Couples from teen TV dramas who dated in real life

Ryan and Marissa to Dan and Serena: The teen drama couples who dated on TV and in IRL

Life imitating art x

Couples from teen TV dramas can be some of our most formative examples of love, dating and romance but did you know which characters dated in real life? It is a Hollywood trope as old as the business itself that sometimes your set-based chemistry can bleed over into their off-set life. Add in some hormones and melodrama from shows like Riverdale, Gossip Girl and many others; you have a recipe for both crushes and the inevitable heartbreak.  Here are the couples from all your teen TV dramas who dated in real life

Mischa Barton and Ben McKenzie – The OC

Mischa recently revealed to Alexandra Cooper on her podcast Call Her Daddy that she did actually date Ben McKenzie, who played the most troubled teen of all early 00s television.

Adam Brody and Rachel Bilson – The OC

Seth and Summer became a real-life thing when Adam and Rachel got together in 2003. They broke up for good in 2006.

Penn Badgley and Blake Lively – Gossip Girl

All the couples from teen dramas who dated in real life

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Dan and Serena were two of the greatest sources of drama, but did you know that the actors who played them dated for three years? Penn and Blake called it quits in 2010 after first getting together when the show first began in 2007.

Kelly Rutherford and Matthew Settle – Gossip Girl

All the couples from teen dramas who dated in real life

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Dating your co-star on a teen drama isn’t even for the teens! Lily and Rufus became a rumoured real-life item when they were spotted kissing around New York City by eagle-eyed fans (probably inspired by the show’s namesake blog). The speculation was reported by Buzzfeed but never confirmed by the pair.

Leighton Meester and Sebastian Stan – Gossip Girl

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Blair Waldorf might have had a brief fling with Carter Baizen, but Leighton dated Sebastian for two years between 2008 and 2010.

Jessica Szohr and Ed Westwick – Gossip Girl


Vanessa Abrams and Chuck Bass were sworn enemies in the show, but this didn’t stop the real-life actors from getting together. Jessica and Ed were together for two years between 2008 and 2010.

Camila Mendes and Charles Melton  – Riverdale

This teen drama was known for the particularly weird twists and turns it took, but a very romantic turn when it was discovered that Veronica and Reggie were dating outside of the show in 2018. Camila and Charles broke up twice during their relationship and finally called it quits in 2021.

Cole Sprouse and Lili Reinhart – Riverdale

All the couples from teen dramas who dated in real life

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Cole and Lili dated on and off during their time on the teen drama inspired by Archie Comics, just their characters Betty and Jughead. After a number of break-ups, they officially called it quits for the last time in May 2020.

Nina Dobrev and Ian Somerhalder – The Vampire Diaries

All the couples from teen dramas who dated in real life


Nina and Ian copied their characters, Elena and Damon, by finally getting together and dating for three years. In the immediate aftermath of their 2013 split, they stayed working together and are now still friends.

Alexis Bledel and Milo Ventimiglia – Gilmore Girls

Alexis and Milo took a note from Rory Gilmore and Jess Mariano’s book when they dated for four years between 2002 and 2006. They were able to work together in 2016 for the Netflix one-season revival.

Natalia Dyer and Charlie Heaton – Stranger Things

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Nancy Wheeler broke Steve Harrington’s heart to run off with Jonathan Byers. Fans were sent wild when it was confirmed that Natalia and Charlie were dating in real life back in 2017. As of writing, they are still going strong!

Sophia Bush and Chad Michael Murray – One Tree Hill

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Sophia and Chad dated for two years after meeting while playing Brooke Davis and Lucas Scott and eventually got married in 2005. However, after a mere five months of marriage, they were signing divorce papers despite the WB show going on.

Katie Holmes and Joshua Jackson – Dawson’s Creek

Joey and Pacey were the premiere enemies-to-lovers of 90s teen television. Whether their love story mirrored Katie and Joshua’s brief fling it is not known, but either way, they dated briefly in 1997.

Ross Lynch and Jaz Sinclair – The Chilling Adventures of Sabrina

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Ross and Jaz were first linked after starring together on the Netflix teen drama in 2018 after playing Roz and Harvey. Last summer, speculation emerged they had called it quits but nothing was officially confirmed

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