The TV Breakups That Left Us All Heartbroken

It is really easy to get invested in a TV show, the characters and relationships. We root for people to get together and when they do we all hope it will have a happily ever after. So when out favorite couples have heartbreaking breakups, we can’t help but feel devastated for them.


Whether you deal with it by sobbing in front of the TV, or writing angry social media posts, everyone has their process. These couples had some of the saddest endings that left us losing faith in love.

Will and Lisa

In The Fresh Prince of Bel Air, Will was known as quite the ladies man who jumped from woman to woman quite quickly. However, his player ways came to a serious halt when he met Lisa Wilkes in season five.


Finally, Will found a woman who turned him from boy to man. Although we thought they were solid and Lisa stood by him in the hardest of times, everything came brutally crashing down when she left Will at the altar. A heartbreaking end to a beautiful love story.

Kevin and Winnie

In The Wonder Years, viewers fell in love with Kevin and Winnie. Everyone can remember their first love, a poignant and wonderful time in life. Audiences were rooting for Kevin as he did everything he could to woo Winnie, the girl of his dreams.


After some public displays, Winnie was eventually won over. However, high school relationships come with plenty of ups and downs along with a lot of jealousy, possessiveness and childishness. Their breakup was inevitable and we really felt for both of them. Thankfully they rekindled their relationship in the finale.

Lana and Clark

From the outset, it was obvious that Lana and Clark from Smallville were destined to be together. With undeniable chemistry it was only a matter of time before they were an item.

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After getting so close many times, it wasn’t until season seven that they got together. It all came crashing down when Lana was infected with kryptonite and their relationship became too dangerous. Lana and Clark’s breakup then set up writers to lead him towards Louise Lane.

Lorelai and Luke

On Gilmore Girls, it was usually Rory who we would see jump in and out of relationships, having plenty of drama and breakups along the way. So when we saw the relationship between Lorelai and Luke break down, it was devastating for fans.


Their chemistry was obvious and after taking five seasons to get together, it was too hard to take. Eventually the lovers realized they were soul mates and destined to be together after her Lorelai’s ex returned and gave her the epiphany she needed.

Zack and Kelly

Zack and Kelly in Saved By The Bell had one of the most confusing relationships on the show. Kelly was the girl next door and Zack was the high school hottie. Things got confusing when both Zack and Slater fell for her, but it was always Zack that was meant to be with her.


When they eventually got together, Zack messed up countless times, leading to an inevitable breakup, devastating fans. Thankfully, the only way to wrap up the popular 90s show was to have the two of them get married.

Steve and DJ

The saddest breakups are the ones that happen slowly and cracks get bigger and bigger. In Full House, Steve and DJ had that teenage romance that so many of us once knew. The infatuation between the two was evident at the beginning, but when delving deeper, DJ realized that the two of them actually had nothing in common.


While this didn’t come as a surprise, it was sad to see DJ fall out of love. In true sitcom style, Steve popped up again in the last episode, so their fate was left to the imagination of the viewers.

Tony and Carmela

In The Sopranos, it was pretty obvious from early on that Tony and Carmela has a really toxic relationship. Between the infidelity, lies and secrets, it was only a matter of time before Carmela snapped and called everything off.


Fans rooted for Carmela when she eventually kicked him out the house. However, with a split like this, the rest of the family were sadly affected. AJ became uncontrollably rebellious, and went to live with his father, leaving Carmela alone. In the last episodes we see Carmela joining Tony for a family dinner.

Eric and Donna

Almost every sitcom in the 90s had one solid couple that fans could be happy as they were stable. So when these couples have breakups, it causes quite the backlash.


In That 70s Show, Eric and Donna were the power couple up until season seven. As a result of his own life, Eric ended up having two breakups, ditching Donna and their friends, leaving Wisconsin. The two never got back together and Randy was brought in to replace Eric who was never seen again.

Aidan and Carrie

Before Mr. Big came along in Sex And The City, there was Aidan and Carrie. Aidan was really something special and Carrie fell head over heels for him. Aidan always knew he was going to marry Carrie and thought she was the only one.


Aidan proposed and Carrie said yes, but it all came crashing down when she realized she wasn’t over Big. In one of the truly sad breakups they ended it over Carrie’s inability to commit and Aidan’s mistrust. Carrie ended up kissing Aidan in Abu Dhabi while married to Big in the Sex And The City 2 movie.

Callie and Arizona

Grey’s Anatomy had fans tuning in week after week to cry their eyes out at each episode. The hospital drama was full of heartbreak and fans couldn’t believe it when Meredith and Derek broke up and when Christina and Preston had one of the biggest breakups.


However, when Callie and Arizona starting arguing over children and their careers, a split was bound to happen. The break up was particularly awful for Arizona who lost the love of her life as well as nearly losing her children in a bitter custody battle.

Darlene and David

The biggest romance in the sitcom Roseanna was between Darlene and David. Quickly, it was it obvious that the two were a really good fit for one another. To make things even more solid, David showed his sensitive side and was completely embraced by Darlene’s family, even moving in with them.


Their relationship was turbulent however and they split and got back together numerous times. In the series finale they ended up married with kids, but in a later reboot they split once and for all.

Dwayne and Whitley

In the first two seasons of A Different World, characters and storylines changed, meaning love interests did too. After Denise left the show, Dwayne needed a new romance so in came Whitley.


Whitley came across as snobby, out of touch and out of place. Despite clashing with Dwayne, they ended up falling for one another. They were planning to marry until Dwayne confessed he went for coffee with another woman. While they separated then, they ended up back together in the finale.

Joey and Dawson

Joey was dealt a pretty hard set of cards in Dawson’s Creek. After having a rough breakup with Pacey, she was due for some strong, undying love, but this wasn’t the case. Joey and Dawson were childhood friends and their relationship blossomed into a romance.

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Joey cancelled a year-long trip to Paris to stay with Dawson but things took a shocking turn when she ended up cheating on him. Needless to say, it got pretty bitter between the two of them.

Marshall and Lily

How I Met Your Mother mostly focused on the relationship between Robin and Ted, but fans knew their romance would never last as Robin was regularly called Aunt Robin. However, when Marshall and Lily had a mini break up in season one, it was truly devastating.

CBS Television Network/FOX

The image of Marshall standing in the rain clutching onto his wedding ring was a heartbreaking scene. Thankfully they reconciled six months later and they eventually got married, much to the delight of fans.

Buffy and Angel

Buffy and Angel were the favorite couple in hit show Buffy The Vampire Slayer. Their worlds collided as Buffy was a vampire slayer and Angel was a vampire. Despite love overriding everything, there was too much going against the couple.

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Angel was a cursed vampire who had remorse and a human soul, but when his curse was broken and he returned to being a normal vampire, Buffy had to do what she was destined to.

Alex and Ellen

In Family Ties, Alex was absolutely infatuated by Ellen. The lovebirds met while studying at Leland University. And despite Alex constantly pining after different women, Ellen became the apple of his eye.


Viewers became obsessed with their relationship and were always eager to tune in and find out what direction it was heading in. Sadly, their relationship ended when Ellen got a scholarship to dance in Paris and followed her dream. Alex was crushed and so were the fans.

Brenda and Dylan

Beverly Hills 90210 has its fair share of relationships with plenty of breakups and make ups between. Dylan and Brenda were the typical bad boy falls for good girl couple and fans fell in love with the opposite dynamic between them.


However, Dylan could never shake that bad boy image and cheated on Brenda with her best friend Kelly while she was studying abroad. Many of the episodes that followed focused on an absolutely inconsolable Brenda.

Penny and Leonard

In The Big Bang Theory, fans couldn’t get enough as they watched the cute girl Penny, fall in love with nerd Leonard. Despite their differences, their chemistry was there from the get-go. It took them a long time to do it, but they finally got together and made an adorable couple.

CBS Television Network

In true sitcom fashion, they broke up numerous times but always found their way back to one another. This was until they started dating other people and fans were devastated. However, the writers threw in a curveball in the final episodes and brought Penny and Leonard together with a marriage and baby.

Donna and James

Twin Peaks was definitely a show with plenty of twists and turns that fans never saw coming. While most of the story focused on Special Agent Cooper, a side story saw Donna connect with James Hurley, the ex of her murdered friend Laura Palmer.

Amid their work trying to crack the mystery case, the two became a couple, but James also had a wandering eye for Maddy Ferguson. However, James’ past trouble caught up with him and he had to leave, he confessed his love for Donna and we never saw him again in one of the saddest breakups.

Sam and Diane

Sam and Diane from Cheers represented that old saying opposites attract as Sam was the working class ball player turned bartender whereas Diane was the college graduate intellectual. In the 80s, people loved their romance and even though they drove each other crazy, they were a strong unit.


When the two finally decided to get married, Diane was offered the job of her dreams and Sam persuaded her to go and postpone the wedding. But the six month hiatus ended up being six years and the couple were over.

Lindsay and Nick

In the 90s, people couldn’t get enough of Freaks and Geeks. Lindsay and Nick grew up together and although everyone expected her to end up with Daniel, Nick stepped in and stole her heart.


They were going strong until it all came crashing down and their breakup tore up their friendship group too. Eventually, they decided to mend their friendship and become civil with one another, each finding their own way in life and ended up with other partners in one of the more pleasant breakups

Cory and Topanga

When it comes to teenage love, Cory and Topanga from Boy Meets World didn’t have the most realistic of romances and were incredibly mature in their relationship from early on.

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Cory would always explain the meaning of love to Topanga but this all fell apart when he kissed another girl during a ski trip, leading Topanga to break everything off. Cory spent a long time moping around school and trying to win her back and eventually, he did.

Mark and Sophie

In Peep Show, Mark had a massive crush on Sophie from the very first episode. He was awkward, she was shy and it just seemed to work in their own awkward way. Their relationship wasn’t without some woes as his office rival Jeff dated her and loved to talk about it.

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But when they did eventually get together, it seemed to bring out the worst in them which culminated in a heartbreaking split on their wedding day at the altar. Before they exchanged vows, Sophie ran out in one of the more shocking TV breakups.

J.D. and Elliot

J.D. and Elliot in Scrubs were clearly made for each other from the very beginning. During the first season they got together quickly but broke up just as fast.

NBC Photo: Danny Feld

They embarked on other relationships that just didn’t work out and then the show teased us with a casual hookup situation for the two. It wasn’t until the last season that they accepted fate, got married and had a baby together. It only took nine years!

Rory and Jess

Gilmore Girls was full of make ups and breakups, but one of the saddest was between Rory and Jess. Jess left twice without saying goodbye, refused to take Rory to prom and didn’t even show up for graduation, but still was obsessed with her.

WB Television

He would call her from pay phones without saying anything before it all got too much for Rory and she told him on the day of graduation she was finally moving on. Jess might have been less than suitable, but it was still a tear-jerker and one of the breakups that needed to happen.

Nick and Jess

Nick and Jess in New Girl took a long time to get together, but their chemistry was obvious. Fans were delighted when they decided to take the plunge and seriously date, but it all went south and they broke up, deciding they were better off as friends, but also admitted they loved each other more than they loved anyone else.

Ray Mickshaw/FOX

This was too revealing and even though they tried to move on with other people, they were soul mates and it was only a matter of time before they reconciled.

Sheldon and Amy

The second most loved couple in The Big Bang Theory was Sheldon and Amy. Both quirky and awkward in their own ways and Amy being much more obsessed with Sheldon than vice versa.

CBS Television Network

Amy eventually got fed up with Sheldon’s habits and tendency to ignore her so called it off in season eight. Sheldon was shocked and speechless, and what made it worse is that he was hanging on to a ring. Later on, fans finally got to see their wedding.

Michael and Holly

In The Office, one of the worst breakups happened when David Wallace found out that Michael and Holly were an items and was ruthless in transferring Holly back to her old branch in New Hampshire. Initially, they were committed to doing long distance but Holly made the devastating decision to break it off, thinking that they would never make it.

Mitch Haddad/NBC/NBCU Photo Bank

Michael begged her not to end it and it seriously tugged on our heartstrings. In the end, Holly came around and they got married like they should have done years prior.

Stefan and Elena

In the Vampire Diaries there were plenty of heart-wrenching breakups but none more so than Sefan and Elena. Elena had an increasingly complicated relationship with vampire brothers Stefan and Damon who she was infatuated with.

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It wasn’t until her transformation into a vampire that everything became clear and she could see Stefan’s building discomfort in accepting her change while Damon welcomed the change. After realizing who was best for her, she ended things with Stefan and confessed her love for Damon. 

Jane and Rafael

The premise of Jane the Virgin was always centered around the relationship between Jane and Rafael. In their complicated history, Jane ended up carrying Rafael’s child after being inseminated instead of his wife Petra in an almighty mix up.

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During the pregnancy, the two fell in love but Rafael’s unresolved issues with his parents became a huge barrier in the progression of their relationship. Ultimately, the two realized they couldn’t be together and broke up, leading the way for other romances for Jane.

Derek and Meredith

Grey’s Anatomy had a number of loving relationships, but a lot of breakups too. When Derek and Meredith spent an unexpected night together, fans were shocked yet excited at the prospect of them ending up together.


However, Derek chose to give his marriage another shot instead of progressing things with Meredith. Meredith herself realized she didn’t want to lose him but her trust issues became too much. Thankfully, they got back together after a hiatus and married. 

Fitz and Olivia

The affair between Olivia and the President of the United States was always going to have its ups and downs on Scandal. When they finally came clean about their relationship post the President’s divorce, they realized they had alternative opinions on each other.


Olivia was not impressed at the duties she would have to take on as First Lady while Fitz wasn’t happy that she never disclosed the information on her abortion. It ended up being one of the biggest breakups on the show. 

Mindy and Danny

Mindy and Danny on The Mindy Project had a love-hate relationship for a long time on the show. It wasn’t until the later seasons that they finally accepted they had feelings for each other.


They ended up dating for a while but Danny was scared about losing their friendship so called it quits with her. They got back together for a while, had a baby together but then broke up once again over disagreements over Mindy’s career. 

Lily and Rufus

Lily and Rufus on Gossip Girl were together before the pilot of the show aired. It was later revealed in the show that Lily’s mother threatened her if she didn’t break it off, but not before they had a baby which Lily gave up for adoption.

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It became more confusing when their children Dan and Serena ended up together. After getting back together and getting the blessing from their children, the couple tried once more and were reunited with their son. However, in the end, they both ended up with different partners and Dan and Serena were married. 

Blaine and Kurt

In Glee, Blaine and Kurt became the first same-sex couple on the show and it was heartwarming to fans after Kurt had a hard time coming to terms with his sexuality. Kurt eventually got together with Blaine but their relationship was put to the test when Blaine moved to New York to pursue his dreams.

Fox Broadcasting Co. CR: Jennifer Clasen/FOX

It got worse when Blaine confessed his infidelity and Kurt was broken. After breaking up, they realized they’re supposed to be together and eventually end up getting married. 

Seth and Summer

Seth and Summer in The O.C. were always meant to be together. Even from childhood they always had a crush on each other but only started dating after the arrival of Seth’s adopted brother, Ryan Atwood.


The couple were far from smooth-sailing and had many breakups before getting married at the end of the show. The only other strain put on their relationship was from Zach Stevens, Summer’s one-time boyfriend and Seth’s friend, but they managed to keep it together. 

Richard and Monica

In Friends, before there was Chandler and Monica, it was Richard and Monica. Richard was truly Monica’s first love but they had quite the considerable age gap between them. It didn’t become too much of an issue until Monica wanted to have children and Richard’s reluctance to it eventually led to their break up.


They rekindled their romance in later seasons but again realized they wanted different things in life and called it quits. Monica later hooked up with Chandler. 

Chuck and Blair

Chuck and Blair in Gossip Girl were the couple that all fans wanted to get together, but every obstacle in the way stopped them. Blair confessed her love for Chuck multiple times but the player wasn’t having it and ignored her. It wasn’t until the end of season two that Chuck said the words back.

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However, they still managed to break up multiple times more. After Blair’s royal marriage and divorce and Chucks ups and downs, they eventually got married and had a child together in the final episode of the show. 

Ross and Rachel

What is a devastating breakups list without Ross and Rachel? In Friends, Ross was always obsessed with Rachel from high school, but in later years, things got really complicated and there was always something preventing them from being together.


After a long time, they decided to give it a go and fans of the show were delighted, but then it all came crashing down and their breakup was truly heartbreaking. But they never stopped loving each other. All we know is that through all the complications, Rachel got off the plane for Ross and they eventually accepted their undying love. \

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