circles beneath his eyes. While Elizabeth Reaser had Esme's honey-colored hair, her face wasn't heart-shaped nor reminiscent of silent movie era starlets as Bella described in the book.
17 Carlisle Turned Her To Save Her From Harm
All four of the Twilight books are centered around one huge plot point: Bella Swan's choice. She defeats her own demise several times before the one thing that nearly ends her, her own child sired by her husband Edward, pretty much destroys her agency, leaving Edward with no choice but to turn her if he wants her to live.
It's ridiculous to focus so much on Bella's choice and not give Esme a choice in the matter. With her demise so eminent, Carlisle simply changed her without considering the fact that she'd already made a choice. Some find it romantic that he saved her life while others disagree, arguing that he stole her choice.
16 Esme Just Flat-Out Accepted Her New Role As Vampire Bride
After Carlisle changed Esme, we're expected to believe that the two hit it off quickly and lived happily ever after without all of the drama that Edward and Bella have going on. For starters, we don't buy it. It's too clean-cut, and it's weird that a woman who had just attempted to off herself was so eager to enter marriage once again (but more about that later).
It's difficult to believe that Esme found being a vampire so easy to accept, let alone being the bride of a man hundreds of years her senior who just conveniently made her into his perfect bride.
15 Esme Gave Up Teaching For Her Family
Why is it that Esme Cullen never goes back into teaching after she becomes a vampire and the Cullen family matriarch? If teaching truly was her passion, as it has been indicated, she could still certainly teach, especially if her "kids" can still attend school.
Professors travel all the time, taking sabbaticals, new positions, and even guest teaching abroad. Esme could be a professor without tenure easily or even teach part-time if she really loved it that much, and it's not even as if her kids are infants who need constant care and attention at home. Even if they were, she could still teach.
14 Esme's Fine Never Having A Baby Because She Has The "Vampire Of Her Dreams"
Esme's dream was to have a baby and to become a teacher, but the fact that she's landed a new husband apparently makes up for the fact that she'll never get to do those things. Really, we're not sure why she can't do both of those things in some capacity, but according to the author, the "vampire of her dreams" more than makes up for her old dreams, despite the fact that she likely didn't believe in vampires prior to becoming one herself.
This really makes no sense. Why would falling in love render your goals of a child and career null and void? Nobody lives like this. Most people can have love and a career, and often a family, too.
13 They're Fabulously Wealthy
Like many books about millionaires, the Twilight series is only made duller by the fact that its protagonists are fabulously wealthy. Not only does this translate to an easier lifestyle that many may fantasize but cannot relate to, but also seems far-fetched. It seems as if they should have fallen on hard times at some point, especially given how long they've lived and all of the historical events that have happened since their transformations.
The Cullens also have a bunch of fancy cars and an enormous house that should cost a fortune to heat and cool. Just because they are vampires doesn't mean that they don't have bills to pay.
12 They Don't Save Bree Tanner
One of the worst things the Cullen matriarch and patriarch ever did was leave Bree Tanner to the mercy of the Volturi. It's bad enough that the put up with the Volturi's terrible reign (and are willing to fight for Bella Swan but not throw a coup to, you know, save everybody else), but they just let her be taken out after just assuring her that she would find peace with their family.
The Cullens knew the Volturi would react as they did and should have hidden her or provided refuge in another way. It's pretty outrageous to see the lengths they went to protect Bella while failing miserably to help this younger girl.
11 If They're Vegetarians, Why Couldn't They Be Foster Parents Here And There?
All of us can feel empathy for poor Esme and Rosalie, two women who desperately wanted to become mothers and who were denied that dream by their fate. So why didn't these two volunteer to care for babies in another capacity?
It makes sense as to why they couldn't make their own illegal, immortal children, but why not volunteer at a NICU in desperate need of cuddlers, or even foster children in temporary housing programs? How interesting would it be if they fostered a child with terrible parents, offed the parents and just took the child along when they moved to their next place!
10 They Became A Couple Right After He Turned Her
It's meant to be romantic how Carlisle and Esme connected so quickly after Carlisle turned his wife, but in reality, it's rather disturbing. Esme just attempted to off herself after losing her child and running from an abusive husband. She doesn't need a new relationship right away. Instead, she needs time to connect with herself, discover what she truly wants and maybe even get help to overcome this trauma.
Instead, she jumps right into another relationship, almost as a natural consequence of being turned by Carlisle. As her doctor, he also should have had her mental health as his first priority.
9 Esme Took The "Mothering" Role As The Oldest Of The Cullens
None of the Cullens really need mothering. Not only are they all over age 18, but their mother figure, Esme, is really only chronologically a couple of years older than the rest of them. So why is she their mother figure? Rosalie wanted to be a mother, too; why not her? It doesn't make much sense other than the fact that she's Carlisle's wife.
It would also make much more sense for Carlisle to be the group's mother figure, if they needed one, since he is not only the person who "made" them but also more of the mothering type in a traditional sense.
8 They Get Married In The First Place
The fact that any of the vampires ever get married seems silly in the first place, since they don't need any of the traditional benefits, tax breaks and so forth that humans do (or do they?), but all of the Cullens make a pretty big deal about getting married, especially in the case of Rosalie and Emmett, who've been married several times to one another.
Other than the author's own religious background, is any truly meaningful explanation about why vampires need to get married ever given? The fact that they won't ever perish seems to make marriage a moot point. We suppose they'll never part.
7 Their Vampire Powers Are Stupid
Some vampires have incredible powers. Edward Cullen can read minds, his sister Alice can see the future and Benjamin, the cool vampire from Breaking Dawn played by Rami Malek (who really deserves his own book and movie), performs elemental manipulation.
What special things do Carlisle, the oldest of the Cullens, and Esme do? Carlisle is "super compassionate" and Esme "loves super hard." While these are nice qualities and the world needs more love and compassion, these are pretty weak characteristics in a YA novel. Even Care Bears' love and compassion translate to belly rays of power.
6 They Have A Spiritual Relationship
What exactly does it mean that Esme and Carlile have, as author Stephenie Meyer put it, a "spiritual relationship"? Is one of them a medium? Do they do hot yoga together, go to church or what?
Meyer has said that the term "spiritual" is used "for lack of a better word," but that the series has four books we think there was probably somewhere to explain what this means. She could have taken out one of the many scenes where Bella calls Edward perfect or where he tries to get her to eat to explain it.
5 They Could Live Anywhere In The World And They Choose Forks
There are a lot of problems with the location Esme and Carlisle decided to settle down, but one of the most obvious is that it's a dreadful place. There are much more interesting places in the world that have reputations for foggy or overcast weather, after all, and if Carlisle is half the doctor Charlie Swan claims he is, he could be paid much more and work for any hospital in the world with his talents.
Settling in Forks makes no sense for a family with a bunch of talents, especially if they're ancient and likely to get bored easily.
4 Why Is Carlisle Single For So Long Before Marrying Esme?
When an old bachelor finally decides to tie the knot, it can seem suspicious when there's a big age gap. Why did Carlisle wait for a couple of hundred years before settling down with a young woman? It almost feels like a case of grooming, especially since he's been an authority figure in her life as her doctor.
Esme also has a history of marrying to please her parents and has just attempted to off herself over her lack of prospects, making her rather vulnerable and not exactly ready-to-marry-again material. Shouldn't she get some me time to recover her mental health and learn who she is before she gets married again?
3 They're Too Happy
One of the worst things about the Twilight franchise is that it romanticizes romance. The series makes romantic love look as if it should be flawless, misinforming young readers. Bella constantly describes Edward as perfect and any rift in their relationship is meant to seem life-threatening. Esme and Carlisle are meant to epitomize the #relationshipgoals of the day, but they're too perfect to do this.
Couples fight. They have disagreements. It's weird for these two to be so happy and rarely disagree. It also makes normal relationships, with their problems and arguments, look wrong in comparison.
2 Their "Gentle Nature" Is Stressed Too Hard
The fact that Carlisle and Esme are such "gentle creatures" is such a laugh. These are not gentle doves or bunnies but predators, vampires who have eaten human beings. They take out other vampires in fights. They regularly hunt animals with their bare hands and teeth. These two are far from gentle. A grizzly bear is gentler than any of the Cullens.
Both the Cullen matriarch and patriarch have seen too much to be the innocent characters they are often described as, and that's not necessarily a bad thing. They fight for their family and to protect the innocent (sometimes), which are noble things to do, but that doesn't make them gentle.
1 What If Her "Enhanced Love" Is The Reason She Loves Carlisle?
Sure, Esme had a crush on Carlisle at 16, but if her vamp power makes her love harder, what if it made her love him instantly? Then their entire relationship could be considered nothing but a sham.
Think about it: if Esme merely harbored a crush until Carlisle transformed her, which then resulted in her enhanced "love powers" (which aren't exactly powers, but still something stronger than mortals feel), couldn't that have made her feel those strong emotions for the first person she came in contact with? It's quite possible that being a vampire is the only reason why she's in love with Carlisle.