TV’s most memorable breakups

We all love a good swoonworthy romance, but sometimes you need a Ross and Rachel disaster to balance out all those Hallmark platitudes

TV’s most memorable breakups
Clockwise from left: Succession (Photo: Graeme Hunter/HBO), The Office ( Screenshot: YouTube ), Freaks And Geeks (Screenshot: YouTube), The Simpsons (Screenshot: Disney+) Graphic: Karl Gustafson

February 14 means a lot of different things to a lot of different people, especially when trying to choose the perfect watch for the night. You might be in a googly eyed new relationship, jonesing to sit your lover down in front of an iconic Valentine’s Day episode and teach them some new tricks. You might be single and crushing on your coworker, turning to the movies for some inspiration on how to finally capture their heart. (Showing up outside of their house with a boom box is a great start.) Or, you could be over the phenomenon entirely. For anyone who’d rather forego love flirtation for heartbreak and destruction on this most romantic of holidays, read on for The A.V. Club’s list of TV’s most memorable breakups.

previous arrowFleabag: Claire and Martin next arrow
Fleabag - Martin’s Speech

God, where do we even start on Martin’s terrible, perfect breakup speech? A note to anyone reading this who may be on the brink of divorce or facing down and otherwise crumbling relationship: “Fine, I tried to kiss your sister on her birthday” (it was actually Claire’s birthday!) isn’t a great place to kick off your plea to win them back. Claire’s awful soon to be ex bombs in spectacular fashion from there on out. Fleabag’s own dialogue gets a lot of love on the internet and for good reason, but this speech is a great reminder that was really firing on all cylinders while writing every character in this show. “I’m not a bad guy, I just have a bad personality! It’s not my fault. Some people are born with fucked personalities” and “You wanna know what the bassoon is? It’s a cry for help!” are two of this speech’s greatest hits, but the whole thing—including Claire and her wonky haircut begging Martin on her knees to leave her—is absolutely worth revisiting, especially if you need a bit of a salve from the devastation of “it’ll pass.” [Emma Keates]

 
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