Top Doomed Movie/TV Couples

LEE ADAMA AND KARA THRACE (JAMIE BAMBER AND KATEE SACKHOFF) INBATTLESTAR GALACTICA

Apollo and Starbuck just had to be meant for each other. Doesn’t matter if she is engaged to his brother, or if he’s her new boss, or if robots pull a genocide on humanity and leave them as two of the last people alive in the universe. These two Viper pilots regularly saved each other’s lives — and then made those lives hell. They didn’t have much to look forward to, and affairs of galactic importance always seemed to get in the way of their romance. But sure, they’ve got time to go a round in the ring! What with their push-pull-push chemistry, her disappearance, reappearance and disappearance again, we knew they weren’t meant to be but damned if we didn’t want them to be.

DON AND BETTY DRAPER (JON HAMM AND JANUARY JONES) FROM MAD MEN

The perfect couple for the early ’60s. He makes the money, she makes the home. He drinks scotch for breakfast, she smokes cigarettes to stave off boredom. He sleeps around, she gets suspicious. He hates himself, she hates everything. Will these crazy kids make it?

J.D. AND VERONICA (CHRISTIAN SLATER AND WINONA RYDER) IN HEATHERS

If chaos was what killed the dinosaurs, murders-disguised-as-suicides killed what once was simple teenage romance. From the moment J.D. offered Veronica ”greetings and salutations” with his smug smile, we knew she was getting herself into trouble. Their relationship ended with a quite literal bang, but we can still take away a lesson here: Love shouldn’t come with a body count.

ALABAMA AND CLARENCE (PATRICIA ARQUETTE AND CHRISTIAN SLATER) FROM TRUE ROMANCE

Quentin Tarantino wrote the screenplay for this 1993 Tony Scott film, and his fingerprints are all over Christian Slater’s character, a comic book store employee with infinite pop culture knowledge. He meets his beloved, Alabama, at a Sonny Chiba triple feature. Turns out she’s a prostitute, but she falls for him anyways. While Arquette and Slater make a weirdly cute pair of lovers on the run, the fact that criminal shenanigans follow this couple wherever they go means trouble is never far behind.

BONNIE AND CLYDE (FAYE DUNAWAY AND WARREN BEATTY) IN BONNIE AND CLYDE

They were stylish. They had chemistry. Oh, and they also liked robbing banks. Unfortunately, the thrill of the heist would only fuel the romance for so long — the couple went down in a blaze of glory when cops finally caught them, and shot them to death. Oh well. At least they looked fabulous.

CORKY AND VIOLET (GINA GERSHON AND JENNIFER TILLY) BOUND

When an ex-con lady plumber meets a flirty gangster’s moll in an elevator, all hell proceeds to break loose — including multiple murders, unexpected double crosses, and blood-spattered money that’s literally laundered and hung out to dry. Oh, and there’s plenty of steamy girl-on-girl action, too. Corky and Violet barely know whether they can trust each other, but in the Wachowskis’ delightful slice of lesbian noir, lust ultimately conquers all.

DAN AND ALEX (MICHAEL DOUGLAS AND GLENN CLOSE) IN FATAL ATTRACTION

What begins as the hottest kind of extracurricular chemistry (love in an elevator!) for a married suburbanite man boils over — quite literally! — as Dan’s wee daughter gets taken for a scary spin on a rollercoaster, his wife gets attacked with a knife in the bathroom, and the family bunny gets a super-hot sauna experience on an upscale stovetop. To paraphrase Beyonce, ”Yeah, he liked it but he shoulda kept his pants on him.’

MARTHA AND GEORGE (ELIZABETH TAYLOR AND RICHARD BURTON) IN WHO’S AFRAID OF VIRGINIA WOOLF?

With declarations of ”total war,” physical abuse, and inappropriate sexual advances, these two are mesmerizing as the hosts from hell. And yet your heart breaks for them and their deep-seated shared longing.

BEN AND SERA (NIC CAGE AND ELISABETH SHUE) IN LEAVING LAS VEGAS

He’s a drunk and she’s a prostitute — why couldn’t these two crazy kids make it work? Oh yeah, they were both pretty committed to their endeavors. And neither one was exactly living in a happy place.

BUFFY AND ANGEL (SARAH MICHELLE GELLAR AND DAVID BOREANAZ) IN BUFFY THE VAMPIRE SLAYER

It’s true — you can’t get more doomed than knowing that finding true joy and pleasure with someone you love will rob you of your soul. And these two definitely had their ups and downs (he killed her friend’s love and tried to destroy the world, she sent him packing to hell). But even knowing what could happen if they got together again, you kind of always wanted them to. That’s why the dysfunction that would later come with Spike couldn’t begin to make up for that loss.