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10 Most Toxic Sitcom Relationships | ScreenRant

It's easy for audiences to become attached and invested in the lives of sitcom characters. Sometimes, a "will they/won't they" throughline can be the heart and soul of a series, and other times secondary sitcom couples are more interesting than the main characters. But almost as frequently, there are unhealthy relationships between mismatched couples.

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In some cases, this is obvious, like with Ron and Tammy in Parks and Recreation. But with other couples, the flaws reveal themselves only on closer inspection. Out of all the bizarre, vitriolic, or simply incompatible relationships in the sitcom world, these ones stick out as particularly toxic.

10 Ron And Tammy 1 (Parks And Recreation)

Ron Swanson is the stoic, stiff-upper-lipped presence in the Pawnee Parks Department, but the one person who can bring him to his knees is his ex-wife Tammy. The first of Ron's two ex-wives, Tammy 1 turns Ron into a completely different person with her austerity and manipulation. Ron himself calls it "a hellacious nightmare."

This is an extremely unusual relationship, especially considering that, as Ron reveals, Tammy worked at the hospital where he was born and helped deliver him as a baby. They then started dating when Ron was just 15. Tammy infantilizes and controls Ron, and it's alarming to see someone so sure of himself turn into a "neutered wimp," as Leslie calls him. Even Tammy 2 is scared of her.

9 Coach Beard And Jane (Ted Lasso)

Similar to Ron Swanson, Coach Beard is a stoic and humble presence in his place of work, in this case, Richmond Football Club. But when he starts seeing a woman named Jane, Beard totally loses himself and falls victim to her supreme over-clinginess. In one episode, he loses his phone and comes back to hundreds of missed calls and messages.

Beard is clearly unhappy with Jane, yet cannot keep himself away. Seeing his friend in distress, Higgins tries to intervene and even calls on other members of the Diamond Dogs to back him up. Any relationship in which one party is clearly dominant and the other has to crawl on his knees, beg, apologize, and be in constant contact is highly toxic.

8 Ross And Rachel (Friends)

The Ross-and-Rachel debate is a divisive and intricate one, with many believing that the two make a perfect couple, and others disparaging the fact that they ended up together. Some of Friends' most iconic scenes were down to the problems in Ross and Rachel's relationship, such as the infamous, "We were on a break!"

RELATED: 10 Ways Ross And Rachel Are The Worst Sitcom Couple

Whichever side of the aisle fans sit, there are many flaws in this relationship. For one, Ross didn't take Rachel's career seriously. His excessive jealousy, manifested in the form of gifts delivered to her desk, was a source of embarrassment. Ross also lied about reading the letter she wrote him and slept with someone else. What damaged their relationship most was the lack of trust and uncontrolled jealousy.

7 Dennis And Maureen (It's Always Sunny In Philadelphia)

Maureen is even more bizarre than the members of the Paddy's gang, which is saying something. From her diamond-studded dead tooth to her plastic surgery to turn her into a cat-person, her unusual behavior carries over into her relationships. Dennis and Maureen's relationship is a total mess. They clearly despise each other. Even from their first morning together as husband and wife, Dennis tries to sneak off before she wakes up and hints that she should go home.

There are few, if any, healthy relationships in It's Always Sunny in Philadelphia, which subverts the "will they/won't they" sitcom trope. But even Charlie cares about the Waitress and wants to improve her life. What makes Dennis and Maureen so toxic is the vitriol and backstabbing involved, such as Maureen saddling Dennis with a massive debt and stealing his apartment.

6 Ryan And Kelly (The Office)

Ryan and Kelly take the "on-again/off-again" trope to extreme levels, shifting from vicious arguments to passionate kissing within seconds, offering fans many cringeworthy moments. Whether it's Kelly lying about being pregnant to get Ryan to go on a date or Ryan dumping her the second he gets offered the corporate job, their relationship is marred by manipulation and extreme jealousy.

What makes this relationship especially notable is that it initially seems like Ryan and Kelly will be in the diminutive group of "normal" Dunder Mifflin employees, with Ryan's humble reserve and Kelly's willingness to slap Michael when he is racist during "Diversity Day." They catch the audience by surprise, though. Their characters grow and develop together, becoming stranger and more outlandish, concluding with their running off together and abandoning Ryan's child during the finale.

5 Mark And Sophie (Peep Show)

A common theme among the most toxic sitcom relationships is deception, one of the defining characteristics of Mark and Sophie's relationship in Peep Show. What starts as a flirty office romance devolves into complete dysfunction, exemplified when Sophie forces Mark to impregnate her.

There is a multitude of incompatibilities between Sophie and Mark. Sophie's instability completely conflicts with Mark's uptight worldview. During the lead-up to their wedding, Mark is filled with dread. Je even tries to get hit by a car to give him an excuse to not turn up, and Sophie bursts into hysterical tears minutes after they are married. Every moment they are together is truly awful and depressing.

4 Grindah And Miche (People Just Do Nothing)

MC Grindah, the protagonist of People Just Do Nothing, lives in a tower block flat with his equally vacuous and fame-obsessed girlfriend, Miche. However, that's about as far as their compatibility goes.

RELATED: People Just Do Nothing's 10 Best Characters, Ranked

What makes this relationship so terrible is that Grindah is clearly embarrassed by Miche and hesitant to commit to her or tell her that he loves her. Conversely, she adores him, although this often manifests in her "babying" him, further fuelling his discomfort. What is worst of all, though, is the fact that Decoy is clearly Angel's biological father, yet Miche lies and pretends Grindah is. Dishonesty is the foundation of their relationship, which makes it doomed to fail.

3 Jerry And Beth (Rick And Morty)

Jerry may be cowardly and insecure, but the way Beth treats him, from ignoring his pleas regarding Rick's calamitous behavior to the revelation that she views him as a frightened worm, marks their marriage as deeply unhealthy. The couple splits up in "The Rickshank Rickdemption" after Beth chooses Rick over her husband, one of the worst things Beth ever did to Jerry on Rick and Morty, but by the recent season, they are back together.

The worst part about Beth and Jerry's relationship is that, as confirmed by Glexo Slim Slom after he shows them their mythologs, they are codependent. Jerry's cowardice and Beth's controlling dominance balance each other out, but this isn't a good thing, as demonstrated when the mythologs escape their cell and enjoy a killing spree, analogous for their destructiveness.

2 Ted And Robin (How I Met Your Mother)

One of fans' biggest qualms with the notoriously dissatisfying ending of How I Met Your Mother is that Ted and Robin end up together, despite the series ostensibly telling the story of how Ted met his children's mother, Tracy. There are countless moments throughout the series that prove how flawed Ted and Robin's relationship is, from Ted suggesting on the day he met her that he would marry her to their failed attempt at being "friends with benefits."

Ted and Robin seem much happier dating other people. When together, they simply can't make it work. Instead, they cheat, lie, and Ted even betrays Robin's privacy by telling Barney everything he learned from dating her in "Robin 101."

1 Michael And Jan (The Office)

Michael's illicit affair with his boss starts from a place of awfulness: a forbidden, drunken kiss; a coveted trip to Jamaica; and a leaked photo of topless Jan. Michael admits to his female colleagues, "I'm unhappy when I'm with her," and later attempts to break it off, but is swayed otherwise by her breast augmentation.

What makes this relationship so terrible is how awkward it makes everyone around them, epitomized in the infamous "Dinner Party" episode. It's one of the show's funniest but most uncomfortable to watch. Passive-aggressive tensions eventually boil over into a heated argument involving the police. This is truly one of television's most horrendous relationships, driving both parties to despair and unhappiness.

NEXT: David And Patrick And 9 Other Sitcom Couples That Are Totally Underrated

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