Credit: Jill Johnson/JPI (2), Howard Wise/JPI (3), ABC/Courtesy of the Everett Collection, ABC/Getty Images, Aaron Montgomery/JPI
Thomas and Hope, Bold & Beautiful
Even if we ignore the “ick” factor of the stepsiblings hooking up, we’d be hard-pressed to turn a blind eye to the way that Thomas perved on Hope despite the fact that he clearly made her skin crawl. She was no innocent bystander, either, dumping husband Liam to play Mommy Hope to Douglas when Auntie Hope would have sufficed.
Lucas and Sami, Days of Our Lives
From the start, these two were bad for each other, scheming to break up Austin and Carrie so they could each take half of the couple for themselves. Then there was their fight over Will’s custody. It got so dirty, Lucas almost let the state execute Sami for a murder he had committed. In other words, she really shouldn’t have been shocked to learn during their last go-round that he had had her kidnapped for months… to save her from EJ?
Sonny and Brenda, General Hospital
Yeah, yeah, we know — “it was a great ride.” But, considering that Brenda knew he’d seduced her high-school classmate, he’d eventually take out a hit on his romantic rival, and a life with Sonny meant a life of crime, perhaps it was a ride that they shouldn’t have gone on. Could there have been a faster route to heartbreak?
Ashland and Victoria, Young & Restless
No matter how real their love turned out to be, there was no way a relationship built on as many lies and schemes as Ashland was throwing around would ever work. All it did was isolate Victoria from her family — right up until they finally got her to see the truth! In the end, nothing brings a bunch of bickering relatives together like covering up a murder. Sorry, Ashland!
Max and Gabrielle, One Life to Live
Maybe it was inevitable that when passions run as hot as they did between these two, somebody was going to get burned. Less inevitable, however, was that the flame between them would ever be rekindled, considering that the cad punched innocent Gabrielle’s V-card, then left her in the dust with only a “wham bam,” no “thank you, ma’am.”
Carl and Rachel, Another World
They say that time heals all wounds, but… um… maybe it shouldn’t. Carl had spent years terrorizing Rachel’s family. Years. She’d even pretended to poison him at one point to get him to cop to at least a few of his crimes. But she nonetheless allowed the villain to convince her that, like the seasons, he could change.
Deacon and Sheila, Bold & Beautiful
Maybe they did develop real feelings for one another. That doesn’t change the fact that he only slept with her the first time because he was plastered and she was in disguise… or the fact that she blackmailed him into letting her crash with him… or the fact that she dumped his ass for Bill… or… Need we go on?
EJ and Sami, Days of Our Lives
Controlling, manipulative and petty, on paper, EJ and Sami seem to be perfect for each other. But those aren’t the kinds of traits you want to share with a partner, hence why Hurricane Sami tore up that paper and let it blow away in the wind. Add in lies, rape and blackmail, and all we could feel when Sami finally left town was relief that this was over.
Luke and Laura, General Hospital
Those are the faces of two people in love! That or in danger. Diehard fans may argue their toxicity, but the fact is, Port Charles’ golden couple began with Luke raping Laura. Plus, there’s no denying that Laura’s life would have been far safer without Luke. Heck, they spent a decade on the run because her husband’s mobster boss wanted him dead!
John and Jill, Young & Restless
“Love,” “honor” and “cherish” are just about the last words we’d use to describe the former Abbotts’ marriage(s). Jill cheated on John as if she was hoping to earn an Olympic gold medal in infidelity, and John made such a (low) priority of communication that he had a vasectomy behind his wife’s back.
Barnabas and Angelique, Dark Shadows
Gotta give the sorceress credit for stick-to-itness: She held her grudge against her former husband for longer than she ever got to hold him. Not content with having turned him into a vampire as punishment for shooting her, she spent centuries finding new and creative ways to make his endless life hell.
Roger and Holly, Guiding Light
We’re not sure which aspect of the on-again/off-again couple’s long and tortured relationship was the most disturbing. Of the many (!) from which we could choose, the top two would have to that he was a repeat rapist who sexually assaulted his wife and that, even afterward, she remained drawn to him.
Ridge and Taylor, Bold & Beautiful
For decades, it seemed like no matter how many times Ridge dumped Taylor to run back to Brooke, she just didn’t get the hint that she’d always come in second place. We presume this photo depicts one of the rare moments of lucidity during which Taylor realized that this man is not remotely worth it.
JJ and Eve, Days of Our Lives
They may have been red-hot, but their relationship was full of red flags. JJ wasn’t good enough for daughter Paige to date… but he was perfect for Eve to seduce! She used their secret affair to force JJ to dump Paige, only for Jen to blackmail them back together. But if you think any of this had a happy ending, we’ll remind you that Paige is dead and Eve now goes by Inmate #342632.
A.J. and Carly, General Hospital
Notice how we can’t tell if Carly’s about to flip A.J. off or punch him? Yeah, that was what most of their interactions were like. They were married and had a kid together (not in that order), but perhaps the defining moment of how bad they were for each other came when Carly had Sonny torture A.J. into signing over all parental rights to Michael. If that doesn’t say it all, what would?
J.T. and Victoria, Young & Restless
This one is obvious, seeing as how J.T. turned into an abusive sociopath who terrorized Victoria. That is, until he had the brain tumor which supposedly caused his behavior removed… But even before that, these two were a mess, beginning their relationship by cheating on their significant others. It’s a pattern that continued right into their own marriage!
Seneca and Kimberly, Ryan’s Hope
Guess it made a kind of sense that the doctor treated his child bride like a daughter — she was young enough to be his. And like many a teenager, she acted (way) out, cheating with a hottie her own age, lying about her desire to start a family and generally driving home the point that he’d as much adopted a kid as taken a wife.
Bob and Lisa, As the World Turns
You would’ve thought that, as a doctor, Bob would’ve known when to pull the plug on his trainwreck of a marriage. Instead, the masochist stuck it out for four years as bratty Lisa spread gossip like it was butter on toast, avoided chores like they were the plague and tried to turn a tawdry affair into a ticket out of Oakdale.
Bill and Katie, Bold & Beautiful
Their portrayers have chemistry to spare, sure. But the Spencers’ hearts pump poison through their veins. How else to explain why he would overlook his wife’s postpartum depression to hook up with her sister Brooke… and she’d eventually take him back. Repeatedly. The two of them aren’t lovesick, they’re just sick.
Sonny and Karen, General Hospital
What’s the opposite of a meet-cute? If you ask us, it’s the way that the ambitious wannabe godfather slunk his way over to the Port Charles High honor student, urged her to strip down up on the stage of the Paradise Lounge and got her hooked on both drugs and him. Come on! Their relationship wasn’t just toxic, it was unlawful.
Eric and Nicole, Days of Our Lives
In the 25 years since they first met, Eric and Nicole have probably spent a collective three months actually together. But somehow, they still refuse to give up. The duo truly bring out the worst in each other, from Eric’s abandonment to Nicole’s meddling in Jada’s abortion. The only thing they won’t do to each other is let go!
Danny and Phyllis, Young & Restless
Look up toxic in the dictionary, and we guarantee you’ll see Phyllis and Danny’s marriage there. An obsessed fan, Phyllis won her dream wedding by drugging Danny, sleeping with him, getting pregnant with another man’s child and passing it off as the rock star’s. Oh, and she ran rival Christine down with a car. But at least we got Daniel out of it all?
Tad and Dottie, All My Children
We’re not sure what’s more upsetting — that Dottie thought so little of herself that she fell for Tad even knowing that her mother was paying him to date her or that he was such a scumbag that he faked feelings for a girl about whom he didn’t care (all the while eyeballing Hillary, the young woman he’d have paid to be with).
Jake and Marley, Another World
“I Hate Myself for Loving You” should’ve been this couple’s wedding song — at least from the bride’s perspective. Jake initially pursued his old flame as part of a plot to swindle her. He then went on to cheat on her (a lot) and, when she called him out for it, raped her. Yet she not only forgave him — no, God, no! — years later, she wanted him back.
Rick and Amber, Bold & Beautiful
These two had surprising longevity for a relationship that began with a babysitter seducing one of her charges. (Though Amber babysitting a 17-year-old Rick was… odd.) The exes gave it a few tries, but it ended just as gross as it began: with Amber selling street drugs to Rick’s little sis, Hope, and convincing Caroline that he was a cross-dresser.
Nikolas and Elizabeth, General Hospital
A relationship built on jealousy is never good. Elizabeth and Nik (then Tyler Christopher) first fell for each other while scheming to split up Lucky and Rebecca Shaw — you remember, Emily’s twin?It worked, but their resulting affair blew up Liz’s engagement to Lucky, led to some serious “Who’s the daddy?” drama and quite a stretch of them pining over each other but never making it work.
JJ and Theresa, Days of Our Lives
These two were the definition of sex, drugs and rock ‘n roll, just without the sex… or the rock ‘n roll. Basically, JJ and Theresa just did drugs together. She overdosed the night they were going to sleep together, and the rest of their relationship devolved into lies, mistrust and blackmail. So, you know, typical Salem love.
Adam and Sharon, Young & Restless
The former marrieds are the king and queen of dysfunction, so we suppose it makes sense that they’re constantly drawn together. But Adam stole baby Faith and convinced Sharon her newborn had died, and then let her go down for a murder she hadn’t committed because he was jealous. And she still keeps forgiving him. Maybe Sharon should offer herself therapy.
Adam and Brooke, All My Children
If it’s true what they say — that the hearts wants what it wants — then what Adam’s heart wanted was to have his cake and eat it, too. So behind his wife’s back, he seduced nubile nanny Dixie to produce a spare heir for himself. Honestly, the guy was so often married — and divorced — he could’ve just pronounced “I do” as “I doom.”
Eric and Stephanie, Bold & Beautiful
They were the ultimate power couple but were probably better off leaving their partnership in the boardroom. Eric had a wandering eye and Stephanie a slapping hand. Luckily, since the days of Eric’s earliest fling with college sweetheart Beth, Stephanie had been a pro at manipulating him back to her. Over and over again…