Our favorite television series can devastate us at times. We get addicted to characters and couples and get comfortable thinking they're in the safe zone. Then the writers send us over the edge by ripping apart the relationships we thought would last forever.
Sometimes, we get lucky, and the couples find their way back to each other. Other times, we have to live with the knowledge that at least they were happy for a while. But that's what makes for good television!
If everyone lived happily ever after, there would be no conflict, and thus, the TV show would be boring. If a series doesn't shake things up a bit, viewers can get complacent, and we may even skip an episode or two saying we'll catch it later. The writers have to make us want something, and we'll sit on the edges of our seats, waiting for it to happen.
In these fictional realities, love can't always conquer all. And in the cases of these six couples, their break-ups were brutally intense and may even be difficult to watch still.
1. Oliver and Felicity ('Arrow')
The fans who rooted for this couple were ecstatic when the writers put them together at the end of Season 3 of #Arrow. We loved their chemistry and their connection, and when Oliver popped the question, we held our breaths hoping they'd make it down the aisle, yet knowing, feeling, that something would happen to stand in their way. And it did. Last season, Felicity returned the ring, which was bad enough, but the final scene of Episode 16 was the heart-ripper, the one that left #Olicity fans reeling.
2. Piper and Leo ('Charmed')
Any fan of #Charmed knows the hoops Leo and Piper had to jump through to even get a chance at their relationship. The elders kept them on a tight leash, pulled them apart, allowed them to get married, then ripped them apart again by making Leo an elder. And #PiperandLeo fans were furious when Piper had to say goodbye to her husband at the end of Season 5, and had it not been for our hope the two would be reunited, many of us would have stopped watching the show.
But we did hold out hope, and it was rewarded with a reunion in Season 7, but this break-up scene is still painful to watch as we saw five years' worth of love fading away.
3. Lois and Clark ('Lois and Clark: The New Adventures of Superman')
Lois and Clark are iconic, and as fans, when we watched Lois and Clark: The New Adventures of Superman, we expected this couple to find their way to one another. And they did, only for the writers to tear them apart. After almost a full season trying to find their way to the altar, Clark discovers he's the only one who can help save New Krypton, but to do so, he has to leave Lois behind. They didn't know how long he'd be gone, if he could ever return. So, to them, they were saying goodbye. And while fans knew the show wouldn't keep them apart for long (It was #LoisandClark, after all), the ending of Season 3 left a hole in our hearts that lasted the entire summer.
4. Steve and Catherine ('Hawaii Five-0')
Steve McGarrett and Catherine Rollins have been an on-again/off-again couple for many years, and when Catherine returned to Hawaii at the beginning of Season 6, fans thought she'd come to stay. Steve thought she'd come to stay. He had the ring and was preparing to propose.
Then he returned to his house to discover Catherine sitting with her bags packed. She was off on another mission, and the moment Steve said he couldn't wait for her, our hearts broke. Their scenes together were magical, their chemistry undeniable, and they made us believe that love would win in the end. Unfortunately, it doesn't look like #McRoll (as fans have dubbed them) will get their happily ever after.
5. Angel and Buffy ('Buffy the Vampire Slayer')
Angel and Buffy were the quintessential couple in the 1990s. They were the epitome of forbidden love, so Angel's departure at the end of Season 3 of Buffy the Vampire Slayer took us all by surprise. But, for a split second, in the Season 1 episode of Angel, "I Will Remember You," they got a second chance. When a demon's blood made Angel human, he and Buffy reunited, their love stronger than ever.
But their happily ever after was never written in the cards, and when #Angel had the Oracles rewind time, #Buffy forgot the perfect day they'd spent together while Angel had to endure the pain of it alone. This a wound that will never heal.
6. Angel and Cordelia ('Angel')
Angel and #Cordelia also shared a love that wasn't meant to be. Though viewers rooted for the couple, their romance was ill-fated from the start. Moments away from their happiness, Angel is attacked by his son, and Cordelia is whisked away by the powers that be.
After a horrifying Season 4 (my opinion), Cordelia returns in Season 5 long enough to remind Angel of who he is and why the world needs him. She gives him one last kiss before leaving, and Angel gets the call that she's died. It's a tragic love story that tore fans' hearts into tiny pieces. And their final scene together is still tough to watch.
Romance happens in most every television show, but happily ever after is a rarity. The road to happiness is fraught with perils, and some couples don't survive the trip. The breakup scenes often leave us devastated because we invest in these couples, which is exactly what writers and producers want us to do. It makes good television, and good television keeps us coming back.
Which breakup scene do you remember the most?