If you’ve ever had a roommate, you know that it takes a certain combination of friendship, patience, acceptance and trust to make it work. And if you’ve ever had a roommate who is romantically involved with someone, all those factors must be doubled and combined with an internal muzzle that kicks in when things go wrong. TV comedies have been full of amazing couples over the years that we’d love to have spent more time with, but then there are those that we can only assume are absolute horrors to live with.
Here are ten couples that each personify in different ways all of the things that we would abhor in a dual-roommate system. We went with established couples – both troublesome and loving – rather than just one-episode flings. And while this is in no way a comprehensive list of terrible comedy couples, thinking any further about the subject would have inspired a steep rise in blood pressure.
10. Kirk and Luann (The Simpsons)
In no one’s universe are Kirk and Luann Van Houten “cool people;” not even their own. Their obnoxious squabbling is a true grind, even when disastrous games of Pictionary aren’t involved. (Kirk’s voice also grates my nerves for
some all the reasons.) The only good thing about living with this doomed couple would be getting to hang out with Milhouse for a while, but then I’d realize that joy would partly come from laughing at how devolved he is, and I’d feel bad. Temporarily.
9. Valerie and Mark (The Comeback)
To be fair, we only really got to experience Valerie and Mark’s relationship when Valerie had a camera crew and producers around, which means we only really got to experience Mark and Valerie themselves when the cameras were on. But that’s pretty much all I need to know, as Mark was a bit of a controlling tool and Valerie came off as a fluffy doormat. Perfect for uncomfortable comedy foiling, mind you, but to live with even a watered down version of that on a daily basis would send me on a coke binge with Paulie G.
8. Mitch and Cam (Modern Family)
With his love of football and clowns, Cam would be a good friend to have, though I’d need multiple reprieves a day from Mitch’s anal-retentiveness. They definitely know how to throw a party and are excellent vacation-takers, but I’m not alone in my assumptions that they secretly hate each other, as their biggest problems are of the “easily explainable with a short conversation” variety that makes me think our shared home would need an air purifier with a “high tension” setting.
7. Buster and Lucille 2 (Arrested Development)
Alone, the back pain involved with helping Lucille 2 up after taking her vertigo spills would almost be a dealbreaker, although I genuinely enjoy her personality. On the flip side, there’s Buster, who always presents the risk of tearing up the entire house with his hook while screaming, not to mention the juice budget he would require. Their actual relationship is mostly tolerable, though, mainly because Buster only wants it to happen in private beneath a blanket.
6. Lucy and Ricky (I Love Lucy)
I’m sure Lucy and Ricky Ricardo would be a much different couple in the modern age, but it’s insane to think about putting up with them as they were then. For one, Ricky is a douchebag who doesn’t want Lucy to do anything outside of what he thinks her comfort zone is, and Lucy spends almost all of her non-homemaker time scheming to get what she wants, which is usually a spot in Ricky’s Tropicana shows. All the crying and the hollering would make sleeping impossible, unless they keep a good supply of Vitameatavegamin in the house.
5. D.J. and Steve (Full House)
As annoying as hearing “Have mercy,” would be on the daily while living with Jesse and Becky, I would just buy earplugs. It would take multiple brain surgeons to get me to the point of accepting the “smart/moron” dynamic happening with D.J. and Steve, a character with all the depth and charm of a moth headbutting a light bulb. The couch cushions would have to be flipped on a daily basis to hide all of their kiss slobber, and I’d just as soon look to Comet for engaging conversation.
4. Elaine and Puddy (Seinfeld)
As hilariously insufferable as Elaine and David Puddy are, the thought of living with them is enough to send me on a neverending Arby’s trip. When they aren’t having sweaty sex –the maneuvers of which are also up for loud debates – they’re arguing over everything from religion to germs to high fives. The silver lining would be holding a pool with friends over when the two would break up and get back together, which would give me a chance to afford some sweet New Jersey Devils swag or a new Saab.
3. Kelly and Ryan (The Office)
All you need to do to know what it would be like to live with Kelly and Ryan is ask Toby, who worked on the other side of a cubicle partition from their disgusting displays of public affection. (Or often disaffection, in Ryan’s case.) Kelly never stops talking about things I don’t care about, and Ryan eventually turns into one of the flakiest characters in TV history, and no amount of advice-filled conversation will change either of their personalities. They’re not the worst, but they’re so the worst.
2. Kelso and Jackie (That 70s Show)
Take Full House’s dimwit Steve, clone him, turn the clone into a woman, dip them both in batter and fry them. Now dip your face into the hot grease, and that is the equivalent of what I assume living with Kelso and Jackie would be like. She’s ridiculously spoiled and bratty, while he’s a horny lump of duh. They would probably never pay the rent/mortgage, and their break-ups and back-togethers would just mean having to help with moving stuff in and out. Nothing good comes from this couple. Hyde is always welcome, though.
1. Ross and Rachel (Friends)
Was there ever any doubt that these two wads of petty insecurity would be on top? Yes, Rachel and Joey were the most misguided coupling ever, but at least one of them was a good roommate (sort of). Rachel and Ross, both before Emma and after, are the epitome of gag-worthy TV couples, as he’s a markedly boring sod and she’s a self-obsessed nitwit. Hearing the phrase “We were on a break!” yelled loudly in my presence would be enough to get me to move in with Ugly Naked Guy, assuming I could stop myself from jumping off of the fire escape.
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Nick is a Cajun Country native, and is often asked why he doesn't sound like that's the case. His love for his wife and daughters is almost equaled by his love of gasp-for-breath laughter and gasp-for-breath horror. A lifetime spent in the vicinity of a television screen led to his current dream job, as well as his knowledge of too many TV themes and ad jingles.