10 Worst Reality TV Couples, Ranked


Reality TV shows come in all flavors. In some cases, the couples on the show are relative unknowns who meet and fall in love on camera. Others were known figures beforehand with their relationship on full display in the show. Some of the couples have fans feeling warm and fuzzy inside because of how adorable their courtship is, like Lauren and Cameron on Love is Blind, Trista and Ryan from the first season of The Bachelorette, and Rob and Amber on Survivor. None of these three couples, who all remain together today, have ever been part of any type of scandal or drama.

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However, the most entertaining reality TV couples are usually so because they are either bad together, or just bad in general. They are the show’s resident villains, fight constantly, or sometimes don’t have any chemistry at all.

10 Kourtney Kardashian and Scott Disick

Show: ‘Keeping Up With the Kardashians’

Credit: E! Network

The only couple on the list who were known prior to starring on this reality TV show, Kourtney Kardashian got a lot more attention once she started appearing on Keeping Up With the Kardashians. But it wasn’t always for the right reasons. Her tumultuous relationship with Scott Disick had fans urging her to leave him. They fought all the time and never seemed to be in sync with anything.

Despite having three children together, accusations of Scott Disick cheating and purported problems with alcohol and drugs, the relationship was constantly on again, off again, as was chronicled in various episodes of the show. The pair have officially parted ways and moved on, though they continue to co-parent their kids.

Keeping Up With The Kardashians Poster

Keeping Up With The Kardashians
Release Date
October 14, 2007

Cast
Khloe Kardashian , Kim Kardashian , Kourtney Kardashian , Kris Jenner

Main Genre
Reality

Seasons
20

Watch On Peacock

9 Ben Flajnik and Courtney Robertson

Show: ‘The Bachelor,’ Season 16

Ben and Courtney from The Bachelor clinking champagne glasses.
Credit: ABC

Way back on the 16th season of The Bachelor, Ben Flajnik was looking for love and fans were rooting for him. A fan favorite from The Bachelorette who was chosen to become The Bachelor after not being given the final rose, Ben’s career as a winemaker, striking good looks, and winning personality made him a great catch. That is why fans were flabbergasted when he chose the resident villain of the season in the end to be his wife.

The fact that Courtney Robertson released a book after the season called I Didn’t Come Here to Make Friends: Confessions of a Reality Show Villain says it all. She was mean to the other women in the house, saying awful and hurtful things. Nonetheless, Ben fell hard for her. While their relationship ultimately didn’t work out, it made fans cringe watching her duplicitous nature on the show.

The Bachelor TV Show Poster

The Bachelor

A single bachelor dates multiple women over several weeks, narrowing them down to hopefully find his true love.

Release Date
March 25, 2002

Creator
Mike Fleiss

Cast
Chris Harrison , Brad Womack , Jesse Palmer , Sean Lowe

Seasons
28

Watch On Hulu

8 Kaci Campbell and Evan Smith

Show: ‘Temptation Island,’ Season 4

Evan and Kaci sitting at a bonfire on Temptation Island, her with her face in her hands.
Credit: FOX

Temptation Island aired from 2001-2003 before being resurrected in 2019 by the USA Network with plans to move to Netflix for the next season. In the first season of the new iteration and the fourth overall, which continued to be hosted by Mark L. Walberg, one of the stand-out couples was Kaci Campbell and Evan Smith. They had been dating for five years but had known one another much longer. They appeared to be the picture-perfect couple. But they came on the show as a make-or-break moment in their relationship: they either took the next step or went their separate ways. Both seemed confident their bond would stand the test of time.

It became clear very quickly that Evan had wandering eyes. He not only cheated with another woman, but decided very quickly that he was in love with Morgan and wanted to pursue a relationship with her instead. He essentially broke up with Kaci before the end of the show, leaving her in tears. Watching the hold he had on her was devastating. But it was also triumphant to see Kaci finally come into her own and build confidence without him.

Temptation Island
Release Date
January 10, 2001

Main Genre
Drama

Seasons
3

Watch on Apple TV

7 Jon and Kate Gosselin

Show: ‘Jon and Kate Plus 8’

JonAndKatePlus8
Credit: TLC

One of the earlier reality TV shows, while Jon and Kate Plus 8 was supposed to be about the whole family dynamic, the parents and their fractured relationship was often front and center. They became a big news story when, after undergoing several fertility treatments, Kate gave birth to twins, then sextuplets. Jon and Kate Plus 8, one of the most iconic TLC reality TV shows, could have been a lovely family show about two parents thrust into parenthood and doing the best they could raising eight babies. But instead, the show shed light on the problems in their relationship.

The pair were constantly at each other’s throats, fighting all the time. Things got worse once they officially announced they would be separating, which caused a lot of public friction between the two. From cheating allegations to police being called to the house and controversies over TV appearances, their relationship became too public for its own good.

Watch On Max

6 Rachel Reilly and Brendan Villegas

Show: ‘Big Brother,’ Season 12, 13

Rachel and Brendan from Big Brother looking at one another talking.
Credit: Crumpe

Rachel Reilly and Brendan Villegas met on Big Brother and instantly formed a bond over their shared love of science. From there, they were inseparable in not one but two back-to-back seasons, save for when one was evicted (Rachel went on to win season 13 and become known as one of the show’s legends). Their love was genuine as the couple went on to marry and currently have two children together. But they became one of the worst, most villainous couples for the way they treated people and acted towards their enemies in the house.

With both having a knack for winning competitions, they were often in power, making them a dynamic competition duo. But whenever they were, they gloated relentlessly. They made a lot of enemies in both seasons and other houseguests cringed and rolled their eyes whenever they saw them together. Theirs was a showmance fans weren’t necessarily rooting for. In hindsight, their strong bond was worthy of praise, but not the way they behaved towards others when they were together.

Big Brother 2000 TV Show Poster

Big Brother

Contestants must compete against each other for a chance to win $500,000 in a house wired with cameras and microphones, capturing their every move for a TV and Internet audience.

Release Date
July 5, 2000

Creator
John de Mol, Ron Diesel

Cast
Julie Chen Moonves , Clayton Halsey , Nicole Franzel , George Boswell , Daniele Donato , Janelle Pierzina

Seasons
25

Studio
Crumpe

Watch on Paramount+

5 Spencer and Heidi Montag

Show: ‘The Hills’

Spencer Pratt yelling at someone, Heidi Montag behind him on The Hills.
Credit: MTV

One of the most hated reality TV show couples in history is Spencer Pratt and Heidi Montag, who became villains on The Hills. Spencer is blamed for ruining many of Heidi’s closest relationships with friends and family members. Fans felt he was controlling of her and her social life outside of being with him, even so far as to call it manipulation. Nonetheless, the couple remain married and have two children together.

On the show, Heidi’s relationship with Spencer put a strain on her once close friendship with Lauren Conrad. It got even worse when Lauren believed that Spencer was behind a rumored sex tape of her and her boyfriend. The conflict between the three was great fodder for television, but it was also unfortunate to see how this relationship fractured what had been up until that point been a solid friendship.

The Hills
Release Date
May 31, 2006

Main Genre
Drama

Seasons
6

Studio
MTV

Watch on Paramount+

4 Giannina Gibelli and Damian Powers

Show: ‘Love is Blind,’ Season 1

Damian and Giannina from Love is Blind at the reunion special clinking glasses with his female friend.
Credit: Netflix

One of the original couples from Love is Blind, Giannina Gibelli and Damian Powers were also the most dramatic. From her open conversations with him about how he wasn’t adventurous enough in bed to his stoic attitude that frustrated her because she wanted more passion, they seemed like a pair that wouldn’t work from the beginning. It’s no surprise they ended up splitting at the wedding.

The toxicity of their relationship became more apparent long after the show premiered with the After the Altar reunion follow-up special. Despite not getting married on the show, the pair continued to date, though more casually and on again, off again. When Damian showed up at the reunion with his female “friend” and basically ignored Giannina for most of the evening despite their relationship status at the time not being yet defined, it was the most awful display of disregard. It was almost like the pair thrived on the drama in front of the cameras, and it continued even after they stopped rolling.

Love Is Blind TV Poster

Love Is Blind
Release Date
February 13, 2020

Cast
Nick Lachey , vanessa lachey , Bartise Bowden , Micah Lussier

Main Genre
Reality

Seasons
5

Watch on Netflix

3 Jessica Batten and Mark Cuevas

Show: ‘Love is Blind,’ Season 1

Jessica and Mark from Love is Blind standing in a kitchen together.
Credit: Netflix

If there was ever a reality TV couple that looked like they were in a prison with one another, unable to get out, it was Jessica Batten and Mark Cuevas. To Mark’s credit, he really seemed to be trying (though some ladies at the reunion special suggested he might not have been as into the relationship as he seemed). Jessica very clearly expressed no interest in Mark, rarely ever getting affectionate with him. It didn’t start well, since Jessica only chose Mark when her top choice, Barnett chose someone else. Every interaction with them came across as forced and downright awkward. It was like watching a woman trying to connect with the guy her parents forced her to go on a date with, even though she did not like him.

To say there was no chemistry between Jessica and Mark would be an understatement, and it made the build-up to their wedding anti-climactic. Fans already felt confident that these two would not be getting married, which made the hoopla surrounding their wedding day pointless.

Love Is Blind TV Poster

Love Is Blind
Release Date
February 13, 2020

Cast
Nick Lachey , vanessa lachey , Bartise Bowden , Micah Lussier

Main Genre
Reality

Seasons
5

Watch On Netflix

2 Amber Portwood and Gary Shirley

Show: ‘Teen Mom OG’

Amber Portwood and Gary Shirley from Teen Mom OG sitting together, looking miserable.
Credit: MTV Networks

There was so much alleged violence within this relationship depicted on Teen Mom OG, showcasing Amber Portwood and Gary Shirley’s immaturity as a young couple. The pair dated on and off for many years, then spent years in a custody battle after officially breaking it off for good.

Their fights, many of which were caught on camera, were part of why Gary was awarded custody of their child. There was nothing redeeming to see about this couple on television. Portwood was later diagnosed with bipolar disorder, according to People. Nonetheless, the relationship between her and Gary was so toxic in so many ways, it was not entertaining for viewers to see them in such turmoil. It was for the best that they both went their separate ways.

Teen Mom OG MTV Poster

Teen Mom

A documentary series that follows four of 16 & Pregnant’s first season stars, Farrah, Maci, Amber and Catelynn as they face the challenges of motherhood.

Created by
Lauren Dolgen

First TV Show
teen mom

First Episode Air Date
December 1, 2009

Cast
Amber Portwood , Catelynn Baltierra , Maci Bookout , Debra Danielsen

Watch on Paramount+

1 Sammi “Sweetheart” Giancola and Ronnie Magro

Show: ‘Jersey Shore’

Sammi and Ronni sitting on the couch on Jersey Shore, Sammi looking away upset.
Credit: MTV Networks

Through the entire run of Jersey Shore, Sammi Giancola and Ronnie Magro were a couple, though they were frequently on and off. They were constantly arguing and sometimes, the heated fights got out of hand. In one scene, for example, Ronnie picked up Sammi’s mattress and threw it outside. While the rest of the cast recognized how toxic the relationship was, their attempts to warn Sammi always fell on deaf ears. In one of the most memorable events from the show, Nicole and Jenni typed an anonymous note telling Sammi about Ronnie’s behavior at the club the night before, which included flirting and dancing with many other women.

With Ronnie now on the road to recovery having spent time in rehab and Sammi in a happier place with a new boyfriend, fans can look back at the relationship and know that both came out better for it. But at the time, the relationship was the worst, most toxic ever on television. What makes it worse is the knowledge that the couple continued to date for years after the show ended. And from what they had said, it wasn’t much better.

Jersey Shore TV Show Poster

Jersey Shore

A reality-based look at the vapid lives of several New Jersey 20-somethings and their respective friends and/or hook-ups.

Release Date
December 3, 2009

Creator
Anthony Beltempo, SallyAnn Salsano

Cast
Paul ‘Pauly D’ DelVecchio , Sammi ‘Sweetheart’ Giancola , Nicole Polizzi , Mike ‘The Situation’ Sorrentino

Seasons
6

Studio
MTV

Watch On Paramount+

NEXT: The 10 Most Bingeable Reality Shows, Ranked

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