25 of TV’s best (and worst) on again off again couples

THE GOOD PLACE -- "The Answer" Episode 409 -- Pictured: (l-r) Kristen Bell as Eleanor, William Jackson Harper as Chidi -- (Photo by: Colleen Hayes/NBC)
THE GOOD PLACE -- "The Answer" Episode 409 -- Pictured: (l-r) Kristen Bell as Eleanor, William Jackson Harper as Chidi -- (Photo by: Colleen Hayes/NBC) /
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on again off again couples
LAW & ORDER: SPECIAL VICTIMS UNIT — Photo by: Chris Haston/NBC /

Stabler and Benson – Law and Order: SVU

Their love story: It’s really nonexistent. Fans mistake Elliot Stabler (Chris Meloni) and Olivia Benson’s (Mariska Hargitay) onscreen chemistry with romantic intentions. I don’t think that’s really fair. They are coworkers who grew into friends, and they rely on each other for support under the most hellish and taxing work conditions, but there’s really not anything there.

That doesn’t stop fans from shipping these two into oblivion. There are more YouTube videos putting these two together than there are about real couples. They are an example of fans not really understanding what they’re wishing for.

Did they or didn’t they: Even though there was undeniable sexual tension between the two, they never veered into relationship territory. Thankfully for us, they kept things pretty professional. I firmly believe it would have ruined the show, and cast members agree. It would have ruined their dynamic in a real way. Let’s also not forget that Stabler had a wife and children through most of the show, and that’s a whole can of worms Benson didn’t want to open.

How to watch it unfold: There’s nothing unfolding but a growing mutual respect between the two of them. You can watch as, over the course of 11 seasons, they become more and more protective of each other, but it’s purely in a platonic sense. Meloni left the show in 2011, but they are still churning out episodes. You can watch them all on Peacock, or any cable channel ever.