Top 10 Opposites Attract TV Couples

Script written by Thomas Robinson They say opposites attract and that’s certainly true for these TV couples. Cordelia Chase & Xander Harris from Buffy the Vampire Slayer, Margaret ‘Hot Lips’ Houlihan & Hawkeye Pierce from M*A*S*H, Diane Chambers & Sam Malone from Cheers, Detective Amelia ‘Amy’ Santiago & Detective Jacob ‘Jake’ Peralta from Brooklyn Nine-Nine are all opposites but they’re perfect for each other!

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Top 10 Opposites Attract TV Couples

They may make for an odd pairing... but hey, love is a mysterious thing. Welcome to MsMojo, and today we’re counting down our picks for the Top 10 Opposites Attract TV Couples.

For this list, we’ll be looking at live action small screen couples with seemingly incompatible interests, lifestyles and personalities, who were nonetheless drawn to one another. Sadly, cartoon couples need not apply for this particular list, no matter how mismatched they may be.


#10: Cordelia Chase & Xander Harris

“Buffy the Vampire Slayer” (1997-2003)

Of all the weird supernatural things going on in Sunnydale, this relationship is among the most challenging to comprehend. Cordelia is the high school’s resident queen bee and mean girl, whose popularity is surpassed only by her natural tendency to aggressively taunt those around her. By contrast, Xander is a goofy social outcast and, according to Willow, treasurer of the “We Hate Cordelia Club”. Despite, or perhaps, BECAUSE of the tension between them, the two begin a passionate relationship in season 2 while hiding from one of Sunnydale’s monsters. They arguably complement each other, with Xander turning Cordelia into a warmer person, and Cordelia helping Xander become more open-minded. But sadly, it was never meant to last.

#9: Margaret ‘Hot Lips’ Houlihan & Hawkeye Pierce

“M*A*S*H” (1972-83)

All is definitely not fair in love and war. That’s what Captain“Hawkeye” Pierce and Major Margaret “Hot Lips” Houlihan discover while serving in the Korean War. Hawkeye and Hot Lips often find themselves at odds, mostly because each is the antithesis of the other. She’s a by-the-book nurse and he’s a laid back goofball surgeon. She respects authority, and he couldn’t care less about it. She follows the rules, while he prefers to break them. But despite the fact that they frequently infuriate each other, the war inevitably pushes them together. Throughout the series, they often find comfort in one another’s arms. War may be miserable, but misery loves company.

#8: Dharma Freedom Montgomery & Gregory Clifford ‘Greg’ Montgomery

“Dharma and Greg” (1997-2002)

What happens when an open-minded, spontaneous, yoga instructor named Dharma, and an uptight lawyer named Greg decide to tie the knot on the first date? 5 seasons of wacky comedy. It’s only after they elope that they realize how very different they are, and the rest of the series revolves around Dharma trying to get Greg to have more fun, while Greg tries to keep Dharma grounded in reality. Regardless of their many disagreements and dissimilar worldviews, the lovebirds never really express regret over their lighting fast elopement. Their respective parents, on the other hand, take much longer to warm up to one another.


#7: April Kepner & Jackson Avery

“Grey’s Anatomy” (2005-)

You don’t need a heart monitor to see how these two feel about each other.  Starting off as close friends, doctors April Kepner and Jackson Avery eventually start a steamy romance. The two seem mismatched - April is insecure and sensitive, while Jackson is cocky and competitive. Complicating things further is the fact that April was saving herself for marriage; a plan that flies out the window after getting closer to Jackson. Her conflicting feelings about this, as well as Jackson’s fixation on his own career advancement, put a strain on their relationship, leading to a short-lived marriage that ends in tragedy. Despite such hardships, the show has made it clear that things are far from over between these two.

 #6: Temperance ‘Bones’ Brennan & Seeley Booth

“Bones” (2005-)

When you spend most of your time around skeletons, odds are even the most incompatible partner will start to looking good. Such was the case for Dr. Temperance “Bones” Brennan, a calculating and analytical forensic anthropologist. She is brought on as a consultant to help personable, All-American, instinct-driven FBI agent Seeley Booth. They begin a shaky professional relationship that gradually turns into friendship as the two bond over their shared crime-busting experiences. Eventually this friendship becomes much more, leading to marriage and kids - though not necessarily in that order. Like peanut butter and chocolate, Bones and Booth are rather dissimilar, and quite good on their own, but when combined, they become something remarkably close to perfection.

#5: Detective Amelia ‘Amy’ Santiago & Detective Jacob ‘Jake’ Peralta

“Brooklyn Nine-Nine” (2013-)

These cops clash so much, it’s amazing they haven’t arrested each other yet. Styling himself as a loose cannon cop who doesn’t play by the rules, unsophisticated and juvenile Jake Peralta is often at odds with fellow detective Amy Santiago, an ambitious overachiever with no patience for lame jokes or slackers. But because they’re forced to spend so much time together, their disdain for each other eventually turns into respect, admiration, and finally... love. It doesn’t change them though - Jake continues to act like a clown, and Amy maintains her obsessive, hyper-organized ways. Nonetheless, they somehow manage to work surprisingly well together, both romantically and when solving crime.


#4: Diane Chambers & Sam Malone

“Cheers” (1982-93)

These two co-workers might trade more insults than compliments, but don’t let that behavior fool you - the attraction runs deep. After Diane is left by her fiancé, womanizing ex-baseball player and bartender Sam Malone gives her a job as a cocktail waitress. Thus begins one of the most famous instances of belligerent sexual tension in TV history. College educated Diane doesn’t hesitate to put down Sam’s chauvinist ways with witty remarks, and in turn, Sam calls out Diane’s high and mighty attitude and aristocratic aspirations. All the immature arguing only seems to bring them closer together though, and Sam and Dianego on to get engaged… twice. Ever complicated, but never quite right, we’ll drink to this duo any day.


#3: April Ludgate & Andy Dwyer

“Parks and Recreation” (2009-15)

 As one of the longest running pairings on the show, negative, cynical April and goofy, simple-minded Andy managed to defy all odds and stay together to the end. Despite Andy’s immaturity and April’s hatred of almost everything, the two always manage to bring out the best in each other, whether they’re throwing a party or shopping. Even when their relationship is put to the dreaded long distance test, they remain faithful and committed. Throughout the series, they never stop caring for each other, and are willing to support one another’s dreams through thick and thin. How it works… we’ll never know, but we’d certainly like some of whatever it is they’ve got.

#2: Rachel Green & Ross Geller

“Friends” (1994-2004)

They might share the same initials, but the common ground between these two friends mostly ends there. Rachel Green is an occasionally self-absorbed social butterfly that comes from a wealthy background. Ross Geller is more socially awkward. And though he’s smart, he can also be very arrogant at times. Nonetheless, Ross and Rachel are inexplicably attracted to one another. Over the years, they’ve been close friends, married, divorced, and even had a child together, but their high strung personalities always seemed to get in the way. Although theirs was a less than smooth love story, Ross and Rachel gave fans the fairy-tale ending we all wanted in the series finale, finally embracing each other for good, faults and all.


Before we unveil our top pick, here are a few honorable mentions.


Grace Blood & Rich Hardbeck

“Skins” (2007-13)


Alisha Daniels & Simon Bellamy

“Misfits” (2009-13)


Fran Fine & Maxwell Sheffield

“The Nanny” (1993-99)


#1: Penny & Leonard Hofstadter

“The Big Bang Theory” (2007-)

Ahhh, this is the classic tale of “beauty and the geek”. As the central romantic plot for much of the series, Leonard and Penny’s relationship is as tumultuous as it gets. Leonard is a brilliant and successful physicist with a passion for nerd culture, but has little social skills to speak of. Penny, on the other hand, is literally the beautiful girl next door. And while very outgoing and friendly, compared to the boys from apartment 4A, she’s not exactly an intellectual. But just like protons and electrons, they can’t help but be attracted to each other. Penny helps Leonard come out of his shell, and Leonard helps Penny embrace her geekier side. Now, if only Sheldon would leave them alone.

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