We Ranked 10 of the Most Toxic Movie Relationships

year ago

We’re inspired by rom-com relationships and dream of the same kind of vivid and passionate love. But some of the most well-known and adored movie couples are also examples of toxic behaviors. Sometimes imaginary care hides aggressive behavior and a desire to dominate. And at first glance, innocuous quarrels cover up a desire to assert themselves at the expense of a partner.

10. Jack and Rose from Titanic.

Jack and Rose’s relationship has been melting hearts worldwide for more than 20 years. But they actually make a terrible couple when you think about it. From the time that Jack saves Rose from jumping off the Titanic to the moment he freezes in the Atlantic Ocean, only a little over 48 hours passes. Love is something that takes time to develop, and two days is simply not enough.

That brings us to the fact that they were in lust rather than love. Although Jack and Rose have great chemistry, they don’t share much. Their differences may eventually cause major problems if Jack had survived the sinking, and they had run away together to New York.

What’s wrong: Passion was mistaken for love.

9. Nate and Andy from The Devil Wears Prada.

It took time to understand that Miranda Priestly is not the main villain in this iconic movie. Nate is not just an unsupportive boyfriend. He’s a selfish, whiny man-child who thinks his birthday is more important than Andy’s career. He abandoned her when she needed him most because she prioritized her goals and dreams.

The first comment he makes to Andy after she finds out she got a job at a fashion magazine is, “Was it a phone interview?” He literally thinks Andy can’t work at Runway! Nate just doesn’t deserve her.

What’s wrong: Nate is an immature egomaniac, holding Andy back from her true potential.

8. Romeo and Juliet from Romeo + Juliet.

Romeo and Juliet’s central couple is still considered the gold romance standard, but this story is toxic. As young teenagers who are pretty immature, they mistake infatuation for one true love and marry within days.

What’s wrong: This is another case of “love at first sight,” which could’ve easily been an attraction, lust, or simply the sheer adrenaline of rebellion. Their relationship becomes all-consuming from the start, ending with them giving their lives for a relationship that doesn’t even last a week.

7. John and Jane from Mr. & Mrs. Smith.

Their relationship is built upon lies from both sides. While they were initially happy together, they have become trapped in a marriage that they both find suffocating and unfulfilling.

What’s wrong: They spend the bulk of the movie trying to kill each other.

6. Ross and Rachel from Friends.

Rachel and Ross are one of the most beloved couples in the history of TV shows. Their relationship was a roller coaster of emotions. Reputedly, Ross was a lousy partner to Rachel. He was constantly putting others in the middle of their relationships, using other women to try to get over her.

With all the lies and manipulations he used in their relationship, Ross acted like a controlling boyfriend. Despite her request, he refused to divorce Rachel after they got married by accident in Vegas. Ross often showed that he felt like he owned Rachel, which is not romantic.

What’s wrong: Toxic relationships with jealousy, cheating, and manipulations. They don’t allow each other to move on.

5. Mr. Big and Carrie from Sex and the City.

Mr. Big, or it’s better to say Mr. Big Waste of Time. Their toxic, on-and-off relationship had more downs than ups. Carrie has a bad habit of assuming her partners will figure out what she wants without telling them.

When the two began dating, Carrie noticed that he frequently took her to hidden restaurants so nobody they knew would bump into them. He ditches Carrie and lets go of their relationship countless times. It’s enough to remember the scene when he abandoned Carrie at the altar.

What’s wrong: Their problems are pretty similar to Ross and Rachel, but much more emotionally manipulative because Mr. Big has been playing with Carrie for years.

4. Edward and Bella from Twilight Saga.

Despite its immense popularity, the Twilight saga — in which 17-year-old Bella falls in love with a 104-year-old vampire, Edward Cullen — is inarguably toxic in several ways. And the age gap is just the tip of the iceberg. Bella is younger and isn’t sure what she really deserves. In contrast, Edward shows us many stereotypical characteristics of a toxic partner.

First and foremost, he consciously tries to isolate her, including from her father and friends. Edward doesn’t respect Bella’s boundaries, he stalks her on multiple occasions, breaks into her house, and watches her sleep every night. All these examples are romanticized in the film.

What’s wrong: Edward has turned Bella into a different kind of creature that cannot be undone.

3. Christian and Anastasia from Fifty Shades of Grey.

While the Fifty Shades franchise was highly appreciated for its progressive topic, this relationship isn’t healthy. The power dynamic is off right from the beginning. Anna is also an inexperienced and insecure girl with no prior relationship experience, and Christian takes advantage of it.

Christian Grey is a jealous and possessive man who goes all the way to control Ana’s life. He’s stalking her, obsessed with her whereabouts and who she’s with. If that’s not creepy enough, he bought the company she works at.

What’s wrong: Christian is a toxic partner; their horrible relationship is based on dominance and psychological issues.

2. Chuck and Blair from Gossip Girl.

Chuck and Blair had cute moments, but it wasn’t enough to make up for their toxic relationship. When Blair chooses another man over him, he turns to Gossip Girl, where he spills all of Blair’s secrets about her life, destroying Blair’s reputation.

Chuck even said that seeing her suffer gave him immense pleasure, adding that he would not stop until she had “nothing”. Blair already had insecurity issues due to her mother’s relationship, and her friendship with Serena and Chuck exacerbated them.

What’s wrong: Their love affair was a manipulative, emotionally and physically exhausting experience for Blair.

1. Noah and Allie from The Notebook.

Their relationship is problematic from the beginning. Allie says no to Noah’s advances when they meet at a fair. So he takes it upon himself to hang from a Ferris wheel, where Allie sits, and threatens to jump until she agrees to go out with him. It’s manipulative behavior, not romantic at all.

They often have arguments that turn into fights during their summer fling. It just confirms how crazy they are for each other. When they finally reunite after 14 years of no contact, Noah encourages Allie to start an affair with him and cheat on her fiancée. Just making this one of many films to romanticize infidelity.

What’s wrong: Noah is a manipulator and a gaslighter who eventually tricks Allie into falling in love, changing her life forever. Physical fights.

Who is your favorite on-screen movie couple of all time? What behavior is an immediate red flag for you in relationships? Feel free to tell us your stories in the comments below!


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I have not seen all of these films but many of them. Yes, I always feel like I’m in the minority when I don’t root for very toxic couples. Sure, when I was much younger I didn’t understand that but as someone that has experienced her own share, I can spot it. Sometimes these characters are just fine separately but the other person brings out the worst in them. And other times we have a sweet, nerdy guy that writers just ruin- Ross from Friends and Ted from How I Met Your Mother. Come ON! There are countless women that actually do like the thoughtful and intelligent guy- he doesn’t need an unforgivable flaw to not be boring! Cheating shouldn’t be a go-to flaw- make it a vice that’s actually forgivable. Also- I was sick to my stomach watching Bella’s tragic codependency- almost completely been there, it’s not advisable to get that low for “love.” And I refuse to read 50 Shades of Gray… honestly high schoolers read that thinking the horrific manipulation was normal. But I’m an old fashioned 30 something anyway, what do I know… Yes this list is spot on. Have healthy relationships- you DESERVE it.


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