TV is the ultimate place for unrealistically romantic moments. Sure, we know this stuff could never happen in real life, but we can live still vicariously through the characters… right? If we can’t personally have that foot-popping kiss with the person of our dreams, or an engagement so adorable it could thaw even the coldest of hearts, at least we can watch it happen to some of our favorite fictional people.
From grand romantic gestures to heartbreaking confessions of love, there are endless ~lovey~ moments to obsess over on the small screen. Here are some of the most romantic moments television has ever given us!
Andy and April’s spontaneous nuptials, Parks and Recreation
When simple-minded but good-hearted Andy (Chris Pratt) and cynical April (Aubrey Plaza) finally got together on Parks and Recreation it seemed strangely perfect. While fans would have been just fine seeing them date, the TV show had something else up its sleeve: a surprise wedding.
When the two invite their friends and family over for a dinner party, no one expected that were actually arriving at a wedding. Their surprise nuptials felt right for these two off-kilter characters. Sometimes when you know you know, and this romantic moment showed just how perfect these two are for each other.
Seth and Summer climbing on the coffee cart, The O.C.
Bet you thought we’d choose that Spider-Man kiss from The O.C., right? Nope — we chose a way more underrated romantic moment from this iconic couple. Nerdy Seth (Adam Brody) was, for a while, popular Summer’s (Rachel Bilson) dirty secret. He didn’t want to hide in the shadows forever, though, and decided to declare his love for her publically on the coffee cart at school (which, btw, why didn’t my school have a coffee cart?!). At first, she’s hesitant and scared about how going public will affect her social standing. But then she takes his hand and climbs up there with him, planting a big kiss on her geeky guy.
It’s a brave, romantic moment from Seth who had a decent chance of losing her for the stunt and a brave moment for Sum, too. But in the end, these two were the epitome of opposites attracting and the OTP of our teen TV dreams.
Monica proposing to Chandler who then proposes to her, Friends
When Monica (Courteney Cox) and Chandler (Matthew Perry) got together at first it was a little strange. These two had been friends for years and now they’re together?! Well, it turns out that it was one of the best things to ever happen on the show. Their romance was loving and sweet, and way better than Rachel (Jennifer Aniston) Ross’s (David Schwimmer) mess. Just sayin’.
When Chandler began dropping hints that he never wanted to get married in preparation to surprise her with a proposal, Monica decided to take things into her own hands. The apartment covered in candles as Monica cries and expresses her love for Chandler will make you tear up every time. And when he takes the reigns because “there’s a reason girls don’t do this!” — so much love.
Luke and Lorelai’s first kiss, Gilmore Girls
After years of friendship and flirtation over coffee, Luke (Scott Patterson) and Lorelai (Lauren Graham) finally realized their feelings for each other on the night she opened her very own inn. When they finally kissed it was so them. It was slightly awkward, completely romantic, and tinged with the craziness of Kirk (Sean Gunn) running around naked. Just a normal day in Stars Hollow. Of all the guys Lorelai had ever been with on the show, Luke was unequivocally the one for her. After all that he did to help her get the Dragonfly off the ground successfully, she knew he was the one that would always be there for her/ I’m not crying, you are!
Pacey gives Joey a wall, Dawson’s Creek
When Pacey (Joshua Jackson) and Joey (Katie Holmes) find themselves falling for each other, they realize they can’t do anything because of jealous Dawson (James Van Der Beek). That doesn’t stop Pacey from doing super romantic things for her, like renting her a wall to paint on because it’s what she truly loves. It’s one of the first big moments where we realize she doesn’t belong with blithering, pathetic Dawson who tries to control her. She belongs with romantic Pacey, who just wants her to be happy! It was the beginning of one of the most divisive TV romances of all time.
When Leslie and Ben get back together despite her career ambitions, Parks and Recreation
Everyone knew Leslie (Amy Poehler) and Ben (Adam Scott) totally belonged together. Too bad their work relationship made a romantic relationship off-limits and therefore a huge hurdle in her political ambitions. So they broke up so she could chase her dreams. But that wasn’t the end of their romance. When Leslie tries to get the “smallest park in Indiana” completed, she attempts to drag out the process to be able to work with Ben a little bit longer. The two end up smooching in the park and realizing there was nothing that could keep them apart. Swoon! Sure, she lost her campaign managers because of it and he had to quit his job. But they both turned out pretty damn good in end, and love prevailed!
“Pick me. Choose me. Love me,” Grey’s Anatomy
Who could forget when Meredith (Ellen Pompeo) put it all out there for Derek (Patrick Dempsey)? Her moment of fearlessness as she told him exactly how much she loved him, despite knowing he may not choose her, is as romantic as it gets. These two had their ups and downs but this was one of their sweetest moments.
Michael reciting his vows in Spanish for Jane, Jane the Virgin
Let’s face it — Michael (Brett Dier) was the best TV boyfriend of all time. He was sweet, understanding, and knew Jane (Gina Rodriguez) better than anyone else. So when it came time for them to tie the knot, it was no surprise he would do something huge and romantic. In true Michael form, he recited their vows in Spanish, showing just how much he wanted to be included in her family and honor their traditions. It was one of the most tear-jerking moments on a show full of them.
When Fitz brings Olivia to their future home and jam-factory, Scandal
Olivia (Kerry Washington) and Fitz (Tony Goldwyn) were always an improbable pair. They started as an affair when he was running for President and carried that on and off for years. Fitz’s ultimate dream? A quiet life with Liv outside the White House. And in that fantasy, they live in Vermont and make jam together. #CoupleGoals.
Well, Fitz went and made that dream a reality by buying the land and building the house, bringing her there and giving her a glimpse of the life they could have together away from it all. A totally romantic move to build a house for a woman, even if that life may never be possible for them.
Jake proposing to Amy during the Halloween Heist, Brooklyn Nine-Nine
The yearly competition by the Nine-Nine police precinct to get the coveted championship belt — er, cumberbund — always makes for some good TV. This year though, Jake (Andy Samberg) took things to a new level when his intricate stunt to get the belt ended in a proposal to his longtime love Amy (Melissa Fumero). It was a rare serious and sweet moment from goofy Jake which made it all the more romantic. Now let’s not think too hard about how these cops should have been solving crimes or something.
Juliet and Sawyer at the vending machine, LOST
Sometimes it’s the easy, relaxed love that works better than the dramatic couples that are usually on TV. When these two got together after traveling through time (stay with me here), it was a revelation. A mature, adult couple that was just happy together. Obviously, their lives were upended by ~island drama~ but their reunion in the sideways world was perfect. They meet as strangers in the alternate universe until a touch starts bringing back their memories. A montage of their greatest hits plays over their tearful realization that they were, and still are, in love. It’s a totally tearful moment full of pure love.
Jimmy builds Gretchen a blanket fort to ease her depression, You’re the Worst
When Jimmy (Chris Greere) finds out just how complex Gretchen’s (Aya Cash) depression truly is, he’s not sure he can handle it. They had never intended to get this serious and now things were super serious. So one night Jimmy almost leaves with another girl. But then he doesn’t — he does something else instead. He builds the depressed Gretchen a blanket fort and holds her as she cries. It’s a moment between two ‘bad’ people that swear they don’t love each other that, yeah, they definitely do love each other. And they love each other a lot. Even when things get hard, sometimes a simple act like a blanket fort is the most romantic thing in the world.
Pacey’s dance with Joey at anti-prom, Dawson’s Creek
These two had already resigned themselves to the fact that they couldn’t be together for the sake of their BFF Dawson. But that didn’t mean they couldn’t share a dance at the prom! And dance they did. During their dance together, Pacey notes that her diamond earrings (gifted to her by Dawson), aren’t like her. But the simple bracelet on her arm was everything Joey truly was: elegant, classic. And then he tells her he remembers that it was her mother’s bracelet that he remembers “everything” between them. Pretty much all of our teen hearts fell into mush. Sweet, sensitive Pacey knew Joey better than she knew herself and Dawson could only watch on and realize he lost, right then and there.
Desmond and Penny’s Christmas Eve phone call, LOST
LOST didn’t get to have a lot of truly romantic moments considering everyone was dealing with time-traveling islands and smoke monsters. But one of the best romances on the show was Desmond (Henry Ian Cusak) and Penny’s (Sonya Walger) star-crossed love. When Desmond’s existence becomes unstable because of ~island magic~ he needs Penny — his constant — to ground him. So through a slightly complex bit of work, including getting her phone number eight years before he would need to call her, he managed to get her on the phone. This is where the waterworks started as the pair expresses the joy and urgency of their conversation. It’s been eight years, and she never stopped looking for him. And they were never giving up on each other. There’s nothing more romantic than waiting through literal time and space for the one you love.
Logan’s speech at alternaprom about him and Veronicas “epic” romance, Veronica Mars
Logan (Jason Dohring) and Veronica (Kristen Bell) have been through a lot of crap. Like a lot. It brought them together, and then it tore them apart. The two were on the outs until the “alternaprom” when Logan got drunk and lamented their “epic” romance, saying:
“I thought our story was epic, you know, you and me. Spanning years and continents. Lives ruined bloodshed. EPIC….No one writes songs about the ones that come easy.”
Sure, they had been through more than any teenager should go through but Logan felt that they were better for it. And this was a TV show. Plus, because of their “epic” romance, they had a bond that couldn’t be denied. Veronica’s skeptical that it should really be that hard, but Logan’s right you know: nothing worth having comes easy. And the speech pays off, because these two are totally the ultimate OTP.
Rachel gets off the plane, Friends
As far as big romantic TV moments go, this one takes the cake. When Rachel (Jennifer Aniston) decides to leave for Paris for a new job, Ross (David Schwimmer) finally realizes she’s the one. After years of on-again-off-again, breaks, and babies, these two finally got it right. He confessed his love at the airport, and despite his pleas, it looked like she was going to go through with her plans.
But then yeah, she *got off the plane*. In one of the most epic TV moments, Rachel and Ross finally decide to “stop being stupid” and just be together. It took them ten seasons, but at least in the series finale they figured out their crazy relationship.
Angel coming to Buffy’s prom despite their breakup, Buffy the Vampire Slayer
In order to save Buffy (Sarah Michelle Gellar) from the consequences of dating an immortal vampire, Angel (David Borneaz) breaks her heart and dumps her, planning to leave town once they defeat the pending threat. She eventually attends prom alone, after saving the whole school from hell-dogs, and the girl is not feeling it. But then her class honors her with the “Class Protector Award,” which could make you shed a tear as it is. Finally some recognition!
But then in walks Angel, for one last perfect dance before he leaves. The romance comes from the understanding between them both that this is how it has to be, but they will always love each other and be there in times of need. It’s bittersweet in the way all high school romances are, even when they’re with an immortal being.