The Top 20 TV Couples of the Decade
Pucker up, TV fans, because we're about to kiss 2019 goodbye with a salute to the 20 best small-screen couples of the decade!
We've spent the last 10 years watching highly anticipated smooches, oh-so-sexy hookups, and seriously swoonworthy declarations of love -- and now it's time to declare which of these timeless twosomes have what it takes to be considered the biggest loves of the small screen.
Here are the guidelines that we followed in order to craft this list of elite couples...
- Only one couple per show.
- All couples were eligible, but they had to be on-screen canon (i.e. no fan-fiction couples).
- The majority of the show that the relationship is featured on must have aired between 2010 - 2019.
- Even if they've broken up, they could still make the cut.
Also, one more important note: The couples on this list are not ranked. Instead, we've decided to list them in alphabetical order of the shows they were on.
(Seriously, we love them all equally, and it was hard enough just to limit this list to 20, so please don't make us choose.)
So without further ado... sit back, relax, reminisce and swoon over ET's top 20 TV couples of the decade!
Oliver Queen and Felicity Smoak, Arrow
We can't talk about the top TV couples of the decade without immediately aiming cupid's bow at Arrow’s very own Oliver Queen (Stephen Amell) and Felicity Smoak (Emily Bett Rickards). Fans have watched this couple evolve from unlikely teammates to an unstoppable pair -- with more than a few ups and downs in between -- and have been riveted by their undeniable chemistry from the very first meeting. (#redpenforever). Oliver may wear the skintight green leather pants in this relationship, but Olicity's dynamic has always been an equal partnership in their quests to save their city, and each other. We're going to be sad to see Arrow leave our screens in 2020, but we know that Oliver and Felicity's legacy as one of TV's greatest ships will live on forever.
Seeley Booth and Temperance Brennan, Bones
At the core of the long-running Fox series -- the “heart of the matter,” if you will -- was a partnership between forensic anthropologist Temperance Brennan (Emily Deschanel) and FBI Special Agent Seeley Booth (David Boreanaz). From their first episode together, Brennan and Booth’s dynamic was electric, and while the will-they-or-won’t-they of it all took nearly seven seasons to sort out (more if you count that they don’t actually tie the knot until season nine), their relationship kept fans hooked for all 245 episodes. We watched Brennan wrestle with her feelings as Booth looked for love, saw them lay it all on the line only to yank it back again, and finally, at long last, got to witness their happy ending. Two kids and countless hurdles later, their partnership was still going strong.
Jake Peralta and Amy Santiago, Brooklyn Nine-Nine
From ultra-competitive frenemies to crime-solving husband and wife – Jake Peralta (Andy Samberg) and Amy Santiago's (Melissa Fumero) romantic journey on Brooklyn Nine-Nine has been one of our favorites to root for. Some may say, we love them more than Amy's adoration for Harry Potter and Jake's infatuation with Die Hard. Their first date may have only happened because Amy lost a bet, but their decision to love each other through the good times (Hello, Halloween heist proposal) and the bad times (aka when Jake was in jail for a crime he didn't commit) are what make this relationship one for the ages. Bottom line: This couple is cool cool cool cool cool cool.
Barry Allen and Iris West-Allen, The Flash
From lifelong friends to super soulmates, there's no denying that the chemistry between The Flash's Barry Allen (Grant Gustin) and Iris West-Allen (Candice Patton) is like lightning in a bottle. This comic canon pairing has had a little bit of everything over the show's first six seasons -- from puppy love to first kiss fake-outs, all the way to an epic, musical proposal and double wedding -- and we're certain they're only going to get stronger as they continue protecting Central City and each other. We've said it before and we'll say it again: Not all superheroes wear capes, but all TV couples should strive to be more like Westallen.
Eric Taylor and Tami Taylor, Friday Night Lights
They say that behind every great man is a great woman, and Friday Night Lights may have illustrated that trope better than any show on TV when they paired powerhouse high school football coach Eric Taylor (Kyle Chandler) with a wife (Connie Britton) that was every bit his equal (except in the hair department, where Tami clearly triumphs). Watching this pair support each other through tumultuous seasons, career changes, daughter Julie's high school dramatics, and more added a heartfelt layer to the sports-centric show that paid dividends, all the way up to the emotional series finale. Clear eyes, full hearts, you know the rest.
Kurt Hummel and Blaine Anderson, Glee
Our hearts start racing when we think of these teenage dreams! Over the course of this musical dramedy's six-season run, we witnessed dozens of smooches, but none of them made us as gleefully giddy (cheesy title pun intended) as when warbler Blaine Anderson (Darren Criss) surprised Kurt Hummel (Chris Colfer) with their chemistry-packed first kiss. Not only did Klaine have the absolute best duets on the show – don't even try to deny it! – but their young romance was a beacon of light and positivity for many LGBTQ teens out there in the first half of this revolutionary decade.
Callie and Arizona, Grey's Anatomy
Here's the thing: We have loved Callie Torres (Sara Ramirez) and Arizona Robbins’ (Jessica Capshaw) wildly wonderful love story since their first kiss in the dirty bathroom of Joe’s Bar, way back in season five. When it comes to Grey's Anatomy -- a show that has been on the air for an impressive 16 seasons -- Calzona is the series' only serious, long-term lesbian relationship. We watched these brilliant and beautiful ladies fall in love, start a family, get married, endure the aftermath of a life-changing accident -- and yes, OK, fine, they did eventually break our hearts when they got divorced in season 11. However, despite this unhappily ever after, these two characters and their dynamic relationship is one of the most impactful Grey's losses to date and hands-down one of the best couples of the decade.
Korra and Asami Sato, The Legend of Korra
If you're surprised to see a cartoon couple on this list, then you clearly don't know the power of Korra (Janet Varney) and Asami's (Seychelle Gabriel) storyline-changing chemistry. While Korra was spending all four seasons of the beloved Nickelodeon show attempting to master her Avatar skills, Asami was always right by her side offering strength and a shoulder to cry on. In the series' final scene, we erupted into squeals of delight when Korrasami was seen walking off into the Spirit World, hand in hand and sharing a longing look. Five days after the finale, the Legend of Korra executive producers confirmed what fans had been hoping for all along: Korra and Asami fell in love.
Mitch Pritchett and Cameron Tucker, Modern Family
We fell head over heels for level-headed Mitch (Jesse Tyler Ferguson) and outrageously fun Cam (Eric Stonestreet) as soon as they first introduced us to their baby girl with that iconic Lion King homage in Modern Family's pilot way back in 2009. In this last decade, Mitch and Cam have taken fans on a beautiful journey through fatherhood and then down the aisle in season five to celebrate their undeniable love. As a couple, these two are compassionate, confident and have the sweetest chemistry together!
Jim Halpert and Pam Beesly, The Office
Let's give an awesome air-five to this inter-Office romance! Watching Jim Halpert (John Krasinski) and Pam Beesley's (Jenna Fischer) relationship transition from prank-pulling friends to on-screen soulmates, was a highlight of The Office's nine seasons and always left us wanting more. (That's what she said!) Although all fans can agree that Jim and Pam's sweet, smirk-filled relationship is better than pretzel day, the exact moment of their first kiss is highly debatable: Was it Pam's drunken post-Dundies peck in or when Jim stole a smooch at casino night? Either way, we'd gladly walk across burning coals, endure a haunting night at Schrute Farms, or give up an iPod for this incredible couple.
Elena Alvarez and Syd, One Day at a Time
Elena (Isabella Gomez) is one of the most headstrong, compassionate teens on TV, and she found her match in her nerd-tastic "Syd-nificant other," Syd (Sheridan Pierce). The pair share a drive for social justice (even though sometimes Syd just wants to go to Benihana), a love for all things Doctor Who, and a bond that's helped them through some of life's more difficult moments. Plus, they're undefeated when it comes to adorable gestures. Remember Syd's "We Didn't Start the Fire" promposal? Elena's non-binary Valentine? Their matching heart outfits? Truly, these two are too cute for words.
Jamie Fraser and Claire Randall Fraser, Outlander
Jesus H. Roosevelt Christ! Fans of Diana Gabaldon's beloved Outlander book series had to endure 23 excruciatingly long years before Jamie Fraser (Sam Heughan) and Claire Fraser's (Caitriona Balfe) romance was finally brought to our screens in 2014, but it was definitely worth the wait! The Frasers' timeless love, breathtaking chemistry, and blush-inducing sex scenes have been an incredible journey to behold over these past four seasons. And no matter which century you’re living in, we can all agree on one thing: Lord, ye gave us a rare couple, and God -- we love (and will continue to obsess over) them well.
Ben Wyatt and Leslie Knope, Parks and Recreation
When Ben Wyatt (Adam Scott) first came to town in Parks and Recreation's second season, Leslie Knope (Amy Poehler) was immediately on the defensive, trying to protect her beloved Pawnee from the cost-cutting auditor. But it didn't take long for the pair to realize all the things they had in common -- a passion for local politics, the City Hall wildflower mural and, eventually, each other. Watching Ben and Leslie fall in love, tie the knot, start a family and pursue their political dreams together was the whipped cream on top of the waffle sundae that was Parks and Rec's beloved seven-season run. We love them and we like them.
Emily Fields and Alison DiLaurentis, Pretty Little Liars
From a school girl crush to a pregnancy-packed engagement! The relationship between Emily (Shay Mitchell) and Alison (Sasha Pieterse) over PLL's seven seasons was filled with some pretty am-A-zing ups and downs, but our favorite moment will always be their pretty little flashback to their first kiss. Even though these gorgeous gals broke up during the PLL spinoff, The Perfectionists, we have a feeling that Emison's ever-enduring love (and adorable twin daughters) brought them back to Rosewood -- and into each other's arms.
Jughead Jones and Betty Cooper, Riverdale
Archie who? Riverdale decided to rewrite comic book convention and create a new canon couple by pairing girl-next-door Betty Cooper (Lili Reinhart) with the kid from the wrong side of the tracks, Jughead Jones (Cole Sprouse). Whether they’re sleuthing out their twisted town’s latest mystery or standing by each other’s side despite tumultuous ups and downs, fans fell for the cute couple almost as quickly as they fell for each other. Their season-one scenes had us swooning from the moment Jughead climbed the ladder to Betty’s window, quipping, “Hey there, Juliet.” But it was the sweet and spontaneous smooch that sealed the deal -- and started our shipper hearts fluttering forever. Fingers crossed we have plenty more PDB (Public Displays of Bughead) scenes coming ahead in Riverdale.
David Rose and Patrick Brewer, Schitt's Creek
If you're not already shipping these two, then Alexis is going to throw one of her signature "Ewww's" in your face. This perfect pair started out as business partners, but David (Dan Levy) and Patrick's (Noah Reid) fun flirtations quickly turned into much more, and before we knew it, there were heartfelt declarations, musical serenades and a hiking trip proposal. Watching them grow together, and evolve into one of TV's sweetest couples has been the highlight of Schitt's Creek's phenomenal run -- which will end with a sixth and final season premiering Tuesday, Jan. 7 at 9/8c on Pop. Final verdict: They're simply the best.
Magnus Bane and Alec Lightwood, Shadowhunters
What do you get when you put a former High Warlock of Brooklyn together with the Clave Inquisitor? One of the most spellbinding (and oh-so-sexy) couples of the decade! The bond between Magnus Bane (Harry Shum Jr.) and Alec Lightwood (Matthew Daddario) may have been unexpected for their friends and family, but for fans of the Freeform series -- and the Cassandra Clare books -- this pairing has been in the cards since the very beginning. Magnus had closed off his heart for more than a century, but Alec taught him to love again, while in turn, Magnus helped Alec through his journey of self-discovery and acceptance.Their journey to the altar was tumultuous at times, but their loyalty and love persevered and gave us one of the most magical weddings we've ever seen.
Ian Gallagher and Mickey Milkovich, Shameless
Shameless has been on our screens since 2011, which means we've been shipping Ian (Cameron Monaghan) and Mickey (Noel Fisher) for 10 heart-wrenchingly wonderful seasons. Gallavich -- as they're fondly known -- has had to fight off culturally ingrained homophobia, drunk fathers, abusive family life, and mental health issues in order to find love and support in each other. After everything they've been through in the southside of Chicago, the couple is currently living their version of a happily ever after while staying in the same prison cell together.
Randall Pearson and Beth Pearson, This Is Us
Sure, there’s Jack and Rebecca, but the couple that shines brightest on This Is Us is husband-and-wife team Randall (Sterling K. Brown) and Beth Pearson (Susan Kelechi Watson). The definition of #marriagegoals, the couple can endure anything -- a breakup, a move to Philly, a political campaign -- and we’re all the more grateful for them being by each other’s side. We all need a little "R & B" in our lives to know true love really does stand the test of time.
Damon Salvatore and Elena Gilbert, The Vampire Diaries
You know the story: Boy meets Girl. Girl dates Boy's younger brother. Girl becomes a vampire. Girl changes her mind and realizes that her soulmate has actually been Boy all along. They say, "love bites," but it was actually pretty damn epic when Damon Salvatore (Ian Somerhalder) and Elena Gilbert (Nina Dobrev) finally embraced their feelings for each other in season three of The Vampire Diaries. Stefan (Paul Wesley) may have been the love of Elena's life, but Damon was the love of her afterlife -- and in this undead drama, that's what truly matters.
-- Additional writing from Meredith Kile and Philiana Ng.
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