14 Of The Greatest Couples That Never Were

Love is great in real life, or whatever, but it is so much better with a professional soundtrack and sweeping visual effects. Call us crazy/out of touch/possibly delusional, but we said it. So, it follows that unrequited love — while plenty painful in reality — is even worse when experienced vicariously through a fictional couple that never actually gets together because the universe is against all that is good. (Universe! You always ruin everything!)
The will-they/won't-they aspect of some of these relationships kept us enraptured, even if the pairings never actually got it on. Censors, fans, cancellations, and just bad decision-making kept these lovers apart, and our hearts just haven't been the same. Because, night after night, in our dreams, each of these unfortunate lovers will always be meant to be.
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Photo: Greg Allen/REX USA.
Benson and Stabler, Law and Order: SVU
This is a tough one, because one of the things that makes us respect this show so much is the fact that they don't push romance on the viewers when it's not needed. In the end, we're happy that Benson and Stabler kept their relationship one of deep, understanding friendship coated in professionalism. But, still, a photo like this one will always make our hearts jump just a bit.
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Photo: REX USA/Snap Stills/Rex.
Mal and Inara, Firefly
He hates her profession. She thinks he is a criminal. But, their sexual tension was palpable, and watching the composed Companion break down after Mal sleeps with another woman is just heartbreaking. The last episode teases us, and sadly, Serenity doesn't put them back together. (Though it should have, right?)
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Photo: REX USA/Snap Stills/Rex.
Irene and the driver, Drive
Because any movie starring Ryan Gosling that does not involve at least seven hours of make-out scenes is unacceptable.
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Photo: Courtesy of NBC.
Starbuck and Apollo, Battlestar Galactica
Okay, guys, getting a little teary over this one. As ridiculous as the show got by the end, the testament to its enduring greatness lies in the fact that we were still so very emotionally invested in these characters. They loved each other, they hated each other, they got with other people. But, after emotionally teasing us for four seasons, their romance just...disappeared. (Spoiler alert: literally.)
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Photo: Courtesy of Miramax Films.
Jackie and Max Cherry, Jackie Brown
What an entrance, right? Max Cherry clearly understands the unbeatable, indescribable awesomeness of the Jackie Brown character, and for that, we support this relationship.
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Photo: REX USA/Everett Collection.
Audrey Horne and Agent Cooper, Twin Peaks
Here is a piece of unsubstantiated Hollywood gossip: Audrey and Dale were supposed to get together, but Kyle MacLachlan was dating Lara Flynn Boyle (who played Donna) and she did not like the on-screen coupling. So, while the party line is that this pairing of an FBI agent and a high schooler wasn't kosher, we all know that these two really did burn up the screen.
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Photo: REX USA/c.Warner Br/Everett.
Catwoman and Batman, Batman Returns
Come on. There was so much kink to be had with all that leather. Almost, almost, almost...but Keaton's Batman was a destined bachelor.
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Photo: REX USA/Lehtikuva OY/Rex.
Neville and Luna, Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows
True fans of the book know there is really not much to be said for the movies, by comparison. However, while Rowling eventually revealed that Neville ends up married to Hannah Abbott, a lot of readers will agree that the film script's pairing of Neville and Luna was actually a pretty smart call. If nothing else, we should entertain the idea simply to honor the existence of Evanna Lynch and Matthew Smith's respectively striking good looks.
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Photo: REX USA/Moviestore Collection/Rex.
Riddick and Fry, Pitch Black
Some people might argue that there is no basis for coupledom here. And, yet, their last embrace was undoubtedly pregnant with many (possibly projected) emotions. Goodbye into the distance, Fry! Sorry about your guts.
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Photo: REX USA/CW Network/Everett.
Veronica and Logan, Veronica Mars
Wait a minute — we may have spoke to soon, here! There is a remake coming out, after all — and anything could happen.
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Photo: REX USA/Moviestore Collection/Rex.
Ripley and Hicks, Aliens
Many a cultural theorist has pontificated on Ripley's narrative and the notion that she is not allowed normal things like a relationship or a family, but she comes close to it with Hicks (and even Newt). The two adult survivors of LV-426 had nice chemistry and a hopeful future, which is immediately dashed in Aliens III.
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Photo: Courtesy of ABC.
Brian & Angela, My So-Called Life
Though Jordan Catalano and Angela drove off into night to make angsty, silent love to each other in his dad's basement, it is possible to pine for the flirtation that began between Angela and Brian toward the end of this show's far-too-short life. They wouldn't have worked out in the end, but Brian should at least have gotten a shot before realizing that he and Angela were both too cranky and introspective to maintain a relationship longer than the length of study hall. Be strong, Krakow. At least you've got your bike.
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Photo: Courtesy of Focus Features.
Bob & Charlotte, Lost In Translation
It would have been simple to have had them hook up, instead of create the slow-burn of tension for which the movie has since become famous. That lingering whisper that was shared between the two will always be full of possibilities.
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Photo: Courtesy of MCA Pictures.
Xena & Gabrielle, Xena: Warrior Princess
The sexual undertones between Xena and her sidekick certainly didn't go unnoticed, and the two swapped a few smooches throughout the series, but sadly, they never called a spade a spade. No one tolerated, idolized, and loved Xena like Gabrielle, who was the ultimate foil for every episode of the show.