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Cougar Town and 8 Other Inappropriate Relationships in TV History

Tonight marks the Season 5 premiere of Cougar Town, a feat that seemed almost impossible a few years ago. You might even say as improbable as the ever-blossoming romance between Laurie (Busy Philipps) and Travis (Dan Byrd). Sorry, did I say improbable? I meant inappropriate. Sure, these are both consenting adults, their age gap isn't that wide and now that Jules (Courteney Cox) and Grayson (Josh Hopkins) have settled down the show needed a new love story to focus on, but still….ew. There's just something so inherently wrong about getting together with your best friend's grown son. But whether or not Laurie and Travis make this work (Jules could very well kill Laurie), they're still far from the only so-wrong-it's-wrong TV courtship. Let's take a look back, in no particular order, at some of the most memorable inappropriate relationships:

Dexter and Debra on Dexter
No, nothing really happened with these two (not unless you count kissing in a dream sequence, which you definitely should not), but it's still a wildly inappropriate relationships between foster siblings. Deb started to have feelings for Dexter towards the latter half of the series, and that's still not the most troubling thing that happened on this show.

Meggie and Father Ralph on The Thorn Birds
It's sort of the gold standard of forbidden TV relationships: he was a priest, and she was far too young for him. Did I mention he was her family's priest? This romance was inappropriate in the secular world and everywhere else.

Maeby and George Michael on Arrested Development
If he had things his way, George Michael would love to cry "Marry me!" to his cousin Maeby. Hilarious? Yep. More twisted and inappropriate than a rendition of "Afternoon Delight" with your uncle? It's up there. (Come to think of it, all of the Bluths' relationships are pretty damn messed up.)

Boone and Shannon on Lost
He's hot, she's hot, they're…oh, yeah, freakin' step-siblings. Step-siblings who support each other financially, and travel together on doomed flights, and cross more boundaries than you can imagine, and have sex with each other. Boone and Shannon perished from a fall and getting shot, respectively, but they should have died from utter shame.

Joey and Rachel on Friends
Though not nearly as inappropriate or creepy as some of the other courtships on this list, there was a reason why Joey and Rachel's short-lived romance never worked: it was weird. It was inappropriate for Joey to fall for his best friend's pregnant ex-girlfriend, and it was inappropriate for Rachel to blindly accept an (accidental) proposal from her totally platonic friend.

Carrie and Mr. Big on Sex and the City
Emotionally manipulative relationships are always inappropriate, but when one of the people in said relationship gets married and then cheats on his wife with the woman he was previously in an emotionally manipulative relationship, well that's just a whole other level of wrong. Big should have been faithful, and Carrie should have known better. Sure, they eventually had their happy ending, but they sure did leave a lot of people in their wake, including poor Natasha.

Angela and Dwight on The Office
Not only would the Assistant to the Regional Manner never carry on a relationship with a subordinate without disclosing it with HR, but Dwight and his relationship with Angela was a toxic one for the folks at Dunder Mifflin. Both abused their power in the office (not to mention getting it on in the office after work hours) but really, it helped turn Andy (Angela's former fiancé) from a hapless dweeb to an unstoppable monster. Inappropriate, and unforgivable.

Tony and Well, Everyone on The Sopranos
Before Don Draper, Tony Soprano was TV's ultimate morally corrupt cad. The serial adulterer had so many inappropriate relationships, it's almost impossible to keep track, but his trysts with the troublemaking Irina and the troubled Gloria certainly stand out. Healthy relationships for the mob boss? Fuhgeddaboutit.

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