Sure, these TV couples make us totally jealous of them, but they also paint a picture of what it looks like when a couple is meant to be.
The best TV shows are the ones that capture real, human experiences, hardships, and joys. The ones that make us ponder what we’d do in this situation, the ones whose storylines capture our imagination, and the ones whose characters remind us of people we know, or ourselves, and give us an image of who we want to be, or don’t want to be.
Along with that, they examine one of the universal human experiences: love. We’ve all either been in love or wanted to be in love. For humans, falling in love will never go out of style. So shows that tackle such a meaningful topic by providing its viewers with couples who are, for lack of a better term, total #couplegoals, are powerful. Yes, of course, we’re jealous of the love these couples have for each other, but seeing them also makes us hopeful for what we could have with someone one day, and gives us an image of a healthy, stable relationship.
So, which TV couples fall into this category? Here are the best, most jealousy-inducing TV couples out there.
Marshall and Lily from How I Met Your Mother
Although How I Met Your Mother focuses on Ted’s journey of finding the woman who’d become the mother of his future children, the show’s greatest love story is actually that of Marshall and Lily. While their friend group of 30-somethings is engaging in hookups, searching for love, and making mistakes, Marshall and Lily share a constant, growing love for each other that never fades. It’s their unending loyalty, support, and understanding of each other’s quirks that makes everyone wish for a love like theirs.
Phil and Vivian from The Fresh Prince of Bel-Air
If there was ever a couple that deserved the #couplegoals crown, it’s these two. When their nephew, Will, comes to live with them after getting into trouble, Phil and Vivian band together, working as partners to set Will straight and give him a stable home — and the stability they’re able to offer him didn’t come out of nowhere. Phil and Vivian worked hard to have a healthy marriage, not just sharing a deep, passionate love, but also treating each other as equals. Their relationship is one that viewers never have to question the foundation of.
Coach Taylor and Tami from Friday Night Lights
In the tiny, football-crazed town of Dillon, Texas, Coach Taylor has the important job of being the local high school’s football coach — with his wife, Tami, right by his side. While these two faced their fair share of battles and obstacles, and were far from perfect and blissful, what made Coach Taylor and Tami such an incredible couple was their endless respect and devotion to one another. No matter what they faced, we knew they’d come out closer than before and never waver in their commitment to love each other.
Sun and Jin from Lost
When their flight crashed on a mysterious island at the beginning of Lost, Sun and Jin’s marriage was crumbling. What had started off as a sweet romance turned bitter when infertility, Jin’s work, and Sun’s father got in the way of their happiness. But despite hitting such a rough patch, being stranded on the island helped Sun and Jin remember why they’d initially fallen for each other, proving to viewers that love is worth restoring and rediscovering. By the end of the series, Sun and Jin were inseparable — not even time travel could keep them apart forever.
Michael and Holly from The Office
At first glance, Michael Scott seems like the guy who will never find love, no matter how much he wants to — he’s eccentric, awkward, and constantly embarrassing himself. Enter: Holly, an equally strange yet loveable woman whose oddballness matches Michael’s perfectly. The two sync up in ways most of us dream of, and for the first time, neither of them feels misunderstood, but instead, appreciated for their true selves. While viewers were left wondering if Michael and Holly would actually end up together, that made it all the sweeter when they did.
Randall and Beth from This Is Us
Let’s be honest: Randall and Beth make us all incredibly jealous. After meeting and falling in love in college, it was clear that their love story wouldn’t end anytime soon (or ever). While some couples who meet at such a young age grow apart, Randall and Beth found ways to continue growing together, acting as a support system for the other, treating one another with respect, and seeing their marriage as a partnership. Of course, even they face trials, but at the end of the day, they feel at home in each other’s arms.
Lucy and Ricky from I Love Lucy
Perhaps TV’s longest-reigning classic couple, Lucy and Ricky Ricardo gave new meaning to the partnership of marriage, seeing as how the two weren’t only an on-screen couple, but a real-life one as well. I Love Lucy became an American classic after getting audiences to tune in week after week for a laugh. Lucy’s silly, offbeat disposition and tendency to get herself into sticky situations paired well with Ricky's more serious, prudent approach to life, making them the perfect example of when opposites attract.
Leslie and Ben from Parks and Rec
For Leslie and Ben, it definitely wasn’t love at first sight. Instead, these two started off as total enemies, making their growing attraction to one another all the more entertaining and satisfying to watch — we all love to see two people who just can’t deny their feelings for each other. Eventually, Leslie and Ben developed into an incredible team that embraced every oddity of the other, and whose loving relationship became far more important to them than anything else.
Luke and Lorelai from Gilmore Girls
In the tiny town of Stars Hollow, Connecticut, Lorelai Gilmore is a coffee-obsessed, fast-talking, fun-loving local, and Luke is the emotionally distant, grumpy guy who gives her coffee. While they couldn’t be more different, there’s no denying that Luke and Lorelai are meant to be. Their long-awaited romance builds ever so slowly over a few seasons, with neither one wanting to jeopardize their friendship. But Luke’s consistent presence and willingness to help Lorelai anytime she asks and Lorelai’s ability to relate to Luke like no one else proves their friendship was meant to be much more. And when they finally get together, everything about them feels right.
Lady Mary and Matthew from Downton Abbey
When Lady Mary and Matthew Crawley meet, it’s with the understanding that they should marry in order to keep Downton Abbey in the family, much to Lady Mary’s chagrin. The two don’t hit it off to begin with, but a sweet friendship grows between them. And despite both almost marrying someone else, building the will-they-won’t-they tension, Mary and Matthew can only hide their feelings for so long. When they finally get together, their friendship serves them well. They’re a perfect team, support each other well, and share a deeper bond than they ever imagined possible.
Each of these couples, with their different stories and issues and quirks, offers us an image of what true love is really all about: loyalty, support, friendship, respect, and passion.
If you liked this list, check out our rom-com recommendations!