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Watching a TV breakup can feel like watching friends break up: It can feel cathartic, frustrating, or heartbreaking, depending on how it happens.


Fox

But some TV breakups are the picture of maturity, whereas others make you want to scream at your TV. Here are some of the best and worst TV breakups!

🚨🚨WARNING: SPOILERS AHEAD!🚨🚨

1.

Mature: Alexis and Ted on Schitt’s Creek (Season 6, Episode 8, “The Presidential Suite”):

Alexis says she can't move with Ted, and he says he wouldn't let her anyways, since she's building something special and he's proud of her. They both say they love and are grateful to each other


Pop!TV / Via buzzfeed.com

This one broke my heart and came as a shock to many viewers, but I still loved it. It felt so mature and realistic — there are so many times that life takes two people on different paths, and that breakup can be really painful but needed. They both handled it with such grace!

2.

Not so mature: Ross and Rachel on Friends (Season 3, Episode 15, “The One Where Ross and Rachel Take a Break”):

Ross says he's tired of having a relationship with Rachel's answering machine and then asks if this is about Mark. Rachel says she can't keep having this fight


NBC

Alright, I’ll weigh in on the ultimate Friends debate: To me, a “break” is a type of breakup, hence why I’m including this scene. BUT that still doesn’t excuse Ross’s sleeping with another woman, which to me was a sign that he didn’t see a future with Rachel. Anyways, Ross’s behavior in this episode was possessive and disrespectful, even in their fight. Rachel was a little rash in suggesting a break, especially considering how much she seemed to regret it, but it was mostly Ross who made this breakup messy and immature. They didn’t hear each other out!

3.

Mature: Brooke and Lucas on One Tree Hill (Season 4, Episode 1, “The Same Deep Water as You”):

Brooke says it's not about Peyton, and she will always love Lucas but they go days without a meaningful conversation and she used to miss him when that happened, but it never seemed like he missed her, so she stopped missing him


The CW

I can’t really count Lucas’s behavior as mature here, since he says nothing except “I’m sorry,” but Brooke was great in this scene. She knew what she wanted to say, and instead of making it about Peyton, she made it about the way she felt in their relationship. She was honest and real, and she deserved more from Lucas.

4.

Not so mature: Cece and Schmidt on New Girl (Season 1, Episode 24, “See Ya”):

Cece realizes Schmidt went through her phone, and says it's not okay and this relationship is about trust. Schmidt asks how he's supposed to trust her when she slept with him


Fox

Neither of Cece and Schmidt’s breakups was very mature, but at least in the second one, Schmidt apologized. Here, it was so frustrating to see Schmidt insult Cece and himself at the same time, and it was really immature to accuse Cece of something when it was really his own lack of self-confidence that was the problem.

5.

Mature: Scott and Allison on Teen Wolf (Season 2, Episode 12, “Master Plan”):

Scott says it's okay that Allison is breaking up with him since he knows they'll be together one day, and Allison tells him she can't ask him to wait for her, and that there's no such thing as fate, but Scott says  there's no such thing as werewolves


MTV

Scott knew that Allison needed time apart and never tried to argue with her, even if he didn’t want to spend time apart himself. He was so kind but also reassuring without being forceful — while he says he believes that they’ll be together, he doesn’t push her to agree. And after the breakup, he continues to give her space and they have their own relationships. Allison also does the mature thing by breaking up with Scott here, since she knows she has her own problems to deal with, and is kind and fair to Scott.

6.

Not so mature: Bonnie and Jeremy on The Vampire Diaries (Season 3, Episode 7: “Ghost World”):

Jeremy says he owes Bonnie an explanation, but Bonnie won't let him explain. She says Matt let go of his sister before Jeremy let go of Anna, then says Jeremy shouldn't make her listen to him explain himself. Jeremy apologizes, but Bonnie tells him to go


The CW

Being fair to Bonnie here, I think she was pretty mature, given the situation she was put in, but this whole breakup was just a mess. Jeremy cheated on Bonnie with a LITERAL GHOST and wouldn’t even tell her about it until after the whole thing was over. He didn’t even break up with her — he came to her after it was over to explain what had happened. I hated when he said, “I owe you an explanation” — you owed her a lot more than that!! Bonnie handled it well, but Jeremy was just SO immature that this breakup still goes under “not so mature” for me.

7.

Mature: Dre and Bow from Black-ish (Season 4, Episode 21, “Blue Valentime”):

Bow says they should take a break, and Dre agrees. As he leaves, he asks how they got there, and Bow says she doesn't know


ABC

Normally, I think a breakup should involve more discussion, but Dre and Bow had talked enough at this point, and it always ended in fighting. Taking a break was the most mature thing they could’ve done in this situation — and what I love about this scene is what ISN’T said. You can really feel the pain and the love and the heartbreak and the confusion, and it’s both more mature and effective than watching them fight again. I’m so glad they got back together!

8.

Not so mature: Mutt and Alexis on Schitt’s Creek (Season 2, Episode 6, “Moira vs. Town Council”):

Alexis says they need to make adjustments, like her talking less and him talking more. Mutt asks if she's willing to do that, and she asks if he is. Neither respond and they both look down


Pop!TV

Maybe this is an unpopular opinion, but I HATED this breakup. This relationship was doomed to end, given their differences in communication styles, and neither should’ve had to change who they were to stay together. BUT in this one instance, I do think that Mutt owed Alexis verbal communication. He should have said “This isn’t going to work” instead of “showing her” by staying silent and making sad faces. It felt really immature to me, as if Mutt were forcing Alexis to play some game: If she talked, she lost, since she’d just talked about how she would talk less; but if she didn’t, she’d never get an answer from him. Mutt has a right to be a quiet person, but I’m sorry, nonverbally breaking up with someone isn’t a thing.

9.

Mature: Vanya and Sissy on The Umbrella Academy (Season 2, Episode 10, “The End of Something”):

Sissy thanks Vanya for helping her feel alive and hopeful and free, then says she's going to California and can't put her son in any more danger. Vanya tells her to go and have a wonderful life


Netflix

This breakup was really heartbreaking, but it felt right. No one should have to compromise their own safety or that of their children for a relationship, and even beyond that, no one should have to leave behind their entire life and family for a relationship. Neither pushed the other to go with them — they just thanked each other and wished each other the best.

10.

Not so mature: Damon and Elena on The Vampire Diaries (Season 5, Episode 16, “While You Were Sleeping”):

Elena yells at Damon for putting her in a position where she has to defend him and bend her morals again, because she loves him, and Damon says she should stop loving him, but Elena says she can't


The CW

All of their breakups were the worst, but this one felt the most toxic to me. They argue about how their last breakup caused Damon to go on a killing spree and kill Elena’s friend, and agree that they should break up, but they end up sleeping together again anyways. It all feels presented as “romantic,” when to me it’s just messed up. Also, imagine if you told someone you loved them and they told you to stop, lol.

11.

Mature: Nick and Jess on New Girl (Season 3, Episode 20, “Mars Landing”):

Nick and Jess say they miss when they were just friends and didn't have to change for each other, and Jess says maybe them loving each other is all they have in common


Fox

While the reason for this breakup was largely that Nick wasn’t a responsible adult, the actual breakup was very responsible and mature. They realized that their friendship was healthier and better than their relationship, and went back to being friends, both putting in the time and effort and care to do so. They didn’t try to force the other to change. Of course, in the end, they both naturally changed and came together again, but they definitely needed this time apart.

12.

Not so mature: Riley and Buffy on Buffy the Vampire Slayer (Season 5, Episode 10, “Into the Woods”):

Buffy tries to leave and says she won't take the blame for this. Riley grabs her and then asks her to hit him when she tries to get him to stop. She walks away and Riley tells her he's leaving unless she gives him a reason to stay


The WB

I mean, is this one really a surprise? Everything about Riley was awful, and this breakup was no exception. I’m glad Buffy didn’t catch him before he left on the helicopter. The way he twisted his letting vampires feed on him into something that was not only Buffy’s fault but also her responsibility to fix was so manipulative. And then he asked her to hit him?! Because that was “fire” to him? Riley did NOT deserve a proper goodbye, and I’m glad he didn’t get one.

13.

Mature: Drew and Amy on Parenthood (Season 5, Episode 15, “Just Like at Home”):

Drew reminds Amy he can call her for anything and they share a final kiss before he drops her off at her house and says goodbye


NBC

Amy coming back and hiding out in Drew’s dorm for a month was a bit of a weird storyline, but I was really glad they ended things so maturely. Drew realized that the relationship wasn’t healthy, and Amy eventually understood that she couldn’t hide from her problems forever. It was really sweet when Drew added that she could call him for anything, and their last kiss broke me a little.

14.

Not so mature: Alex and Jo on Grey’s Anatomy (Season 16, Episode 16, “Leave a Light On”):

Alex leaves Jo a note saying he's in love with Izzie and has left to raise his children with her


ABC

Okay, I know Justin Chambers was leaving the show and all, but this was such a bizarre way to wrap up Alex’s character. Imagine finding out through a note that your partner has left you to go raise their children, which they didn’t even know they had, with their ex. It was such a bizarre way to end this relationship and Alex’s character arc in general.

15.

Mature: Logan and Veronica on Veronica Mars (Season 3, Episode 9, “Spit & Eggs”):

Logan says they can either take a "tough, but survivable amount of pain now" or stay together and deal with unbearable pain later" so he votes for the pain now


UPN

This one was definitely painful to watch, but Logan made the right call here. As much as we all wanted to see Logan and Veronica make it work, the relationship just wasn’t healthy for either of them at that point. As Logan said, Veronica wasn’t built to have people help her, and he wasn’t built to stand on the sidelines. I think this breakup helped them have a more mature relationship when they eventually got back together years later.

16.

Not so mature: Rory and Dean on Gilmore Girls (Season 1, Episode 16, “Star-Crossed Lovers and Other Strangers”):

Rory doesn't say "I love you" back to Dean and he mockingly suggests she go home and discuss it with her mom over a pro-con list


The WB

We can all agree that Dean sucks, right? I understand being hurt that Rory didn’t immediately return his “I love you,” but holy crap, dude — who builds their high school girlfriend a car for their three-month anniversary, professes their love, and then dumps her? I hated that Rory was made out to be in the wrong here, when it was perfectly reasonable for her not to be ready to say “I love you” back, especially given the circumstances she grew up in.

17.

Mature: Samantha and Richard on Sex and the City (Season 5, Episode 3, “Luck Be an Old Lady”):

Samantha realizes she can't trust Richard and breaks it off, "I love you Richard, but I love me more"


HBO

“I love you, but I love me more” is a line we all need to remember. Samantha choosing herself and her own happiness was the best possible outcome here. Maybe Richard was sincerely trying to make the relationship work, but Samantha was smart to realize that she just couldn’t trust him anymore after he cheated.

18.

Not so mature: Ted and Victoria on How I Met Your Mother (Season 1, Episode 18, “Nothing Good Happens After 2 A.M.”):

Ted says it's a moral gray area to not wait to sleep with Robin until after he break ups with Victoria, but he's in love with Robin so it's okay


CBS

Seriously, what kind of logic is this? “I’m going to dump my girlfriend over the phone the next day anyway, so what does it matter if I cheat on her?” Ted trying to justify his cheating by saying that Robin was “the one” just summed up how insufferable he was as a character. The scene of him arguing with a hallucination of Victoria was just weird.

19.

Mature: Lola and Miles on Degrassi: Next Class (Season 3, Episode 6, “#ThatFeelingWhen”):

Lola persuades Miles not to quit the play because he still needs it, he says he doesn't trust anyone to replace her role, they agree to still work together


Netflix

This whole coma–love triangle plot was soap opera levels of ridiculous, but Lola and Miles were so mature and understanding of each other. Lola understood the complexity of the situation and never once pressured Miles to leave Tristan for her, and Miles made it clear how much he still cared about her even if they couldn’t be together. Although the circumstances weren’t great, it was both characters’ best, healthiest relationship by far, and they deserved a fair shot at being together.

20.

Not so mature: Ander and Omar on Elite (Season 3, Episode 6, “Rebeca”):

Ander lies to Omar and says he's cheating on him so that he can avoid confronting Omar over his actual cheating, Omar calls him a bastard and Ander turns away sobbing


Netflix

To be fair, I’m not sure what the “mature” response would be to finding out that your boyfriend has been cheating on you with his sister’s boyfriend while you’re going through chemotherapy. This was still a terrible way for the writers to handle it, though. Ander’s wanting to protect himself was understandable, but having him make up an affair instead of confronting Omar for actually cheating made no sense. Their entire Season 3 relationship was so awful and out of character for both of them, and I still haven’t forgiven the writers for it.

21.

Mature: Santana and Brittany on Glee (Season 4, Episode 4, “The Break-Up”):

Santana says she hasn't been a good girlfriend to Brittany and doesn't want them to be unhappy trying to make this long-distance relationship work


Fox

As much as I wanted Santana and Brittany to make long distance work, this was a really mature decision on Santana’s part. She genuinely just wanted Brittany to be happy and didn’t want her to have to put her life on hold for their relationship. The scene showed how much both Santana and Brittany had grown as characters and how much they truly cared for each other.

22.

Not so mature: Veronica and Archie on Riverdale (Season 3, Episode 6, “Chapter Forty-One: Manhunter”):

Archie tearfully says he saw his whole future with Veronica when they first met and Veronica responds, "Because we're endgame"


The CW

To Archie’s credit, the breakup was a fairly mature decision on his part, even if it kind of sucked that he broke up with Veronica over the phone. Any ounce of maturity that this scene had went completely flying out the window as soon as Veronica said they were endgame, though. I am going to personally ban the Riverdale writers from using this word ever again.

23.

Mature: Ryan and Marissa on The O.C. (Season 1, Episode 27, “The Ties That Bind”):

Marissa and Ryan slow dance at her mom's wedding, she tells him she understands why he has to leave but wishes he didn't have to


Fox

For such a dramatic couple, pretty much all of their breakups were surprisingly mature. Marissa didn’t want to let Ryan go at the end of Season 1 but understood why he wanted to be there for Theresa and the baby. Watching them slow-dance and say their goodbyes like this shattered my heart into a million pieces — I just felt so bad for both of them. The way they handled this situation was so mature beyond their years.

24.

Not so mature: Kelly and Ryan on The Office (Season 4, Episode 2, “Dunder Mifflin Infinity”):

Ryan confronts Kelly for lying about being pregnant, she says she doesn't see what the big deal is


NBC

To be fair, the whole point of their relationship was that were hilariously terrible together. They had so many breakups, but this one probably ranks among the worst. Mindy Kaling totally obliviously saying, “Why not?” makes me laugh and want to cry tears of frustration every time. Let’s be honest — we’ve probably all had an awful on-and-off relationship like Ryan and Kelly’s at some point (though hopefully not this terrible).

25.

Mature: Archie and Josie on Riverdale (Season 3, Episode 19, “Chapter Fifty-Four: Fear the Reaper”):

Josie says Archie's life is in Riverdale and hers is somewhere else, they share a final kiss


The CW

Yeah, yeah, I know they used the word “endgame” in this scene, too, but this breakup was a thousand times more mature than any of Archie’s other relationships. Josie just wanted to focus on herself and her music, and Archie understood. As much as I wanted them to stay together, it was nice to see a teen drama couple admit that their relationship had just run its course, no drama necessary.

26.

And finally, not so mature: Lucas and Peyton on One Tree Hill (Season 3, Episode 5, “I Forgot to Remember to Forget”):

Lucas says he broke up with Peyton because she rejected his proposal, Brooke replies, "Are you stupid?"


The WB

Look, regardless of who you ship, we can all agree that Lucas Scott is dumb as all heck, right? Flying out to LA to propose to Peyton when they were like 18 was just ridiculous — there is only one Naley, Lucas, and you are not it! Peyton not being ready to get married so young was completely reasonable, and for Lucas to dump her over it just made me dislike him even more. Brooke made some points here.

Are there any TV breakups you feel strongly about? Let us know in the comments!



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