The CW — and its predecessor, The WB — has given us some of the most iconic TV couples of the last ten years. Shows like The Vampire Diaries, Supernatural, Gossip Girl, and Gilmore Girls have made us laugh, cry, and swoon over some pretty adorable fictional romances! Sure, a lot of these dramatic shows have toyed with our emotions over the years. It feels like you can't have an on-screen CW couple without them breaking up and making up at least twice before they end up together for good! However, that kind of emotional rollercoaster is what makes the network's shows so hard to stop bingeing.
As it happens, The CW isn't just famous for its on-screen relationships. Many of its stars have actually got together in real life — with varying results! Some couples are still together to this day; others broke fans' hearts when they split a few years into their romance. Then you have the stars that everyone thinks — or hopes — are together, but are actually just really good friends! It's a big old mess of actual relationships, past relationships, and non-relationships. Here are just some of the CW co-stars who actually did end up having an in-real-life fling, and some who've remained totally platonic.
16 Gossip Girl Stars Penn Badgley And Blake Lively Weren't Just Lovers On-Screen
Behind Chuck and Blair, Dan and Serena are probably the second best-known couple to come out of The CW's Gossip Girl. Their love story started off pretty adorably; it-girl Serena chose to give quiet, slightly nerdy Dan a chance when he revealed he had a crush on her. Although the couple broke up at the end of Gossip Girl's first season, they remained on-and-off for the rest of the show's run and actually ended up getting married after the final episode's five-year time jump. Whether this was a good thing or not really depends on who you ask. Some fans thought it was a fitting climax to Serena and Dan's relationship arc. Others weren't so pleased. Cosmopolitan even named this particular pairing the worst in the entire show. Ouch.
Of course, true Gossip Girl fans will remember that Serena and Dan's chemistry wasn't just great acting from Blake Lively and Penn Badgley.
In fact, the two actually dated in real life while filming the show! Lively revealed all about the relationship in an interview with Vanity Fair, admitting that sometimes, she got the sense that Gossip Girl's producers were slightly too invested in her romance with Badgley. She thinks that her superiors saw it as good publicity for the show, especially since the paparazzi were kept guessing regarding her relationship status for a long time. Sadly, this CW romance didn't work out: Lively and Badgley split after three years together, and the former is now married to Ryan Reynolds.
15 Smallville's Clark Kent And Lois Lane Were Just Good Friends In Real Life
Before Man of Steel made Henry Cavill famous for his portrayal of Clark Kent — AKA Superman — Tom Welling was making the role his own in The CW's Smallville. The series was set in the years before Kent became the superhero we all know and love, and chronicled his friendships, dilemmas, and romances in his young adult years. Of course, you can't have a Superman-themed show without featuring Lois Lane, perhaps the most famous love interest of Kent's. It may have taken until Season Nine of Smallville for Clark and Lois to get together, but it was worth the wait. They made such a cute couple!
Sadly, any fans who were hoping that this on-screen relationship translated into a real-life romance for Smallville's lead actors are in for a bit of a disappointment. Tom Welling and Lois actress Erica Durance have only ever been good friends! Both actors got married to other people while filming Smallville. However, in an interview with TV Guide, Welling admitted that he and Durance are pretty good friends. He stated that the two had "a lot of fun" while working together, and stated that the actress is a "fantastic partner." Best friend goals right there!
14 One Tree Hill Power Couple Chad Michael Murray And Sophia Bush Were (Briefly) Married
During her nine years starring in The CW's hit drama series One Tree Hill, Sophia Bush dated a fair few of her male co-stars. As E! Online notes, Bush dated Nathan Scott actor James Lafferty from 2008 to 2009. She also had an on-and-off fling with Austin Nichols for six years between 2006 and 2012. However, the first One Tree Hill co-star that Bush became involved with was Chad Michael Murray. Brides.com reports that Bush and Murray enjoyed a whirlwind romance, dating for two years then marrying when they were both in their early twenties.
However, this One Tree Hill marriage didn't last.
Just five months after saying "I Do", Bush and Murray filed for an annulment.
They remained on good terms, though, mainly because they had to — they worked together on One Tree Hill for years after their split! Although Bush has largely remained quiet regarding her brief marriage to Murray, she did shed a bit of insight into the relationship in a piece written for Cosmopolitan in 2017. She admitted that when Murray asked her to marry him, she wasn't actually ready to settle down. However, according to The List, she did so because "when the person you're with asks you to marry him, you think: this must be happening because it's supposed to." Although Bush ultimately discovered that Murray wasn't the one for her, she's not allowed this brief relationship to "define her." As she shouldn't!
13 Jane The Virgin's Justin Baldoni Is Gina Rodriguez' BFF
Fans of one of The CW's most popular current shows, Jane the Virgin, seem to be pretty divided regarding the protagonist's relationship with Rafael Solano, the biological father of her son. As Vanity Fair recently noted, the two have been true "what if" fodder for most of the show's run; they've been married to other people, they've been together, split up, and now seem to be back together. Some fans are hopeful that Jane and Rafael are the show's endgame; others are hoping that Michael really has returned from beyond the grave to woo his wife Jane once again. We'll have to wait and see what happens in Season Five!
Whatever the case, Jane and Rafael actors Gina Rodriguez and Justin Baldoni certainly aren't romantically entangled in real life. They're nothing more than really good friends — well, BFFs, actually! This was made crystal clear in an Instagram post that Baldoni shared last year that gushed about his on-screen love interest and her work ethic. As Bustle notes, Rodriguez suffers from Hashimoto's Disease, in which a person's immune system attacks the thyroid gland. According to Baldoni, the actress doesn't let this stop her from bringing her all to the Jane the Virgin set, something that he very much admires about his friend. His heartwarming post shows just how deeply he cares for Rodriguez.
12 Married Couple Jared And Genevieve Padalecki Worked Together On Supernatural
Throughout Supernatural's thirteen seasons so far, Sam — the younger of the Winchester brothers — has had quite a few romantic interests. There was Jessica, his college girlfriend whose tragic passing spurred him into becoming a Hunter. Amelia came on the scene in the year when Sam's brother, Dean, went missing. And Becky was a slightly sinister woman who tricked Sam into marrying her. The most memorable of Sam's love interests, however, has to be Ruby.
Sure, things didn't end very well between them in the show — Sam and Dean actually ended Ruby's life... But off-screen, a real-life romance blossomed!
According to SheKnows, Sam actor Jared Padalecki and Ruby actress Genevieve Cortese began dating pretty much as soon as Cortese began her stint on Supernatural. It didn't take them long to fall for each other — apparently, Jared was drawn to his future wife as soon as they met. As Entertainment Tonight reports, the two ended up getting married in 2010, with Padalecki describing their relationship as "special and unexpected." Jared and Genevieve now have three adorable children together — Tom, Shepherd, and baby Odette. Almost eight years into their marriage, these former The CW co-stars seem to be as happy as ever. Love is real, guys!
11 Fans Wish That Jensen Ackles And Misha Collins' Characters Were A Couple — But They're Just Friends (In Real Life Too!)
Over the years, Supernatural has built up a pretty dedicated group of superfans — as is the case with a lot of cult TV shows. These fans create heaps of art relating to the show, post reams and reams of fanfiction about their favorite characters, and spend time arguing that their "ships" — fictional couples who they think should get together — should sail.
One of the most popular Supernatural relationships is "Destiel" — AKA the apparent romance between Dean Winchester and Castiel, an angel of the Lord. It's clear that these two characters are close; as Bustle notes, there are many instances of them showing their love for one another in the show. However, that love has always been platonic in Supernatural canon. As much as some fans might want these two to become a couple, it doesn't look like it'll happen anytime soon.
On the bright side, at least fans have the adorable bromance of Dean and Cas actors Jensen Ackles and Misha Collins to keep them going! The entire Supernatural cast seems like it's one big happy family, and these two are no exception. They regularly post snaps of themselves hanging out when Supernatural's filming ends: as Popsugar notes, one memorable photo from Ackles' Instagram shows the two taking a sunset boat ride together. Too cute!
10 Riverdale's Cole Sprouse And Lili Reinhart Have Become The Most Recent CW Couple
Yep, that's right — it's official! Riverdale's Cole Sprouse and Lili Reinhart are actually dating, just like their on-screen characters Jughead and Betty. To be honest, the majority of fans had already guessed that the actors were together before they publically confirmed it. However, it's still nice to hear it from the horse's mouth. As People notes, Sprouse and Reinhart made their red-carpet debut as a couple at this year's Met Gala, which basically means it's love. (I mean, couples who Met Gala together, stay together. Sometimes.)
Anyway, these guys are incredibly cute together and we hope they're in it for the long run!
Despite it still being early days in Sprouse and Reinhart's relationship, all sorts of crazy rumors are starting to crop up about them. Most recently, as People notes, it was reported that Reinhart is pregnant with her and Sprouse's first child. Reinhart has spoken out to state that this is definitely false, and that she actually felt pretty body-shamed by the media's suggestion that she was expecting.
She expressed annoyance that "one unflattering photo of her stomach" would cause such a huge amount of gossip to start circulating. We women don't all have totally flat stomachs, okay? Just because we're not stick-thin doesn't mean we automatically must be pregnant!
9 The Flash's Grant Gustin And Candice Patton Are Friendship Goals
The Flash's Grant Gustin and Candice Patton may not be together in real life like their characters are, but they've still got one of the cutest platonic relationships ever. In fact, they're basically the definition of friendship goals! For starters, in this pair's chemistry test while they were both auditioning for The Flash, Patton decided to ease Gustin's nerves by tickling her — or so she told Marie Claire! It was the start of a beautiful and more than a little bit jokey friendship that, luckily for us, Gustin and Patton love to talk about. For one, Patton has often been vocal about how grateful she is to Gustin for helping her out on-set. When, in Season Four, Patton had to wear a speed suit for the first time, she told TV Line that she'd have been lost without Gustin's helpful tips!
Outside of filming The Flash, Gustin and Patton are still totally adorable besties. As Buzzfeed notes, Gustin once referred to Patton as his "bae" on Twitter, and also posted a cute throwback shot of the two of them on Candice's birthday last year. They constantly tease each other in Tweets, took selfies at the wedding of their showrunner, and generally seem to have a lot of fun together. We kinda wish that they were a couple after all... But since Gustin is currently engaged, we doubt it'll ever happen.
8 Chris Pratt Dated His On-Screen Everwood Sister, Emily VanCamp
Years before Chris Pratt became a Hollywood blockbuster star (and a total hunk), he starred in The CW's drama series Everwood. It was a far cry from his role as intergalactic hero StarLord in the Marvel Cinematic Universe or his turn in the Jurassic World series! In Everwood, Pratt portrayed Bright, the older brother of Emily VanCamp's Amy. However, in reality, these two co-stars had something very different to a brother-sister relationship — they actually dated! According to PopSugar, Pratt and VanCamp first started dating in 2004, and were together for around three years before splitting.
As you can imagine, these on-screen siblings got quite a few weird and wonderful comments from the general public when they first started to date.
In a 2006 interview with TV Guide, Pratt admitted that he and VanCamp became pretty used to hearing people say that their relationship was a bit creepy — although he says that "the people who know us are happy." Well, yeah — amazingly enough, actings aren't actually the same people as the characters that they portray on-screen! In the same interview, Pratt actually hinted that he and VanCamp could get married one day: while he wouldn't confirm anything, he did state that he and Emily were "very much in love" and that a wedding could have been on the horizon. Sadly, things didn't work out, and they split mere months after this interview came out.
7 Arrow Stars Stephen Amell And Emily Bett Rickards Are Fitness Buddies
The relationship between Oliver and Felicity is one of the cutest that Arrow has to offer. We saw these two navigate a will-they-won't-they situation for way too long, and then had to deal with them breaking up once they finally did get together! At least they're married and happy now, even if, as E! Online notes, they kinda stole Barry and Iris' wedding-day thunder in the process. How annoyed would you be if your friends basically hijacked your ceremony to get married themselves? Get your own wedding, guys!
Anyway, Oliver and Felicity do make a pretty cute couple. Their actors, on the other hand, are nothing more than very good friends! Stephen Amell and Emily Bett Rickards have made no secret of the fact they're best buddies off-screen, with the two regularly taunting each other on social media. As JustJared Jr. notes, they regularly send each other fitness challenges via Tweets which tend to include a healthy dose of friendly trash-talking. That's true friendship right there! Bett Rickards was also spotted celebrating at Amell's 37th birthday party at the Kentucky Derby last month, alongside the actor's real-life wife Cassandra Jean. Isn't it just great when someone's fictional spouse and actual spouse get on well?
6 The Vampire Diaries' Ian Somerhalder And Nina Dobrev Are Now Exes — But Still Good Friends
Before The Vampire Diaries' Ian Somerhalder was married to Twilight star Nikki Reed, he actually dated his on-screen girlfriend, Nina Dobrev. The two portrayed star-crossed lovers Damon and Elena in the show, whose relationship was slightly fraught thanks to the fact that Elena had dated the other Salvatore brother, Stefan, before she fell in love with Damon. Yeah, it was as awkward as it sounds.
Still, everything worked out well in the end for Delena — although the same can't be said for Dobrev and Somerhalder's romance.
According to WetPaint, these Vampire Diaries co-stars first started dating in 2010, around a year after the show started airing. While they were always pretty private about their relationship, they occasionally gave us adorable red-carpet appearances and Coachella selfies that gave us all a little bit more faith in the power of love. Like, seriously, Nina and Ian were just so cute together! Sadly, though, after three years together, the couple split in May 2013. At least they're clearly still good friends! According to E! Online, Dobrev regularly hangs our with Somerhalder and his wife, with the threesome often snapping happy selfies together. Talk about an amicable break-up! Not many former couples manage to actually keep to the "we'll stay friends" promise!
5 Eliza Taylor And Alycia Debnam-Carey Are Just Friends Outside Of The 100
The relationship between The 100's Clarke and Lexa is equally one of the most adorable and the most heartbreaking in the entire show. Spoiler alert: Lexa succumbs to her wounds after being accidentally shot by Titus, passing away in Clarke's arms. Just... Why? Can't we have one gay couple on TV who actually get a completely happy ending? As you'd expect, fans were pretty devastated when this popular pairing was so abruptly torn about. At least we — and Clarke — have the memories of their brief relationship to keep us going.
In real life, Clarke and Lexa actresses Eliza Taylor and Alycia Debnam-Carey are nothing more than really good friends. In an interview with IGN, Debnam-Carey revealed that her close bond with Taylor made things a lot easier on set — it was great to work with someone she liked and respected so much. The two were apparently pretty surprised that their characters' relationship turned romantic so quickly in the show: while they'd guessed it would happen eventually due to various hints being dropped in the script, they were taken about when it went down so soon! To be fair, though, fans didn't mind. According to The Sydney Morning Herald, they loved Lexa and Clarke's relationship so much that they formed a petition to get Lexa reinstated as a character pretty much as soon as she passed away. Now, that's dedication.
4 The CW Veteran Chris Wood Is Dating His Supergirl Co-Star Melissa Benoist
Alongside Cole Sprouse and Lili Reinhart, Chris Wood and Melissa Benoist are one of the most recent CW couples to go public. The pair portrays Kara Danvers — AKA Supergirl — and Mon-El, the superhero's love interest, and it didn't take long for this on-screen romance to translate into the real world. As Metro notes, Benoist has a history of dating her TV co-stars: when starring as Marley Rose on Glee, she dated — and later married — Ryder Lynn actor Blake Jenner.
After just over a year of marriage, the pair decided to divorce, and Benoist and Woods began quietly dating.
According to PopSugar, Benoist and Woods officially confirmed their relationship in March 2017 after they were spotted walking their dogs together. Over a year later, they're still going strong and occasionally provide us with adorable insights into their relationship. In April of this year, Just Jared Jr. reported that the couple had been spotted wearing matching hoodies on the Supergirl set. Too cute! The pair also celebrated Woods' birthday earlier in the year with a sunset walk on the beach with their dogs, and, of course, posted a snap of the evening to Instagram for our viewing pleasure. Relationship goals right there!
3 Candice King And Paul Wesley Became Friends As Their Vampire Diaries Characters Began Dating
After The Vampire Diaries character Stefan Salvatore had his heart broken by Elena when she chose his brother over him, it was inevitable that he'd eventually find another love interest. This eventually came in the form of Caroline Forbes, a human-turned-vampire whose relationship with Stefan became complicated, to say the least. After the usual dramatic break-up-then-make-up storyline, Stefan and Caroline did end up together, even getting married in the penultimate ever episode of the show. However, their love wasn't made to last. As Screener notes, Stefan ended up sacrificing his life to save his loved ones in The Vampire Diaries' series finale. Shortest marriage ever!
In real life, Stefan and Caroline actors Paul Wesley and Candice King didn't follow suit with Ian Somerhalder and Nina Dobrev and start dating. Interestingly, they also didn't initially agree on whether their characters should get together! According to E! News, King believed that Caroline and Stefan would remain nothing but good friends, while Wesley was convinced that they'd be a couple! Looks like Paul was right... Despite this difference of opinion regarding their characters, Wesley and King did become pretty close friends while filming The Vampire Diaries. In 2017, Just Jared Jr. reported that the pair had been spotted chilling on the beach before attending a fan convention together in Brazil. Honestly, that sounds like the coolest friend-date ever.
2 Gilmore Girls' Alexis Bledel Really Did Date Actor Milo Ventimiglia
During Gilmore Girls' original seven-season run, young Rory Gilmore had three major love interests. As InStyle notes, these three guys couldn't have been more different! You had sweet, dependable Dean; book-smart bad boy Jesse; and college playboy Logan. In the end, Rory didn't end up with any of her former flames: she rejected Logan's marriage proposal to focus on her career. Of course, things got a bit more complicated in Gilmore Girls: A Year In The Life... But that's a story for another time!
For now, we need to talk about the fact that Rory and Jesse actors Alexis Bledel and Milo Ventimiglia actually did date while portraying an on-screen couple!
According to Yahoo, Bledel and Ventimiglia dated from 2002 to 2006, and at one point even discussed getting married! However, things never went that far. According to People, the couple split in July 2006 for unknown reasons. Their on-screen counterparts had split up by this point, too — although the exes did have to work together again in A Year In The Life. They seem to be on fairly good terms, at least, and have both happily moved on. As PopSugar notes, Bledel is married to fellow actor Vincent Kartheiser, and Ventimiglia was most recently linked to marketing giant Kelly Egarian.
1 Veronica Mars Stars Jason Dohring And Kristen Bell Are Besties To This Day
It's been over a decade since popular CW mystery drama Veronica Mars left the small screen, but the show still has a cult following. It was Frozen star Kristen Bell's first big TV break, and it helped propel her career to the heights it's reached today. As Veronica Mars fans will recall, the titular heroine had two main love interests during the show's run, with neighborhood bad boy Logan eventually edging out Veronica's ex-boyfriend Duncan. Actor Jason Dohring was the man who brought Logan to life, telling Buzzfeed that the part was his "dream role."
While Bell and Dohring didn't end up becoming a couple off-screen, they're still pretty good friends to this day. In an interview with Uproxx, Bell gushed about her on-screen love interest, claiming that while the two don't really have any chemistry in real life, Dorhing is still a "dear friend" to her. She continued, "I love him, and I love his wife, and he loves my husband" — talk about friendship goals right there! For his part, Dohring told Buzzfeed that he was "in love with [Kristen] for the three years we made that show." Hopefully, he meant platonically, since he was already married when he starred in Veronica Mars! Awkward...
References: Cosmopolitan; Vanity Fair; TV Guide; E! Online; Brides.com; Cosmopolitan; Bustle; Vanity Fair; Justin Baldoni on Instagram; Entertainment Tonight; SheKnows; Bustle; PopSugar; People; People; Marie Claire; TV Line; Buzzfeed; PopSugar; TV Guide; Just Jared Jr.; E! Online; Just Jared Jr.; WetPaint; E! Online; IGN; Sydney Morning Herald; PopSugar; Just Jared Jr.; Metro; Screener; E! Online; Just Jared Jr.; InStyle; PopSugar; Yahoo; People; Uproxx; Buzzfeed