The start of the summer brings us into wedding season, both in our personal lives and on television apparently! This week’s list was inspired by all the talk of impending nuptials flooding my Facebook feed and also by a certain wedding that happened on HBO last week. (More on that one in the countdown!)
But don’t worry; this list will not be about finding the right dress, picking the proper centerpieces, or whether or not you need to bring a gift to a bachelor party. Instead it takes a look at the many marriages that have graced our televisions over the years and picks out the most memorable, the reasons for many of the selections have very little to do with the exchanging of vows, as you will soon see…
10. Luke and Laura, General Hospital
I know that starting a list off with a Soap Opera wedding might lose me what few remaining shreds of credibility I have left with some of you but I have to be strong and throw this one out there. The wedding of Luke & Laura on General Hospital was one of the most watched episodes of TV at the time and featured an over the top, campy performance by none other than Elizabeth Taylor herself playing the villainous Helena Cassadine. I also find it very interesting how fondly this wedding is remembered by fans of the show overlooking the not so nice beginnings to Luke & Laura’s relationship. Below are Liz Taylor’s scenes summarized for your viewing pleasure…
9. Joanie and Chachi, Happy Days
Weddings often symbolize a time of transition in the stories on a television show and for Happy Days this was definitely true. The show that had literally jumped the shark a few years before had evolved into something almost cliché and unwatchable by the time it finished its run with the wedding of Joanie & Chachi. Nostalgia had kept this one hanging on a few seasons too long so using the finale to give the fans something they had long anticipated made complete sense. Plus we got to see a cameo by Ron Howard’s awesome 70s porn star mustache! Look for it below!
8. Zack and Kelly, Saved by the Bell
Saved by the Bell was another show that ran its course by the time the wedding of its two main characters came around and while said wedding gave fans the pairing they had long anticipated, I include it here for other reasons. Namely the chaos that the cast went through in reaching the wedding itself, including Zach and Screech attempting to rent themselves out as escorts in order to raise much needed funds for the nuptials. I think that any kids TV show that eventually turns to thinly veiled prostitution deserves some recognition.
7. Ross and Emily, Friends
Five little words took this well hyped and drawn out wedding from an “eh” moment to a “Oh man!” extravaganza. Just as the priest asked Ross to repeat after him, he said, “I, Ross, take you Rachel.” Of course, this was a problem as he was marrying Emily at the time. The Ross/Rachel dynamic was a driving force throughout this series and this episode gave it a true twist as we were led to think Rachel would be the disruptive force at the wedding. A little slight of hand and boom, it was Ross himself who was revealed to not be moving on from his infatuation. Fans of the series cheered, though it would be a while before this moment truly paid off.
6. Andy and April, Parks and Recreation
Much like the couple themselves, Andy and April’s wedding on NBC’s Parks and Recreation was full of quirks beginning with the fact that it was a surprise. Andy and April were a relatively new romantic pairing on the show, having been dating for less than a month, when they invited everyone to a dinner party. Amy Pohler’s Leslie figures out what is happening and plans to disrupt the ceremony. Throughout the episode Andy asks pretty much every one of his male friends to be his best man, which also leads to some tension. Eventually the wedding occurs with no interruptions in true Parks and Recreation style. The show can be absurd and often goes in nonsensical directions but that is part of its humor and charm. In this clip from the wedding April’s sister Natalie delivers a heartfelt speech to the newlyweds.
5. Cory and Topanga, Boy Meets World
Boy Meets World went seven seasons starting with the main characters in 6th grade, which would put them around 12, so it makes complete sense that they would eventually get married by the final season, no? I include this wedding because I wonder if it might have had an impact on the number of teen marriages and pregnancies in the United States during the show’s run? Ok, I don’t really wonder that, I do however wonder about a show based on the premise of a boy discovering the world and his potential at all meets a satisfying end by locking him into one relationship for the rest of his life at 18? Maybe it’s just me but shouldn’t Mr. Feeny have done more to stop this?? We will soon find out how this marriage lasted as the show’s sequel Girl Meets World heads into production!
4. Jimmy and Chloe, Smallville
I included Jimmy & Chloe’s wedding because this episode of Smallville is about so much more than just a wedding yet still features all of the traditional wedding cliches. The highlight of the wedding reception is an appearance by the creature who ultimately killed Superman in the comic books, Doomsday. Doomsday literally crashed the wedding and takes off with Chloe, bringing her to the Fortress of Solitude but not before attacking Jimmy and splashing his blood on her dress. This season took a very dramatic turn that night. In the clip below you can see, or kind of see, Doomsday’s rampage.
3. Jim and Pam, The Office
This wedding was pure Office magic in so many ways! First it was an excellent culmination to the romance of Jim and Pam over the years, and it also balanced the sappy emotional stuff with some usual antics from their office-mates. The replication of the famous You Tube wedding entrance video to Chris Brown’s Forever might have come off as trite on any other show but here it was a proper reflection of just how out of sync with current affairs this cast of true characters was. You couldn’t help but laugh at how proud they were of replicating something that had already been done to death, and as if to hammer home the moment, Michael Scott evens asks Pam if she had seen the You Tube video. It was perfectly juxtaposed with Jim & Pam’s “elopement.”
2. Mike and Carol, The Brady Bunch
What I find fascinating about this wedding is that unlike most sitcom weddings this one did not end the series, instead it was the very beginning. The Brady Bunch was progressive from the get go blending two families who weren’t exactly enamored with each other. The wedding is full of hilarious yet true moments that you can see in the video below. The opener to this series laid out the challenges these two clans would face as they merged under one roof. I do suppose it helps that they had a maid to take care of many of the incidental chores in their lives.
1. Edmure Tully and Roslin Frey, Game of Thrones
I wanted to put another wedding in the top spot but I honestly could not think of another television wedding that is more memorable than the “Red Wedding” from two weeks ago on Game of Thrones. Yes it is also the freshest right now but I do think that as time progresses it will hold up as one of the most shocking and memorable moments of the series and of TV in general. Yes, the events were no real surprise to those people who had read the books and if that’s you, take a moment of self congratulations and enjoy it. However, if like me, you had not cracked open the text yet, this scene ran into the side of your head like a Mack truck. If you have not seen it yet, catch up and get with it! I will not spoil the exact details as much as I want to here. In your final clip of the week I have included one of many compilation videos from You Tube that feature people reacting to the wedding scene as it aired. This one is my favorite for what happens at around 1:15 in, check the face of the guy watching in a room full of women. Priceless.
Ready to drop to one knee and take my hand in marriage or did this week’s list send you running to a divorce lawyer? Let me know in the comments below!
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