Worst (& Best) Literary Couples

Happy Valentine’s Day. Celebrate love in all of its best (but mostly worst) permutations in literature. (Clearly we are a bit cynical.)

1. BEST: Hazel Grace and Augustus Waters

The Fault in Our Stars by John Green

This: “I’m in love with you, and I’m not in the business of denying myself the simple pleasure of saying true things. I’m in love with you, and I know that love is just a shout into the void, and that oblivion is inevitable, and that we’re all doomed and that there will come a day when all our labor has been returned to dust, and I know the sun will swallow the only earth we’ll ever have, and I am in love with you.”

2. WORST: Humbert Humbert and Dolores Haze

Lolita by Vladimir Nabokov

Hebephilia is NOT love!

3. WORST: F. Scott and Zelda Fitzgerald

Madly in love? Or love that is mad?

4. WORST: Sophie and Otto Bentwood

Desperate Characters by Paula Fox

Is there anything more desperate than a loveless marriage?

5. WORST: Jodi and Todd

The Silent Wife by A. S. A. Harrison

He is a committed cheater. She lives and breathes denial. He exists in dual worlds. She likes to settle scores.

6. BEST: Odysseus and Penelope

The Odyssey by Homer

You can go home again…

7. WORST: Anna Karenina & Count Vronsky

Anna Karenina by Leo Tolstoy

“Happy families are all alike; every unhappy family is unhappy in its own way.”

8. WORST: Romeo and Juliet

Romeo and Juliet by William Shakespeare

The prime example of teens overreacting to their angst-y woes.

9. BEST: Jane Eyre and Rochester

Jane Eyre by Charlotte Brontë

Secrets are thrilling, especially when they bring lovers closer together.

10. WORST: Bella Swan and Edward Cullen

Twilight, by Stephenie Meyer

This takes “staying in a relationship for all the wrong reasons” to a new level. He just said he wants to murder you. Take his word for it.

11. WORST: Rachel Samstat and Mark Feldman

Heartburn by Nora Ephron

Sometimes we take love like a pie in the face!

12. WORST: Oedipus and Jocasta

Oedipus Rex by Sophocles

I want my mommy!

13. BEST: Katniss and Peeta

The Hunger Games by Suzanne Collins

Peeta is the boyfriend we all want. See here.

14. WORST: Katniss and Gale

The Hunger Games by Suzanne Collins

Go away, Gale. You’re confusing Katniss and ruining everything for our sweet Peeta.

15. BEST: Louisa Clark and Will Traynor

Me Before You by Jojo Moyes

As inspiring as it is heartbreaking, this is the captivating tale of two people whose improbable romance sets them both free.

16. WORST: Charles and Emma

Madame Bovary by Gustave Flaubert

Don’t say they didn’t warn you.

17. BEST: Elizabeth Bennett and Darcy

Jane Austen’s Pride and Prejudice

Sometimes bad first impressions create the best couples.

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