10 Best Love/Hate Relationships on TV

Published: August 18, 2014

In real life, hating the person you love (or loving the person you hate) is awkward, at best. On TV, though, it's downright enjoyable to watch. For all of you out there like me who can't get enough of those feisty love affairs, here are, in no particular order, 10 of the best love/hate relationships from the past 15 years of television. Spoiler alert! This list contains spoilers.

  1. Temperance Brennan/Seeley Booth, "Bones"


    When they aren't solving murders, they're practically murdering each other... except, of course, for when they are risking everything to save one another. Both characters have troubled pasts, and they put us all through agony wondering "Will they/won't they," but eventually, their bickering turned into love. Not that the bickering stopped then. It just got a little more personal.

  2. Michael/Maria, "Roswell"

    Ahh, the 90s. Era of platform shoes, pinkie rings, and unbridled drama. It only took a few episodes of this thrillingly cheesy drama for the tension to boil over between these two, but it felt like an alien lifetime. 

  3. Logan Echolls/ Veronica Mars, "Veronica Mars"

    Everybody's favorite spunky teenage detective met her match in snarky, bitter bad-boy Logan. Few people would have guessed, from their early interactions, that we would ever be rooting for this 'ship to come in... but nobody broods like Logan.

  4. Pacey Whitter/Joey Potter, "Dawson's Creek"

    It may have been Dawson's Creek, but I was always rooting for Joey to be Pacey's girl. Whether they were hunting snails, arguing, kissing, or breaking up, this couple always had my heart.

  5. Zane/ Jo "Eureka"

    This couple never had it easy, in either timeline. Genius criminal Zane and ordinarily-intelligent cop Jo didn't have much in common... besides blistering chemistry and a penchant for trouble. They stand as a testament to the fact that love really does conquer all... even time travel.

  6. Klaus/ Caroline, "The Vampire Diaries"

    Klaus is no saint (and that's saying something on this show, where nobody's ever 100% good), and it made everybody nervous to see him sniffing around after the usually-innocent, occasionaly-naieve Caroline. But there's just something about that face... no matter how many times Caroline (or the viewer) denies it, you can't hate Klaus.

  7. Damon Salvatore/ Everyone, "The Vampire Diaries"

    He's snarky, he's dark, and he smirks entirely too much, but just when you think there's no redemption for this unrepentant bad boy, he hooks you back in. Maybe it's those eyes.

  8. Chuck Bass/Blair Waldorf, "Gossip Girl"

    The couple that schemes together...er, schemes together. Chuck and Blair are both trememndously manipulative, dysfunctional people. It's a wonder to me that I was able to root for either of them to do anything besides walk off a cliff... yet their relationship was my favorite part of the show. At least when they were together, they weren't hurting anybody but each other.


  9. Sam Puckett/Freddie Benson, "iCarly"

    Ok, ok, so I'm 12 years old at heart. I was rooting for this pair of frenemies to get together since the first season. It seemed like the show was determined not to go there, though, and when they finally did, it was disappointingly short-lived. Then again, where do you go with a couple with that much chemistry on a kids' show? 

  10. Rick Castle/ Kate Beckett, "Castle"


    Rounding out this list with another detective show pair are Castle and Beckett, who fight each other more than crime, and whose bickering is the stuff of legend. Moving their relationship forward hasn't changed things, either, which was a huge relief to the fans.

There are a few other couples that could have made the list (Barney and Robin from "How I Met Your Mother" come to mind), but these 10 best encapsulate the tension, banter, and audience enthusiasm that make for a great love/hate relationship. It's also pretty interesting to note how many of these couples (7 out of 10) are involved, at some point, in saving the life of their love/hate companion. Maybe it's the adrenaline and the awareness of mortality that makes their love so intense.