1. Marshall Eriksen and Lily Aldrin from How I Met Your Mother.
While How I Met Your Mother was technically about Ted's long (and ridiculously winding) road to finding a wife, most fans of the show would admit that Marshall and Lily were the actual key couple of the series. They showed that "happy couple" doesn't automatically mean "boring couple" — in fact, quite the opposite.
Ted can wave around the blue French horn all he wants, Marshmallow and Lilypad have true intimacy...with nary an eye roll or nagging comment in sight (so rare when it comes to married couples on TV).
3. Rob and Laura Petrie from The Dick Van Dyke Show.
One of the first married couples on TV who truly seemed to delight in each other's company, Rob and Laura Petrie just had fun together. They didn't shriek and bicker constantly (like Lucy and Ricky), nor did they get along eerily well (like the Cleavers); they were quite the dream team.
4. Jane Kerkovich-Williams and Brad Williams from Happy Endings.
RIP Happy Endings and RIP one of best married couples to appear on a sitcom in recent years: Jane and Brad. Always having fun together (and always all over each other), they were a couple to emulate.
5. Cory Matthews and Topanga Lawrence-Matthews from Boy Meets World.
Oh, Cory and Topanga: giving kids somewhat unrealistic expectations about their middle school romances since 1993. But some couples do make it! It does happen! Plus, Cory and Topanga's relationship wasn't turbulence-free: It had its ups and downs, and when they did end up getting married, that marriage stood the test of time. (Proof = the Disney Channel spin-off, Girl Meets World.)
6. Ellie and Carl Fredricksen from Up.
Ellie and Carl's marriage takes up less than 10 minutes of the movie Up, but man oh man are those 10 gut-wrenching, tear-inducing, GIVE ME A KLEENEX PLEASE minutes.
They're currently winning the "Which Disney Movie Has The Most Romantic Love Story?" poll, and good golly they surely deserve to. Their relationship shows that even if you never make it to Paradise Falls, marriage itself is an amazing adventure.
8. Chandler Bing and Monica Geller-Bing from Friends.
Could they BE any more awesome? Doubtful. Ross and Rachel, Schmoss and Schmachel: This is the couple to care about. Thank god for the drunken London hookup that brought these two lobsters together.
9. David Fisher and Keith Charles from Six Feet Under.
If you've watched Six Feet Under, you know what happens during the finale; you know that you will have permanent water damage in your apartment from all the tears that will flow from your wee eye sockets — a torrential downpour of grief.
It's almost impossible to pick which flash-forward scenario inspires the most sobbing... just kidding, it's Keith and David's. First you see them finally getting married, and then before you know it — Keith passes away, and then David follows suit (dying after he thinks he sees a young Keith playing football in the distance). Tears. Oh the tears.
10. Glenn Rhee and Maggie Greene from The Walking Dead.
The couple that fights zombies together, stays together.
Glenn and Maggie may not legally be married, but they've been engaged since Season 3 and — let's be real — wedding planning isn't at the top of anyone's priorities during the zombie apocalypse. They're the best part of the show (a flare of hope amongst the carnage), and when they were separated during Season 5 it was as painful for us as it was for them.
11. Niles and Daphne Crane from Frasier.
Has there ever been a "will they or won't they" couple that you've more desperately wanted a "will" for? Doubtful. Hearing Daphne call Dr. Crane "Niles" for the first time sends chills down a Frasier-lover's spine. And when they finally get married? Well, it's better than tossed salad and scrambled eggs.
13. Jin-Soo and Sun-Hwa Kwon from Lost.
You'll probably start to sob just thinking of the submarine scene.
14. Stef and Lena Foster from The Fosters.
This is a show that doesn't get nearly enough viewers: People get scared away by the fact that it's on ABC Family...but they shouldn't! The show has many virtues, but obviously the one most relevant to this post is Lena and Stef's relationship. Their lives are full of drama, but — at least so far — all the dramatic occurrences on the show only serve to bring them closer together.
15. Madame Vastra and Jenny Flint from Doctor Who.
An odd pair (Madame Vastra is a Silurian warrior, after all), but a great one.
17. Zoe and "Wash" Washburne from Firefly.
Zoe and Wash were great at couple-y banter and equally great at their jobs. The "great at their jobs" part of that sentence is important, because it made them into two incredibly interesting characters: They weren't just some token "married couple" on the space ship.
22. Kristina and Adam Braverman from Parenthood.
Adam and Kristina had to deal with a lot over the course of five seasons, but as the series came to a close they were still going strong. "Small victories" are important, and they knew that you need to celebrate them.
23. Tami and Eric Taylor from Friday Night Lights.
And finally, here we have the king and queen of happy TV marriages: Eric and Tami Taylor.
This is the sort of partnership you dream of having — not because it's some storybook, fairy tale version of married life, but because it's a realistic and flawed (yet still passionate and strong) portrayal of marriage.
Clear eyes, full hearts, can't lose.