Skip To Content
  • WTF badge

17 Fictional Couples Who Were So Problematic, They Shouldn't Have Had Any Screen Time

TV teachers, please stop dating your students.

by ,

🚨🚨 WARNING: PROBLEMATIC SPOILERS AHEAD 🚨🚨

1. Ezra and Aria from Pretty Little Liars

Aria talking to Ezra at his desk.
ABC Family / Courtesy Everett Collection

Ezra and Aria were a problem from the first episode of PLL all the way to the series finale. Not only was Aria underage when they started dating, but Ezra was her high school teacher. And despite many opportunities to break them up, the writers decided to have them GET MARRIED at the end of the series. Unforgivable.

2. Paris and Asher from Gilmore Girls

Paris and Asher sitting together on a hospital bed.
Warner Bros.

Yet another student-teacher relationship! Yes, it’s slightly better because Paris was legal, but the power dynamic of Asher being her professor at Yale was still not okay at all. Plus, she was the same age as HIS CHILDREN!!! Dare I say, his heart attack was necessary.

3. Pacey and Tamara from Dawson’s Creek

Pacey and Tamara kissing on a dock.
Warner Bros.

Sensing a theme here? Tamara was Pacey’s 36-year-old English teacher, and Pacey was literally 15 years old. Yes, he pursued Tamara semi-heavily, but this grown-ass woman should’ve known better.

4. Brooke and Nick from One Tree Hill

Brooke and Nick kissing.
The CW

Should Brooke have lied about her age when she went on a blind date with Nick? No. But should Nick have made the decision to continue their relationship after realizing she was one of his students? ABSOLUTELY NOT. Also, the fact that they snuck in and had sex in his classroom is creepy and unsettling, even if it was before he found out about Brooke’s age.

5. Mouth and Alice from One Tree Hill

Mouth and Alice kissing.
The CW

Alice was Mouth’s boss and constantly verbally abused him and created a super toxic work environment. Then, when they started sleeping together (also not okay), she even tried to insert herself into his personal life and threatened to fire him if he dated Millicent! Did that TV station even have an HR department?!

6. Monica and Richard from Friends

 Monica looking lovingly at Richard.
Warner Bros. / Courtesy Everett Collection

Monica and Richard started their relationship when she was in her mid-twenties and he was in his mid-forties, but that’s not even the main issue here. The problem is that Richard was her dad’s longtime friend and had literally watched Monica grow up. He even mentioned HOLDING HER AS A BABY. Sir, please leave.

7. Hayley and Rainer from Modern Family

Hayley and Rainer hugging.
ABC

What is up with TV dads’ friends thinking it’s OK to date their (much younger) daughters?! Even if Phil “accidentally” set the two of them up, that didn’t make the situation any less uncomfortable or problematic. And did I mention that he also had a daughter close to Haley's age? Thanks, I hate it.

8. Alison and Luther from Umbrella Academy

Alison and Luther looking lovingly at each other.
Netflix

There are plenty of Alison and Luther stans out there, and in a way, I’m one of them. They’ve had some pretty tender and romantic moments together (that dance in Season 1? C’mon), but that unfortunately doesn’t change the fact that they basically grew up as siblings. Not *technically* incest, but definitely toeing the line and just extremely uncomfortable.

9. Julie and Luke from The O.C.

Luke looking sexily at Julie.
FOX

Luke was not only underage, he was Julie's daughter's ex-boyfriend! That just about breaks every moral code in the book. Marissa never quite recovered from this breach of trust and it was heartbreaking. I'm typically a Julie stan, but this was definitely one of her darker moments.

10. Jimmy and Hailey from The O.C.

Hailey and Jimmy.
FOX

Hailey was in her twenties and Jimmy was in his forties when they started dating. Yes, it was legal, but the constant references to him babysitting her when she was little were repulsive.

11. Dean Hess and Taylor from The O.C.

Dean Hess and Taylor looking evil and satisfied.
FOX

I love Sandy, but he really let Dean Hess off easy with his blackmail threat to get him to transfer schools after finding out about his relationship with Taylor. He should have sent his ass straight to jail.

12. Pete Wentz and Peyton from One Tree Hill

Pete Wentz holding Peyton's hand and resting his forehead against hers.
The CW

We get it Pete, you're famous. But that didn't distract from the fact that you were in a relationship with an underage HIGH SCHOOLER for multiple episodes of a show. In fact, it may have made it creepier.

13. Archie and Ms. Grundy from Riverdale

Archie and Ms. Grundy about to kiss.
The CW

Before there was Archie and Veronica, or Archie and Betty (or whoever he's with right now — I can't keep up), there was Archie and Ms. Grundy...his MUSIC TEACHER. Enough said.

14. Cersei and Jaime Lannister from Game of Thrones

Jaime holding Cersei lovingly while she looks sad.
HBO

We may have grown to see Jaime's soft side, and finally gotten the slightest glimpse of humanity from Cersei, but their relationship was never okay. I don't know what all of y'all's fetishes entail, but twins having sex with each other is not in my wheelhouse.

15. Daenerys and Khal Drogo from Game of Thrones

Daenerys and Khal Drogo smiling while she embraces him.
HBO

In the books, Daenerys was only 13 when she was forced to marry Khal Drogo. She was the slightest bit older in the show, but it was no less painful watching her develop a passionate relationship with a man who sexually assaulted her on their first night together.

16. Hector and Marisol from Ray Donovan

Marisol and Hector sitting next to a messed up bed.
Showtime

*Sigh.* Incest again. This time, it's Hector and Marisol — the troubled half siblings whose secret romance culminated in a brutal murder. And before anyone tries to make the argument that "they were only half siblings," please don't.

17. And lastly, Hakeem and Anika from Empire

Hakeem kissing Anika's neck up against a wall while she makes a sexual face.
FOX

Anika and Hakeem were stepmom and stepson. They slept together, and Hakeem got Anika pregnant. Forget about the "step" factor; the key words here are "mom" and "son." Disgusting.

Are there any problematic couples we missed? Share them in the comments!

TV and Movies

Get all the best moments in pop culture & entertainment delivered to your inbox.

Newsletter signup form