25 of the most toxic relationships on TV

17 of 25

Photo: ABC

Cristina and Burke

A relationship shouldn’t be a constant power struggle or competition, but these two made love into a contact sport. Cristina was both ambitious and shrewd, so teaming up with lead heart surgeon and mentor Dr. Burke probably wasn’t complete happenstance.

Once they got together, however, it felt like they were both a dead sprint to beat the other – although I couldn’t ever really figure out at what. Their individual egos kept them from ever really letting their guards completely down, and it seems like they both spent most of their time crying over how hard it was to be with the other.

I’m no relationship expert, by far, but I’ve been around the block enough to know that when two people spend as much time complaining about the other one as these two doctors did, it won’t end well. And this didn’t end well, at all.

In one of the most heartbreaking and brutal scenes in recent television history, Burke leaves Cristina on their wedding day. Her ensuing freakout is the most vulnerable we’ve ever seen this character. She loses it, as she should, demands Meredith cut her out of her dress, and just crumples onto the floor. Nothing good leads to that kind of pain.