The Office, Friends and Will & Grace boast some of the best modern TV couples to hit the small screen, but we can’t forget about the couples that started it all. Lovable, zany and sometimes just plain weird, this Top 10 list will highlight the most lovable TV couples of all time. Each one has truly revolutionized television history, bringing us nothing but entertainment, laughter and love.
1. Lucy and Ricky from I Love Lucy
Starring Lucille Ball and Desi Arnaz, I Love Lucy first aired to a largely American audience in 1951. Lucy Ricardo, the show’s feisty female lead, is married to band leader/singer Ricky Ricardo. The show follows the couple’s ups and downs, always ending in some humorous quip by Lucy, or rapidly spewed Spanish by Ricky. This couples on and off stage love affair firmly planted them as one of American’s most recognizable and beloved TV couples.
Memorable Quote: Lucy: “I realized we never really liked each other. We had a great attraction going for each other in the beginning but we didn’t approve of each other. He disapproved of my moderation and my conservatism. I was square, he said. I disapproved of the way he worked too hard, played too hard, and was never moderate in anything. It was like living on top of a volcano; you never knew when it would erupt or why. I was able to accept the situation for many years because it was our secret.”
2. The Nanny and Mr. Sheffield from The Nanny
A staple of 90s TV sitcoms, Fran Drescher created and starred in The Nanny, which aired from 1993–1999 on CBS. Broadway producer Maxwell Sheffield is a recently widowed father of three wild children in desperate need of a nanny. Fran Fine (aka Fran Drescher) fills the position. Her unique styles of childcare and brutal honesty are just what the family needs, particularly Mr. Sheffield. Their witty banter and love/hate relationship makes them a couple for the ages.
3. Sam and Diane from Cheers
The boyish baseball playing charm of Sam, alongside the intelligence and poise of Diane made Cheers the romantic comedy of television shows during its time. While their relationship was constantly changing, their chemistry was quite apparent. Even though their love affair fell apart, they are still one of the greatest TV couples to exist on the small screen.
4. Mike and Carol Brady from The Brady Bunch
Mike and Carol Brady became the quintessential TV couple when the show debuted in 1969. They effortlessly mixed two families together while maintaining a white picket fence lifestyle. Always a united front, this couple helped their children through all the trials and tribulations of adolescence. Mike and Carol, along with their blended family, remain a constant in American TV culture, spawning other television shows, remakes and even A Very Brady Reunion in 2008.
5. Roseanne and Dan Conner from Roseanne
Spanning nearly 10 years, Roseanne followed the unpredictable life of the dysfunctional Conner family. The matriarch of the family, Roseanne, was a hardworking, outspoken and provocative woman alongside her equally hardworking husband, Dan. The relationship between these two characters was often characterized by yelling matches and witty repertoire from both sides, but they always resolved their issues. Unlike many of TV’s most loved couples, Roseanne is noted as being one of the first dominant females on TV. Like The Cosby Show, Roseanne portrayed an amazing, hardworking couple, but also made great strides for showing controversial issues on TV, like gay rights, drug abuse, and issues related to feminism.
It’s hard to believe that Roseanne first hit the airwaves 25 years ago. This blue-collar sitcom was truly successful from the start and was a top 10 show in the ratings for the first seven of its nine seasons. I myself was not happy with season 9 and the direction it was going.
But, the show was recently honored at the TV Land Awards with the Innovator Award. The show is still being broadcast onTV Land. It’s nice to see them altogether but what have they been doing since the show went off the air?
6. Cliff and Claire Huxtable from The Cosby Show
Set in New York in the 80s and early 90s, The Cosby Show follows the Huxtable’s, a wealthy African American family. Heathcliff Huxtable plays an obstetrician, while his wife Claire is an attorney. This powerhouse couple dealt with serious issues like their son Theo’s struggle with dyslexia, teen pregnancy and underage drinking. Claire and Cliff are not only one of the most loved TV couples, but their prominence on television allowed for other dominantly African American shows to flourish, including The Fresh Prince of Bel-Air and In Living Color.
7. Morticia and Gomez Addams from The Addams Family
The eccentric and wealthy Addams family was the center of the TV series The Addams Family from 1964–1966. Based on the comic by Charles Addams first published in “The New Yorker,” the master and matriarch duo of Gomez and Morticia fronted this gothic clan. This family brought the typical TV couple to a completely new level, becoming the true definition of “odd couple” to life. Even with their unique look and way of life, Morticia and Gomez quickly became one of the greatest couples amongst other 60s sitcoms, and continue to top lists today.
8. Archie and Edith Bunker from All In The Family
Often referred to as a “dingbat” in 1971–1979’s All In The Family, Edith Bunker plays a sweet and understanding woman married to a World War II veteran, Archie. Archie, however, is an outspoken bigot who is against anyone not American born, heterosexual, or conservative. Even though Edith tries to take a stand, Archie always shoots her down, thinking she is too naive. Despite their differences in opinion, their deep-rooted love is quite visible, to both each other and the viewing audience.
Cliff Huxtable was a great role model. I think he showed viewers of “The Cosby Show” how families should be living, irrespective of racism. Growing up, I wish I had a father like Cliff Huxtable. I wish my relationship with my father was similar to the Huxtable kids’ relationship with Cliff. They were so very close. They could talk to him about anything and just about everything. If I could pick a tv family to be in, it would be the Huxtable family.
9. Herman and Lily Munster from The Munsters
Airing during the same time as The Addams Family, The Munsters depicts the life of a family of monsters, headed by Herman and Lily. Paralleling Morticia and Gomez Addams, Herman and Lily were outgoing, hard working middle class citizens with Herman being the primary breadwinner. This quirky couple looked so different from nearly everybody else on TV, but their undeniable similarity to the “normal” American couple cemented Herman and Lily as one of the best couples of all time.
10. Darren and Samantha from Bewitched
Airing in 1964, Bewitched told the unusual story of Samantha, a witch, and Darren, her mortal husband. While they were truly in love and wanted to be together, their families could not agree. Samantha’s mother was always popping up unexpectedly, and magic always seemed to get in the way. Despite this, their star crossed love flourished, as did the show. Topping the rating charts in the 60s and early 70s, Bewitched has continued to be a presence in the television community.
When she’s not engaging in I Love Lucy marathons, Allison Heard is a writer for HalloweenCostumes.com, which has plenty of classic TV couples costumes.