Whether on-screen or off-screen, relationships are a lot of work. But through the endless challenges, hilarious dramas, and even serious arguments, TV couples manage to pull through (well, some of the time!) and, in the end, they become such a deep part of pop culture we sometimes even forget that the actors aren’t always together in real life.

David Schwimmer and Jennifer Aniston? Courtney Cox and Matthew Perry? Please! It’s Ross and Rachel and Monica and Chandler, now and forever. (If you haven’t noticed, I’m a big fan of ‘Friends’ and I hope you are, too.) Bored Panda has collected some of the most iconic TV couples and compared the photos to those of how the actors look now. Have a scroll through the pictures and remember to upvote your fave ones.

Celebrity and pop-culture expert Mike Sington, known as Hollywood's Ultimate Insider, told Bored Panda that chemistry is what makes an iconic TV (and movie!) couple iconic. "It’s no different than in real life. It’s that certain something you see between a couple. You can’t define it, but you know when it’s there. It gives you a ‘feel good’ reaction that makes you want to wrap yourself in that couple’s story, and it never gets old." Check out our full interview with Mike below.

#1

X-Files Mulder & Scully (David Duchovny And Gillian Anderson)

X-Files Mulder & Scully (David Duchovny And Gillian Anderson)

gilliana Report

Toasty
Community Member
3 months ago

Geez, for some reason this makes me feel really, really old.

narmadha weerasinghe
Community Member
3 months ago

The truth is out there

YoyoSthlm
Community Member
3 months ago

She is so beautiful!!

Grumble O'Pug
Community Member
3 months ago

And talented

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Konpat
Community Member
3 months ago

Gillian Anderson aged insanely well!

Devon Barnes-Balmer
Community Member
3 months ago

He is ridiculously handsome.

Tabitha L
Community Member
3 months ago

Never watched the show. But love both actors. Maybe I should start watching it.

Debrina Blackmoon
Community Member
3 months ago

Would be a great decision imho.

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ojjunior
Community Member
3 months ago

Don't we all love them? No surprise they're #1 here.

InfectedVoice
Community Member
3 months ago

Love X-Files.

Leslie Burleson
Community Member
3 months ago

She has aged so amazingly well ! She barely looks different than she did back then

Ozacoter
Community Member
3 months ago

Adorable.

Holly Hofmann
Community Member
3 months ago

This just makes me happy

François Carré
Community Member
3 months ago

They both age well, and I'd love to see an X-files sequel with retired Mulder and Scully inquiring into paranormal facts as a hobby, and arguing all the time like an old couple.

nautilus956
Community Member
3 months ago

I went to school with Gillian’s younger sister. Very chill girl.

Elle Malkamäki
Community Member
3 months ago

I love them so much 🥰👽

Karin Gibson
Community Member
3 months ago

Mulder hasn't aged well.

Melissa Peck
Community Member
3 months ago

It's been like 27 years ago! I'm glad he didn't get botched plastic surgery.

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Abigail Green
Community Member
3 months ago

This comment has been deleted.

Sabse
Community Member
3 months ago

You missed some episodes, I guess....

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Mojones
Community Member
3 months ago

Mmmmh, now I have to watch Californication again.

tmw
Community Member
3 months ago

noooooo... why with the plastic surgery?!

Frankenfrog
Community Member
3 months ago

No one had plastic surgery

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#2

Friends, Monica & Chandler (Courtney Cox And Matthew Perry)

Friends, Monica & Chandler (Courtney Cox And Matthew Perry)

courteneycoxofficial Report

Sakib sarar Ananda
Community Member
3 months ago

Could they be any cuter? <3

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Celeb expert Mike loves the original silver-screen sweethearts Rose and Jack from 'Titanic': "My pick for the most famous on-screen couple is Rose and Jack from ‘Titanic’. You became invested in their relationship from the start, even though you knew it was doomed (spoiler alert: the ship sinks). And millions watched their love story over and over again, which carried ‘Titanic’ on to become one of the biggest movies of all time, making Rose and Jack the most famous on-screen couple of all time."

#3

Modern Family, Cam & Mitch (Eric Stonestreet And Jesse Tyler Ferguson)

Modern Family, Cam & Mitch (Eric Stonestreet And Jesse Tyler Ferguson)

imdb Report

Aayse
Community Member
3 months ago

they are my favourite

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#4

Buffy The Vampire Slayer, Buffy And Angel (Sarah Michelle Gellar And David Boreanaz)

Buffy The Vampire Slayer, Buffy And Angel (Sarah Michelle Gellar And David Boreanaz)

sarahmgellar Report

Sonya Jersey
Community Member
3 months ago

I was in love with Angel. He was unaware but still...

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Mike explained that it's far easier for movie actors to branch out and try out new roles than it is for those playing characters in TV series. "Actors who primarily do movies find it much less difficult to spread out and do different roles after making it big as a particular character. The movie audience kind of expects to see them in different roles. It’s much more difficult for a TV actor known for a specific character because the audience has seen them as that character week after week after week."

#5

The Office, Pam & Jim (Jenna Fischer And John Krasinski)

The Office, Pam & Jim (Jenna Fischer And John Krasinski)

johnkrasinski Report

Draco Malfoy
Community Member
3 months ago

almost the same haha

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#6

Moonlighting, David & Maddie (Cybill Shepherd And Bruce Willis)

Moonlighting, David & Maddie (Cybill Shepherd And Bruce Willis)

wikipedia , wikipedia Report

aubergine10003
Community Member
3 months ago

I would love to rewatch "Moonlighting"..... but I am also wondering if it might not hold up on a rewatch.

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As for actors aging gracefully, Mike is a big believer in staying natural and embracing the changes that time brings about. Denying the passage of time can harm your career and even drive away the fans! "I’ve said this a million times, and I’ll say it again. The best way to age gracefully is to just age gracefully! Once an actor starts with facial cosmetic work, whether it is surgery or fillers, it physically affects their ability to work as an effective actor. An actor needs natural facial expression, and once that’s altered, it’s almost always noticeable and can actually end a career."

#7

Game Of Thrones, Jon Snow & Ygritte (Kit Harington And Rose Leslie)

Game Of Thrones, Jon Snow & Ygritte (Kit Harington And Rose Leslie)

roseleslie_gotYgritte Report

Sum Guy
Community Member
3 months ago

Jon snow didn't know anything, so she taught him

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#8

How I Met Your Mother, Marshall & Lily (Alyson Hannigan And Jason Segel)

How I Met Your Mother, Marshall & Lily (Alyson Hannigan And Jason Segel)

alysonhannigan Report

Evelína Zlá
Community Member
3 months ago

Wow... Alison really doesn't age... and Jason looks great too :)

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I was also incredibly curious to find out who Mike would vote for as the best couple in 'Friends' if he had to choose between Ross and Rachel vs. Monica and Chandler. "Going to go with Monica and Chandler on this one. It’s so wonderful to start as friends, and have a natural progression into a love story over the arc of the entire series. It would be great for any couple to have the same storyline!" he said and I fully agree with him!

#9

Parks And Recreation, Ben & Leslie (Adam Scott And Amy Poehler)

Parks And Recreation, Ben & Leslie (Adam Scott And Amy Poehler)

amypohler Report

varwenea
Community Member
3 months ago

They are so darn cute in Parks and Rec.

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#10

Grey's Anatomy, Meredith & Derek (Ellen Pompeo And Patrick Dempsey)

Grey's Anatomy, Meredith & Derek (Ellen Pompeo And Patrick Dempsey)

ellenpompe Report

varwenea
Community Member
3 months ago (edited)

They are cute too. I wish McDreamy Derek had not wanted to leave the show.

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Whether or not a couple will be iconic or just ‘meh’ isn’t something that you can predict from the get-go. Sure, you can have focus groups and meetings between producers and actors to flesh out what should be done. But it’s still playing the odds. Whether or not a couple will be famous depends on the audience and how they react to the characters on the screen.

However, that’s not a reason to be complacent and just rely on luck. When something just clicks together, it’s often because the actors have great chemistry together and work well together like, well, a couple.

#11

The Office, Dwight Schrute & Angela Martin (Rainn Wilson And Angela Kinsey)

The Office, Dwight Schrute & Angela Martin (Rainn Wilson And Angela Kinsey)

angelakinsey Report

Sum Guy
Community Member
3 months ago

I think Dwight actually started taking beets more seriously than paper

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#12

How I Met Your Mother, Ted & Robin (Joshas Radnoras And Cobie Smulders)

How I Met Your Mother, Ted & Robin (Joshas Radnoras And Cobie Smulders)

eyesneverliechico Report

Sakib sarar Ananda
Community Member
3 months ago

Haaave you met old Ted?

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But let’s not leave those amazing writers out in the cold and rain, though! A good script, living, breathing dialogue, and lines oozing with charisma can help build the foundation for realistic or better-than-life relationships for characters. Personally, I believe a mix of a solid script with actors who can make those lines their own is the perfect concoction for magic in front of the cameras.

It’s become almost a cliche that some on-screen couples later become romantically involved in real life, too! That doesn’t mean that all actors will inevitably couple-up. However, it does prove that the chemistry on the stage and the emotional links between the actors can develop into genuine feelings for one another, given enough time.

#13

Friends, Rachel & Ross (Jennifer Aniston And David Schwimmer)

Friends, Rachel & Ross (Jennifer Aniston And David Schwimmer)

Brett Cove , _schwim_ Report

Amy Cohen
Community Member
3 months ago

I don’t love Ross but I have such a crush on David Schwimmer and I’m not sure why.

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#14

The Office, Michael Scott & Holly Flax(Steve Carell And Amy Ryan)

The Office, Michael Scott & Holly Flax(Steve Carell And Amy Ryan)

StageRightSecrets , imdb Report

DogMom
Community Member
3 months ago

Steve carrell is and always has been a real zaddy

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Alas, there’s no stopping the passage of time. However wonderful some of the actors looked in their youth, it’s no surprise that most of them are very different now, so many years later. The key to aging well lies in the very same place as it did for staying healthy while you’re young: taking care of yourself.

Through consistent, daily exercise and a healthy diet, you can keep your body toned and ready to tackle the world no matter how old you are. Cutting back on sugar, alcohol, and tobacco is also a great way to keep your body feeling young. Going out into the sun? Remember to put on sunblock to protect your skin.

#15

Er, Doug & Carol ( Julianna Margulies And George Clooney)

Er, Doug & Carol ( Julianna Margulies And George Clooney)

juliannamargulies , wikipedia Report

Stille20
Community Member
3 months ago

Dammit she aged well.

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#16

Scrubs J.D. & Elliot Reid (Zach Braff And Sarah Chalke)

Scrubs J.D. & Elliot Reid (Zach Braff And Sarah Chalke)

zachbraffsiz Report

kjorn
Community Member
3 months ago

i loved scrubs!! but i hate the "i love you, i love you not. we are together, we need to break up, i don't love you but you love me..." this really bugs me in tv show. At least in Brooklyn 99 Jack and Amy are together since almost the beginning and never split!

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It’s not just your body that you have to take care of; it’s your mind as well. While exercise and a good diet will most definitely help your brain, you also need to keep it active and sharp, like a well-honed sword. Reading books, solving puzzles, taking on new hobbies, and having an active social life all slot into this perfectly.

However, that also means keeping your mind uncluttered and toning down your social media use. It doesn’t mean becoming a technological hermit and going off it completely (we need it to stay in touch with our loved ones during the pandemic), however, tempting. But it does mean that we need to balance how much time we spend scrolling through Facebook and bombarding ourselves with the 24/7 news cycle instead of going for a walk, reading a quality book, or doing what hobbits do best—gardening.

#17

Gilmore Girls, Luke & Lorelai (Scott Patterson And Lauren Graham)

Gilmore Girls, Luke & Lorelai (Scott Patterson And Lauren Graham)

scottgordonpatterson Report

Olivier Caissy
Community Member
3 months ago (edited)

Oh right! They hated each other in real life. (Edit, they were the 1st ones on my list in different pics. Still true)

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#18

Chuck, Chuck Bartowski & Sarah Walker (Zachary Levi And Yvonne Strahovski)

Chuck, Chuck Bartowski & Sarah Walker (Zachary Levi And Yvonne Strahovski)

zacharylevi , Yvonne Strahovski Report

Lily Mae Kitty
Community Member
3 months ago

he's gotten better with age

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Naturally, actors tend to have more money and better access to personal chefs and trainers which, in turn, helps them age more gracefully. However, a few wrinkles or gray hairs are nothing to fret about. If you embrace the changes your body is going through, life will become far simpler. It’s all about having the confidence to present yourself to the world as you are: on-screen and off.

#19

Glee, Blaine & Kurt (Darren Criss And Chris Colfer)

Glee, Blaine & Kurt (Darren Criss And Chris Colfer)

chriscolfer , darrencriss Report

Zena Marsh
Community Member
3 months ago

Still looking good!

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#20

Sex And The City, Carrie & Big (Chris Noth And Sarah Jessica Parker)

Sex And The City, Carrie & Big (Chris Noth And Sarah Jessica Parker)

sarahjessicaparker , chrisnothofficial Report

Jenny Bell
Community Member
3 months ago

Actually laughed out loud at how tight SJP's face is. At least Noth is ageing normally

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Which TV couple is your favorite, dear Pandas? Do you think that Ross and Rachel are a better couple than Monica and Chandler? Who do you think Ted should have ended up with in ‘How I Met Your Mother?’ Which pair of actors do you think aged the most gracefully? Who’s your favorite screen couple of all time, real or animated? We can’t wait to read your comments, so drop us a line and be part of the discussion.

#21

Full House, Jesse Katsopoli & Becky Katsopoli (Lori Loughlin And John Stamos)

Full House, Jesse Katsopoli & Becky Katsopoli (Lori Loughlin And John Stamos)

unknown Report

Ripley
Community Member
3 months ago

Shouldn't she be wearing an orange jumpsuit in the 'now' picture?

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#22

Parks And Recreation, Andy & April ( Chris Pratt And Aubrey Plaza)

Parks And Recreation, Andy & April ( Chris Pratt And Aubrey Plaza)

prattprattpratt , plazadeaubrey Report

NatalieC
Community Member
3 months ago

Aubrey was an awesome villain in Legion.

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#23

My So-Called Life, Jordan Catalano & Angela Chase (Jared Leto And Claire Danes)

My So-Called Life, Jordan Catalano & Angela Chase (Jared Leto And Claire Danes)

jaredleto , clairedanes Report

Bepina
Community Member
3 months ago

Love this show! Too bad they canceled it right after just one season.

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#24

Lost, Jack & Kate (Matthew Fox And Evangeline Lilly)

Lost, Jack & Kate (Matthew Fox And Evangeline Lilly)

evangelinelillyofficial Report

Zena Marsh
Community Member
3 months ago

Like her blond look.

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#25

The Vampire Diaries, Damon Salvatore & Elena Gilbert (Ian Somerhalder And Nina Dobrev)

The Vampire Diaries, Damon Salvatore & Elena Gilbert (Ian Somerhalder And Nina Dobrev)

iansomerhalder , nina Report

the redqueen
Community Member
3 months ago

He is the most beautiful eye candy I have ever beheld.........truly. Sigh.....

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See Also on Bored Panda
#26

Game Of Thrones, Grey Worm & Missandei (Nathalie Emmanuel And Jacob Anderson)

Game Of Thrones, Grey Worm & Missandei (Nathalie Emmanuel And Jacob Anderson)

raleighritchie , nathalieemmanuel Report

Spicy Noodles
Community Member
3 months ago

shes so pretty

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#27

Dawson's Creek, Pacey & Joey, (Katie Holmes And Joshua Jackson)

Dawson's Creek, Pacey & Joey, (Katie Holmes And Joshua Jackson)

katieholmes212 , vancityjax Report

Lord Mysticlaw
Community Member
3 months ago

Joshua Jackson was in Dawson's Creek? I only know him from Fringe. Loved him in it though.

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#28

The L Word, Bette & Tina (Jennifer Beals And Laurel Holloman)

The L Word, Bette & Tina (Jennifer Beals And Laurel Holloman)

thejenniferbeals , laurelholloman Report

Dre Mosley
Community Member
3 months ago

The new L word show isn't bad. Tina isn't a regular unfortunately. Don't miss Jen Schecter at all.

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#29

Empire, Cookie & Luscious Lyon( Terrence Dashon Howard And Taraji P Henson)

Empire, Cookie & Luscious Lyon( Terrence Dashon Howard And Taraji P Henson)

theterrencehoward , tarajiphenson Report

Grumble O'Pug
Community Member
3 months ago

Taraji Is AWESOME!!!

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#30

90210, David & Donna (Brian Austin Green And Tori Spelling)

90210, David & Donna (Brian Austin Green And Tori Spelling)

Verified , brianaustingreen Report

Toni
Community Member
3 months ago

photoshop much, tori?

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Note: this post originally had 40 images. It’s been shortened to the top 30 images based on user votes.