After nearly 30 years together, Marge and Homer Simpson are splitting up.
You could be sad about this, or you could ask: “The Simpsons” is still on the air?! Shouldn’t those two have split long ago? Seriously, Lisa Simpson, as the smartest of the Simpson crew, should have convinced her mother that she could do better. That talk, and this split, is overdue.
During the Simpsons’ marriage, countless TV couples have parted ways. As Marge and Homer’s legal separation nears, here are 10 TV breakups – from the funny and light to the more serious – that have stuck with us longer than some of the relationships lasted.
1. Jess and Nick, “New Girl” They don’t have anything in common except for the fact that they love each other? Um, isn’t that the most important thing? Here’s hoping that this one won’t stick, a la Ross and Rachel in “Friends.”
2. Jerry and Marlene, “Seinfeld” Nearly every episode of “Seinfeld” involved a breakup. “They’re real and they’re spectacular!” is a classic, of course. But my personal favorite is when a woman breaks up with Jerry after watching his act. She is not impressed: “I can’t be with someone if I don’t respect what they do.” You and me both, sister.
3. Robin and Barney, “How I Met Your Mother” Love or hate the series finale, this was the breakup that finally made it possible for Robin and Ted to end up together.
4. Ross and Rachel, “Friends” How many times did Ross and Rachel break up? Seriously, how many times? It’s hard to tell. Near the beginning of their relationship, Ross tells Rachel: “You’re going to have to understand that you’re with a guy who’s not going to stop planning his future with you. Because he knows we’re going to end up together. And if that scares you, tough.” That set the tone for one of the most iconic on-again, off-again relationships in sitcom history.
5. Carrie and Berger, “Sex and the City” There were bigger breakups during the series, of course, but the Post-It note has outlived the show. There was a time when email breakups seemed so crass they could be synonymous with the Post-It split. Now that text-message breakups are common, what is the new Post-It – a SnapChat see-ya?
6. Felicity and Ben, “Felicity” The most lasting scene from this breakup isn’t the actual parting of ways, but Felicity’s drastic haircut that follows. “When I walked into the hair-cutting place, I was taking a leap,” the Keri Russell voice-over goes. “But I wasn’t doing it for some guy, or because of some list. I was doing it for me.” Cheers to Felicity, for being solo-ish in style rather than wallowing. Little did we know this would foreshadow Russell’s current big role – as Elizabeth Jennings in “The Americans” – where there’s a new hairdo almost every episode, although for much weightier reasons than “some guy.”
7. Cory and Topanga, “Boy Meets World” Not that we’re a fan of relationship games, but Cory failed this one. Big time. Similar to Felicity’s split, there’s a lot of growing up in this one. Even though these childhood sweethearts eventually make it, this one stung.
8. Luke and Lorelai, “Gilmore Girls” In a role reversal for a show that’s all about the banter, Luke is the wordy one here. He goes on for more than two minutes – saying he’s how he’s finally ready to marry Lorelai Gilmore and listing off places they can go to get hitched: Maryland, Vermont, Maine, Atlantic City, Las Vegas. When Lorelai is finally able to get four words in edgewise – “I slept with Christopher” – it levels a relationship that took years to build. Sleeping with the father of your only child will do that.
9. Cristina Yang and Preston Burke, “Grey’s Anatomy” Leaving without saying a word? So much for being a doctor of the heart, Burke. In a single breath, Yang’s “he’s gone” devastation melts quickly into relief. “I’m free” is as pure Yang as that choker and wedding dress are not.
10. Buffy and Angel, “Buffy the Vampire Slayer” Buffy: “I want my life to be with you.” Angel: “I don’t.” Way harsh. These star-crossed lovers didn’t last, but the vampire obsession lives on. As Buffy and Angel warned us, vampire-human relationships never work out.