Let’s face it. Sometimes, guilty pleasure TV is the best TV. And while TLC has a lot of guilty pleasure shows, there’s probably no guiltier pleasure on TV than 90 Day Fiance. On it, couples from around the world talk about how much they love each other on the first episode, and by the last episode of the season, they’re usually at each other’s throats. You know, just like most couples, which is why the show is so relatable. And the best part is is that the show is really just one big countdown. If the K1-Visa gets approved, then the couples have only 90 days to get married. Drama ensues!
Now, some couples are really cute and we hope they stick together. While other couples are super toxic, but they still stick together anyway. Here is a list of the most cringe-worthy couples, though. Let the wincing begin!
10. Emily and Sasha (Season 7)
A fairly recent couple, what makes them so cringe-worthy is the tension between Sasha and Emily's sister, Betsy. You see, Sasha has had children with two other women before meeting Emily, and with Emily, this is baby number three. Emily will also be Sasha's third wife. But Betsy is wary of a man who gets women pregnant before he marries them, seeing it as a pattern.
Also, since Sasha is a total health nut, he even slyly body shames Betsy at times, as evidenced by the whole cereal incident. And while wedding dress shopping, Betsy even commented on how Emily's dress was right, but she wondered aloud whether Emily had the right groom. Ouch.
9. Mark and Nikki (Season 3)
Their age difference is likely the thing that people will remember most when it comes to Mark and Nikki. There was almost a 40 year age gap between Nikki from the Philippines and Mark from Maryland. Viewing them together was like watching a gender-swapped version of Harold and Maude. Plus, they were on totally different wavelengths. Mark, who had become a single parent at a young age, didn’t want to have anymore kids, and Nikki, at a meager 19 at the time, said she might want to have kids, because of course she would. She was only 19.
But the most cringe-inducing part of this couple was that Mark’s daughter was actually older than Nikki, and she was debating whether she could call a younger woman "Mom" or not. That’s on a whole new level that only 90 Day Fiance could provide. But apparently, they’re still together, so maybe they managed to make it all work.
8. Nicole and Azan (Seasons 4 and 5)
A lot of the potential problems that might occur on 90 Day Fiance are from cultural differences. And that couldn’t be more of a case than with Nicole, from Florida, and Azan, from Morocco. You see, Azan is Muslim, and in his native country, it is forbidden to hug and kiss in public. But does Nicole care? No, not really. In fact, no, not at all.
What made this truly uncomfortable to watch was when Azan admitted, while sitting right next to Nicole, that he was only about “55%” attracted to her, which is, of course, a great foundation to build any relationship upon. But they’re apparently still together, so maybe their relationship just appears to be rocky on the show, and perhaps they're actually happy in real life. Who's to say?
7. Kalani and Asuelu (Season 6)
Kalani, who hails from California, and Asuelu, who hails from Samoa, dressed up as Moana and Maui for Halloween, so they can't be all bad. But Asuelu had some of the cringiest moments on the show, by far.
Maybe it was Asuelu’s comment that only “slut people” wear condoms. Or perhaps it was his traditional dance at the airport, that seemed to embarrass Kalani in the process. Or maybe it was when Kalani yelled at Asuelu for taking the baby out the car seat, and then he got all huffy about it. But the incident that was probably the most bizarre and cringe-worthy was when Asuelu, angered by another couple, began slapping himself in the head and barking. Hmm. It's going to be okay, Asuelu. Calm down.
6. Angela and Michael (Season 7)
This is like Mark and Nikki part 2, but reversed. Angela, from Georgia, and Michael, from Nigeria, can’t even seem to get their Visa process off the ground, so they haven’t even started the 90 days in America yet. And while the age gap isn’t quite as wide as Mark and Nikki’s was (Michael is 31 and Angela is 53), it’s when Michael starts getting into how he wants to have children with Angela that the chills start running up and down the spine.
What makes Michael and Angela so difficult to watch though is all the foreplay stuff. I don't know about you, but it's very uncomfortable for me to watch a 53-year-old grandmother licking body paint off of a 31-year-old man. I know love is love, but there are some things that I wish I could unsee.
5. Chantel and Pedro (Season 4)
A couple so reality TV that TLC even gave them their own spin-off show like they did with Honey Boo Boo, Chantel, from Atlanta, and Pedro, from Santo Domingo, were mostly cringey because of their families. Especially Chantel’s brother, River, who even got into a fist fight with Pedro. And while the veneer of “reality” is often ridiculously slim when it comes to 90 Day Fiance, Pedro and Chantel’s relationship seemed especially staged. It was as if the producers were purposely trying to steer the couple toward drama just to initiate a fight.
Like many of the other couples on this list, cultural differences, language barriers, and family drama are what made this couple both interesting and cringe-inducing at the same time. But they’re still together, so reality TV seems to be working out for them right now.
4. Ashley and Jay (Season 6)
Jay from Jamaica and Ashley from Pennsylvania are now getting a divorce, which seemed like an obvious conclusion if you watched the show, but it didn’t seem so obvious to Ashley, which was why it was painful to watch them. All of Ashley’s friends thought that Jay was a cheater, and Ashely had to find out for herself the hard way. It wasn’t just the fact that Jay was a cheater though that made the couple so hard to watch. It was the fact that Jay was just so smarmy. It was easy to see that he just wanted the U.S. citizenship and couldn't care less for Ashley.
But even though most of Season 6 seemed super staged, Ashley is one of the few people who genuinely seemed blindsided when she learned that Jay was unfaithful. It was like watching a real toxic relationship unravel right before your eyes. So sad.
3. Jorge and Anfisa (Season 4)
Jorge and Anfisa will go down as one of the most troubling relationships in the show’s history. Jorge, from California, and Anfisa, from Russia, didn’t seem like a likely pair, but the two are still together, even though Jorge will be serving a prison sentence for possession of hundreds of pounds of marijuana. Anfisa would scream at Jorge and kick him out of his apartment. But the thing is, it was hard to feel sorry for Jorge because he was dishonest and a jerk. What's the old saying about misery loving company?
The worst part though was that I feel like everybody has seen couples like this. Couples that bicker and fight right in front of you and don’t even care that you’re watching. Their relationship was a reminder that some couples, unfortunately, thrive on combat.
Colt and Larissa (Season 6)
I don’t want to go so far as to say that Colt (Or Coltee, as Larissa pronounced his name) had an Oedipal complex with his mother, but… yeah. That relationship with his mother was really awkward to watch. Colt, from Las Vegas, and Larissa, from Brazil, were a super weird couple. For one, Larissa would explode with anger sometimes, and Colt would just sit there, smiling awkwardly. While other times, Colt would show no emotions whatsoever, even when people were arguing right in front of him.
Larissa was just the worst— totally full of herself. But Colt was somehow even harder to watch, due to his constant passive aggressiveness. She's fire, and he's tepid water. 90 Day Fiance is must-see TV because of couples like Larissa and Colt. And oh, yeah. They’re divorced now. Shocker.
1. Danielle and Mohamed (Season 2)
While the order of couples on this list of who’s the most cringe-worthy is debatable, I’m pretty sure every avid watcher of 90 Day Fiance will agree that no other couple could fill the number one spot besides Danielle and Mohamed. This couple was an absolute dumpster fire.
Where do I begin? First, from the very second you could tell that Mohamed from Tunisia didn’t love, or even remotely like Danielle from Ohio. Anybody with eyes could see that when they met at the airport and Danielle was crying her eyes out for Mohamed, and he just gave her a brotherly hug, that he didn’t care one iota for her.
But their "relationship" is best defined by key scenes, like when he found out that she was really dead broke. Or, worst of all, when he said he wouldn’t have sex with Danielle because she smells. Oh, my God. Just every single moment of watching Danielle and Mohamed made my face hurt I was cringing so hard, and that’s why they will forever be the most cringe-worthy couple in 90 Day Fiance history. By far. And would you believe that they’re divorced now? No kidding!
In the end, while all of the couples on this list, couples like Noon and Kyle, Michael and Juliana, and Loren and Alexei are proof that love can actually be found on the show if the partners are actually compatible. It's these couples--the couples that actually work--that ultimately make me come back for more 90 Day Fiance year after year.
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Rich is a Jersey boy, through and through. He graduated from Rutgers University (Go, R.U.!), and thinks the Garden State is the best state in the country. That said, he’ll take Chicago Deep Dish pizza over a New York slice any day of the week. Don’t hate. When he’s not watching his two kids, he’s usually working on a novel, watching vintage movies, or reading some obscure book.