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    17 Worst Bits Of Advice Rom-Coms Have Given Us In The Last 25 Years

    Despite what we've been told countless times, lying and stalking are, in fact, never okay!

    Facts are facts, internet: A lot of rom-coms give bad relationship advice.

    Paramount Pictures

    You might be saying, "Duh, I knew that." If so, good for you. You're very wise.

    If you grew up watching rom-coms in the 1990s, 2000s, and 2010s, there's a good chance you had to unlearn certain less-than-stellar behaviors as you got older and began dating in the real world.


    (I know I did 😬)

    Here is some of the worst love and relationship advice that rom-coms have given us over the last 25 years, along with the movies** that made us believe it.

    **Nobody is telling you not to enjoy these movies! Just, y'know, take their teachings with a grain of salt.

    1. Casual sexual harassment and negging are both valid forms of flirting.


    Notable offenders: Bridget Jones's Diary and The Ugly Truth

    If he grabs your butt or tells you you'd be more attractive if you dressed better, it's because he's interested! JK, both are disrespectful as hell, and you don't need to stand for that.

    2. Straight men and women can’t be friends.

    Scene from When Harry Met Sally
    Castle Rock Entertainment

    Notable offenders: When Harry Met Sally...**, What If, and Playing It Cool

    This is simply...not true for a lot of people. You aren't attracted to every single person you meet. Maybe you do believe that men and women can't be friends because of your personal experience, and that's fine! You have your reasons! The point is that there isn't a universal golden rule that applies to every single person.

    **When Harry Met Sally... (1989) is the only movie on this list that came out before 1995, but it's THE defining friends-to-lovers rom-com, so it had to be here.

    3. It doesn't matter how terrible either you or your partner is to other people, as long as you're not terrible to each other. Friends and family be damned if it's in the name of true love.

    Scene of main character pining after her friend's fiancé from Something Borrowed
    Alcon Entertainment

    Notable offenders: Just Go With It, John Tucker Must Die, The Wedding Planner, Something Borrowed, Bride Wars, and 27 Dresses

    If the pursuit of love is driving you to publicly slut-shame your own sister or have an affair with your best friend's fiancé, you're not being romantic, you're just being awful.

    4. Lying is totally cool as long as it's in the name of getting someone to fall (or stay) in love with you.

    Catfishing scene from Sierra Burgess is a Big Loser

    Notable offenders: Overboard, Sierra Burgess Is a Loser, Maid in Manhattan, and...many others

    Catfishing a classmate and making someone with amnesia believe that THEY ARE MARRIED TO YOU are both punishable by law for a reason.

    5. Stalking is also totally cool, as long as it's in the noble pursuit of love.

    Ted and Mary talking in There's Something About Mary
    20th Century Fox

    Notable offenders: There's Something About Mary, Amélie, and This Means War

    Hiring a private detective to follow your high school crush or planting a mic in a woman's apartment to find out what she likes does not make you a devoted suitor, it makes you a creep!

    6. Don’t listen to someone when they tell you they aren’t interested; they just haven't realized they love you yet.

    Argument scene from 500 Days of Summer
    Dune Entertainment

    Notable offenders: 500 Days of Summer and He's Just Not That Into You

    It feels like we as a society have come around to realizing that Tom was in the wrong in 500 Days of Summer, but how many of us hated Summer at the time for breaking this nice guy's heart? Be honest. The idea that you can wear someone down into loving you is...problematic at best.

    7. Liking someone and being nice to them entitles you to their affection.

    Breakfast scene from 50 First Dates
    Columbia Pictures

    Notable offenders: When We First Met, Just Friends, and 50 First Dates

    Getting mad at someone for not liking you back, or expecting them to like you for showing them basic human courtesy, is not nice. In fact, it's the opposite of nice.

    8. All people fall into clear and distinct "types," and sweeping generalizations about gender are never wrong.

    Generalizations made in The Ugly Truth and Think Like A Man
    Columbia Pictures / Rainforest Films

    Notable offenders: The Ugly Truth and Think Like a Man

    If a character starts a sentence with, "The thing you need to know about men/women is...," there's a good chance they're about to say something wildly offensive and at least partially inaccurate. It's the 21st century; we can dispense with the "Men are from Mars, women are from Venus" nonsense.

    9. There is a deadline by which you need to have found true love and happiness.

    Diary writing scene from Bridget Jones's Diary

    Notable offenders: Bridget Jones's Diary, What's Your Number?, and The Last Holiday

    The idea that a 30- or 40-year-old woman is unaccomplished because she is single or without children is outdated at best, and deeply misogynistic at worst.

    10. You should always confess your feelings to someone, no matter how it might affect them.

    Sign scene from Love Actually

    Notable offenders: Love Actually, My Best Friend's Wedding, and Made of Honor

    Telling your best friend you love them the night before their wedding is selfish, and so is telling your best friend's wife via posters while pretending to be Christmas carolers.

    11. You can (and should!) forgive anything your S.O. does to you, especially if they apologize in the form of a grand romantic gesture.

    Patrick give Kat a guitar as an apology in 10 Things I Hate About You
    Touchstone Pictures

    Notable offenders: How to Lose a Guy in 10 Days, She's All That, and 10 Things I Hate About You

    It's okay not to forgive a boy who lied to you for weeks to get a promotion/win a bet/make some money.

    12. Changing how you look will undoubtedly have a positive effect on your love life.

    Bianca before and after her makeover in The DUFF
    Vast Entertainment

    Notable offenders: Clueless, My Big Fat Greek Wedding, and The DUFF

    Can a makeover boost your confidence a bit? Maybe! But it could also be that putting on makeup, taking off your glasses, and changing clothes won't fix all of your problems.

    13. If someone is your complete opposite on paper and you hate each other at first, you'll probably fall in love before long.

    Main characters arguing in The Proposal
    Touchstone Pictures

    Notable offenders: The Ugly Truth, The Proposal, Bridget Jones's Diary, and Along Came Polly

    Sometimes opposites attract! But sometimes a person who believes the exact opposite of you in every way is not your ideal life partner.

    14. A good strategy to find your soulmate is to start a fake relationship with them, because it will lead you to fall in love with each other instead of the people you are trying to impress/make jealous.

    Peter and Lara Jean sign their fake relationship contract in To All The Boys I've Loved Before

    Notable offenders: The Wedding Date, To All the Boys I've Loved Before, and Drive Me Crazy

    For the number of movies that include this trope, I have never heard of a real relationship that started this way. Does one exist? Show me and I'll give you $5.

    15. All it takes is the right partner to make a cynical or noncommittal person believe in love and jump into a happy relationship.

    Amy Schumer and Bill Hader in Trainwreck
    Apatow Productions

    Notable offenders: Trainwreck, What If, Valentine's Day, Last Christmas, and Crazy, Stupid, Love

    One magical person is not enough to overcome years of trust issues and a crippling fear of commitment.

    16. Men only like smart, driven, and outspoken women once they've softened their edges a little bit.

    Gabriel Union as Eva in Deliver Us From Eva
    Focus Features

    Notable offenders: The Ugly Truth, The Proposal, 10 Things I Hate About You, Deliver Us From Eva, and Knocked Up

    You can be tough as nails as long as you're still delicate enough to need someone to take care of you. You can be in charge of your career as long as you're not bossy. You can be detail-oriented as long as you're not controlling. Confusing much?

    17. And finally, you are definitely in love with your best friend and just haven't realized it yet.

    Jenna and Matt as kids and adults in 13 Going on 30
    Columbia Pictures

    Notable offenders: 13 Going On 30, Made of Honor, Sleeping With Other People, and Friends With Benefits

    Listen, maybe you are, and if so, good for you! But it's fine if you're just not. Platonic love is important too!

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