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Top 10 Iconic TV Couples of the 2000s

VO: Alexandra Maynard WRITTEN BY: Savannah Sher
The early aughts were a great time for TV romance. For this list, we’re looking at our absolute favorite couples from TV shows airing between 2000 and 2009. We’re categorizing couples based on when they originally got together so Ross and Rachel, whose relationship began in the 90s, won’t fit on this list even though they were together in the 2000s as well. Our list includes The O.C., One Tree Hill, Friday Night Lights, Lost, How I Met Your Mother and more! Join MsMojo as we count down our picks for the Top 10 Memorable TV Couples of the 2000s.

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Top 10 Best TV Couples of the 2000s

The early aughts were a great time for TV romance. Welcome to MsMojo and today we're counting down our picks for the Top 10 TV Couples of the 2000s.

For this list, we’re looking at our absolute favorite couples from TV shows airing between 2000 and 2009. We’re categorizing couples based on when they originally got together so Ross and Rachel, whose relationship began in the 90s, won’t fit on this list even though they were together in the 2000s as well.

#10: Seth Cohen & Summer Roberts

“The O.C.” (2003-07)

This early 2000s teen drama became a fan favorite soon after its release and viewers had two couples to choose from. Marissa and Ryan may have been the more dramatic pair in Orange County, but Seth and Summer were far more lovable. In this classic tale of opposites attracting, popular girl Summer falls for comic book nerd Seth. Their banter and bickering made them feel like a very real couple and endeared them to fans who could relate. While the later seasons of the show weren’t quite as compelling, fans loved that these two ended up together.

#9: Eric & Tami Taylor

“Friday Night Lights” (2006-11)

According to Connie Britton and Kyle Chandler, who plays Tami and Eric Taylor respectively on the show, the reason their relationship always seemed so strong was because from the beginning, the producers told them that they would never break up. This strength is displayed from the show’s pilot until the finale, with these two facing countless obstacles together while still remaining true to one another. Even being in different cities couldn’t tear them apart. It was refreshing to see an older couple play such a significant role on a show like this and it gave viewers hope that you can still be passionately in love even many years in.

#8: Nathan Scott & Haley James

“One Tree Hill” (2003-12)

Throughout the nine crazy seasons that make up the roller coaster that was “One Tree Hill,” Nathan and Haley’s relationship endured. These two have been through pretty much everything together, from car crashes, to kidnappings, to school shootings. Their popular guy/nerdy girl dynamic was charming and relatable and created legions of fans among viewers. Even after the show’s controversial time jump, their roles as parents made them just as inspirational as ever. They made us believe that high school romances can sometimes turn into happily ever afters.

#7: Jack Shephard & Kate Austen

“Lost” (2004-10)

When you’re stuck on an island together, the pickings are slim. Nevertheless, many romances managed to bloom throughout “Lost,” but none was more beloved by fans than the one between Jack and Kate. They had a classic will they or won’t they dynamic for much of the show’s run, leaving viewers wondering until the final episode whether they would actually end up together. Like everyone on the island, they went through many difficult times together, saving each other’s lives over and over again in the process. When all was said and done, not even death could keep them apart.

#6: Marshall Eriksen & Lily Aldrin

“How I Met Your Mother” (2005-14)

The focus of “How I Met Your Mother” may be Ted’s quest to find the women who will eventually become his wife, but the romantic mainstay is the relationship between his friends Marshall and Lily. After meeting on their first day in college, they’ve been together for a decade when viewers first meet them. Though the beginning of the series focuses on the problems they have and even shows them having a pretty serious breakup, no one had any doubt they would be together in the end. They perfectly exemplify what it’s like to be best friends and partners, sharing in lots of hilarious antics alongside more serious and poignant plot lines.

#5: Pacey Witter & Joey Potter

“Dawson's Creek” (1998-2003)

This is one case where the nice guy doesn’t get the girl - and we’re totally okay with it. Dawson may be the eponymous protagonist of the show, but the relationship that fans shipped was between his friends Pacey and Joey. While there were definitely moments where it seems like Pacey might pick Dawson, the chemistry between her and Pacey was undeniable. Leading up to the series finale, it still wasn’t a done deal, but luckily the show’s creators made the right choice by keeping them together.

#4: Chuck Bass & Blair Waldorf

“Gossip Girl” (2007-12)

In the “Gossip Girl” books, Chuck’s character was vastly different than the charming and sexy cad he plays in the TV series. While the book series focused on the relationship between Blair and Nate, the show put her with bad boy Chuck, which created an explosive dynamic that fans loved. The Upper East Side just wouldn’t be the same without the tumultuous and steamy pair that these two made. Their hookups are initially steamy but superficial. By the end of the series, however, it’s clear that what they have is very real.

#3: Luke Danes & Lorelai Gilmore

“Gilmore Girls” (2000-07)

After four seasons of buildup and sexual tension, these two finally got together. From the very beginning, it was clear that there was something more than an employee/customer relationship between Luke and Lorelai, but the creators dragged their storyline out, making fans desperate for their first kiss by the time it happened. (xref) Rory and her second boyfriend Jess are another beloved couple from this series, but since they didn’t actually end up together, they’re giving their spot to Luke and Lorelai. After Netflix’s 2016 revival, this couple has finally tied the knot and is ready for their happily ever after.

#2: Meredith Grey & Derek Shepherd

“Grey's Anatomy” (2005-)

Starting the series with immediate sexual tension, Meredith and Derek sleep together the night before she begins working at Seattle Grace - unbeknownst to both of them. After a rocky start where these two both dated other people and hooked up and broke up with regularity, they finally settled down during the fifth season of the show. Throughout the many seasons of “Grey’s,” Meredith and Derek were the one constant that remained the same. If you stuck with the show beyond Season 11, you know that sadly, there’s no happy ending here.

Before we unveil our top picks, here are a few honorable mentions:

Ephram Brown & Amy Abbott
“Everwood” (2002-06)

Michael Vaughn & Sydney Bristow
“Alias” (2001-06)

Leonard Hofstadter & Penny
“The Big Bang Theory” (2007-)

#1: Pam Beesly & Jim Halpert

“The Office” (2005-13)

The emotions that viewers felt while watching Jim and Pam’s romantic journey progress have no comparison in TV history. Sure, we’ve seen plenty of will they or won’t they couples come and go throughout the years, but is there any as sweet and adorable as this one? For three seasons, Jim and Pam don’t progress beyond being just friends, though there are many indications given of their feelings for each other. In a show that doesn’t exactly seem conducive to burgeoning romance, Jim and Pam kept our hearts aflutter with the subtlest of loving gestures.

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