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No sitcom on television can really survive without some kind of burgeoning romance. It’s possible to keep people interested with the right established couple, but the real gold is when a television show can chart the course of a new relationship. If that coupling is of the “will they, won’t they” variety, all the better. Of course, in the expansive history of the American sitcom, there are more than a fair share of awkward or forced couples who simply don’t work, no matter how much the creative talent behind the scenes wants them to. Join us, won’t you, as we take a look at 15 of these unfortunate mismatched couplings.

15. Penny and Leonard, ‘The Big Bang Theory’

The whole Penny and Leonard dynamic only works because they might be the two most shallow people ever to walk the planet. All he wants is a trophy and all she wants is security. Beyond that, these two people have absolutely nothing in common. They’re only together because he fawned over her obsessively for several seasons and she’s dim-witted and open to suggestion. It makes for good comedy, but these two would never work in real life.

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Penny and Leonard
sodahead.com

14. Kevin and Winnie, ‘The Wonder Years’

In no way does this have anything to do with the fact that Winnie Cooper was the TV love my young life, but she and Kevin Arnold really stunk as a couple. Sure, your first love is rarely your last love, but was I the only viewer who thought Kevin Arnold was a thoughtless brat? She’s dealing with actual real world problems (her brother was killed in ‘Nam, folks!), and he’s just trying to get some. In short, she was the perfect girl next door and he didn’t know how good he had it. The nerd.

Kevin and Winnie
fastcompany.com

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