This week’s episode of Glee is called “The Break-Up.” Apparently all four of the show’s power couples — Emma and Will, Rachel and Finn, Kurt and Blaine, and Brittany and Santana — are going to smash into an iceberg, and one of them is going to drown. We’re hoping against hope that it won’t be Brittana. But just in case, we present a list of TV’s saddest lesbian break-ups to prepare us for the pain. Some of these couples broke up for a while, some of them broke up forever, but all of them broke our hearts.
Shane and Carmen, The L Word — It is a testament to the power of Shane’s sex appeal that we ever forgave her for leaving Carmen at the altar during the third season of The L Word. Beautiful, funny, sweet, beautiful, loving, beautiful, perfect, beautiful Carmen. She cried, we cried, one of us should probably have punched Shane in the face.
Emily and Maya, Pretty Little Liars — Before murder broke them up for good, Emily and Maya were forced to say goodbye when Emily’s mom had Maya shipped off to drug camp. Maya was the first girl Emily loved out loud. She helped Emily own her sexuality, come out to her friends and family, and let go of the shame Alison DiLaurentis had manipulated her into feeling just because she wanted to makeout with Beyonce. At least Emily’s besties gave them a candlelight dance to say goodbye.
Alex and Marissa, The O.C. — The saddest part about Marissa and Alex’s break-up is how the writers had to assassinate Alex’s character to make it plausible. Alex was as cool as a cucumber when we met her, way more mature than the spoiled kids of Orange County. Alas, when it was time for Marissa to get back with Ryan, Alex became a jealous, stalking, possessive jackass.
Helen and Nikki, Bad Girls — It’s never easy to carry on a relationship when one person is a prison warden and the other person is in jail for murdering the man who tried to rape her girlfriend, but after a tempestuous start, Helen and Nikki made it work. Jealousy? They dealt with it. Prison breaks? They dealt with it. But when Nikki staged a sit-in protest that undermined Helen’s authority, it was too much for the hot-headed Scot to take. When she broke up with Nikki, she said, “I’m not even sad about it!” Which made us cry even harder.
Sophie and Sian, Coronation Street — Sophie and Sian were two best friends who fell in love. On a street where trains fall from the sky and neighbors occasionally disappear into the ether, the two teenagers found comfort and laughter and companionship in each other’s arms. They battled Sophie’s mom’s homophobia together, they battled the backwards views of their church together, they even battled the harsh streets of Manchester together when they ran away. Theirs was a forever kind of love, so they planned to get married. But then Sophie kissed another girl and struggled through her wedding vows and Sian left town heartbroken. But not nearly as heartbroken as us.
Spencer and Ashley, South of Nowhere — Nothing busts up a love triangle like a drive-by shooting at prom. Spencer and Ashley were about to kick Aidan out of their lives for good when someone whizzed by and popped a cap in Spencer’s brother’s ass. Ashley’s way of dealing with the trauma was to flee town and leave Spencer on her own for a whole summer. When she finally came back, Spencer kissed her and kissed her and kissed her until she was dizzy with it — and then she told Ashley she couldn’t be with her because she couldn’t count on her. Their breakup felt like a dropkick to the face of our hearts.
Naomi and Emily, Skins — Naomi and Emily’s break-up technically only lasted about three minutes, but we still can’t talk about it.
Which lesbian TV breakup broke your heart the most?