I'll be the first to admit that I was an avid watcher of many romantic dramas during the formative years of my adolescence. I used to hunker down on the couch to rewatch episodes of CW's The Vampire Diaries pretty religiously, finding myself getting caught up in the drama of which vampire hottie Elena Gilbert would choose.
Looking back on it, the drool-worthy romantic interests of most teen and adult dramas were pretty awful guys in reality, and those toxic, dysfunctional on-screen relationships did a lot to shape my understanding of love. Here are some of the fictional boyfriends who absolutely messed up my perceptions of "the good guy."
Ezra Fitz From Pretty Little Liars
The relationship between Ezra and Aria hits the ground running in the show's pilot episode and continues on as one of the most major romance plot lines throughout the show. Even if he felt a connection to Aria and didn't initially know her age, it's so creepy that he kept seeing her, his teenaged student, long after finding out who she was.
Jughead Jones From Riverdale
Bughead (Betty and Jughead) have been one of the most consistent couples throughout Riverdale, and despite being a self-proclaimed weirdo and a softboi, he has some questionable qualities, from the way he tries to shut Betty off from the Serpents when she's trying to get close to him to the fact that he frequently leaves her out of things to work on them alone. All around bad communication from this boyfriend.
Ted Moseby From How I Met Your Mother
When pursuing his first love interest of the series, Robin, he straight up romanticizes as her as a person and puts her on a pedestal so much that he says "I love you" on the first date. Other unhealthy behaviors include him trying to change her feelings on marriage and kids rather than accepting her opinions. Yuck.
Chuck Bass From Gossip Girl
This entire relationship was absolute bad news, from the mind-games and manipulation to the abuse and the fact Chuck straight-up took a fake identity to avoid Blair at the beginning of season 4. Somehow the writers thought that we would just forget how many times Chuck tried to assault women at the beginning of the show. Like what was up with that?
Luke Danes From Gilmore Girls
Some of you will be mad at me, but it must be said — Luke Danes was a man-baby who didn't believe in having good curtains. He's the fully-grown version of the Saturdays Are For The Boys flag owning guy who only has one towel that you regret ever speaking to. He definitely did not deserve Lorelei.
Derek Shepherd (aka McDreamy) From Grey's Anatomy
Derek and Meredith might be one of the most iconic T.V. couples of all time, but that doesn't mean Dr. Shepherd is 100% a great guy. First of all, he was her boss when she was an intern, and he continued to romantically pursue her throughout the first season even though she told him to walk away. Sounds like workplace harassment to me.
Ross Geller From Friends
Ross was a whiny, irritating character from the get go, but the way he acted toward Rachel is pretty messed up. I mean, he didn't even want her to be friends with one of her male coworkers, which is sexist as heck. He never liked how successful Rachel was in her career, and ended up being the reason she gave up her dream job.
Damon Salvatore From The Vampire Diaries
Damon Salvatore was the perfectly portrayed "bad boy." He was horrible to pretty much everyone, but would do anything for Elena. In the show, we kind of forgive his insane temper and tendency to lash out and kill people, but like, RED FLAGS ALL AROUND. But hey, he looked really good in those shirtless scenes.
Lucas Scott From One Tree Hill
Lucas Scott was an absolute dreamboat character: good guy, popular, athletic, just all around beautiful. However, it's pretty messed up that he led both Peyton and Brooke on for so long, even though they were close friends and he was damaging their relationship. When he was with Brooke, he started seeing Peyton behind her back. Just gross.
Dawson Leery From Dawson's Creek
Dawson Leery is a perfect example of a "Nice Guy" who isn't nice at all. He self-identifies as a sensitive soul and sees himself as superior to men who portray traditionally "masculine traits". When dating, he treats girls as property and shames Jen for her past promiscuity while they're dating. He also mocks Joey's dreams of being an artist, which is bad boyfriend behavior.
Edward Cullen From The Twilight Saga
As another hot vampire boyfriend, Edward's overwhelming and undying love for Bella seemed like the real deal growing up. But also, he watched her sleep before they were together (which was so creepy, not cute) and was overwhelmingly temped to tear her throat open and drink all of her blood. I'm just saying the cons outweighed the pros.
Spike From Buffy The Vampire Slayer
Okay, even I rooted for this ship, but looking back on it, Spike is the worst. His relationship with Buffy is toxic and destructive. He tries to kill all of Buffy's friends at some point. He also almost assaults Buffy, which was all around HORRIBLE and NOT OKAY IN THE SLIGHTEST. We concede that we have to throw the whole man out.
Logan Echolls From Veronica Mars
Even ignoring the fact that Logan was pretty awful to Veronica at the beginning of the series, he still has some pretty serious flaws as a boyfriend. His relationship with Veronica is on-again-off-again and full of toxic behaviors. His violent and self-destructive nature is problematic. Dude, just get a therapist.
Jess Mariano From Gilmore Girls
I'm over the "brooding bad boy who reads" stereotype now, even though I was a sucker for it as a teen. Jess was emotionally abusive and treated Rory and her family like garbage. He would ignore her calls and stand her up, and he would lash out and disrespect people who were just trying to support him. He also tried to pressure Rory into sex. Boy, bye!
Dan Humphrey From Gossip Girl
Dan, Dan, Dan--where do I even start? He believes he's a "nice guy" at the beginning of the show though I'm unsure where he gets this idea. Despite his attraction to Serena, he continues to act in ways that make her a hot mess just so he can continue to shame her on his gossip blog, not to mention the fact he wrote the blog at all.
George O'Malley From Grey's Anatomy
George is supposed to be this sweet, unassuming, dopey guy, but the way he treats his love interests is whack. He marries Callie and then proceeds to cheat on her with Izzie. Also, I don't care how long he had a crush on her, it was messed up that he slept with her when she was emotionally vulnerable and then wouldn't speak to her.
Riley Finn From Buffy The Vampire Slayer
Riley was a needy, selfish idiot. He actually got mad at Buffy for spending more time with her mother (who had a brain tumor and proceeded to die later that season) than she spent with him. He was such an insecure little baby about the fact that she was stronger than him. All around a waste man.
Michael Kelso From That '70s Show
Even though Mila Kunis and Ashton Kutcher turned into a good couple, Kelso was a bad boyfriend to Jackie. He cheated on her multiple times and also dated her worst enemy, and then had the audacity to be upset when she started to see Hyde. He even went as far as to try to sabotage their relationship. Not boyfriend material at all.
Seth Cohen From The O.C.
While he was a funny and cool character, he didn't treat his love interests well. He loved to play with Anna and Summers feelings without a hint of empathy. He straight up ditched Summer to follow Ryan (even though he said he was in love with her) and then just expected her to be waiting around for him. Ugh.
Stefan Salvatore From The Vampire Diaries
Okay, so Stefan was actually a pretty good boyfriend apart from his initial secrecy and some occasions where he was a bit overprotective. My problem is with the fact that he essentially stalked Elena for months before staging a casual run-in with her at her high school, not to mention that she looks exactly like his dead ex-girlfriend. This is terrifying, not #goals.