Your favourite small-screen shows bring with them laughs, tears and a genuine excuse to cancel plans with your friends. Another of the gifts they bestow on us viewers is lesser known but potentially more life-changing – their spot-on scripts deliver some of the best relationship advice you'll ever clap eyes on.
Missed it? It's a good job we didn't...
Don't be a hero
Yes, Breaking Bad's Walter White main and only focus is to provide for his family but if he'd just fessed up about his diagnosis in the first place and swallowed his pride to borrow some cash from the Schwartz's, he and Skyler would have stayed together and their small-town family would have continued happily plodding along. He also wouldn't have had to burn the face off Gus Fring, but that doesn't make an Emmy-award winning programme, so you know...
Your office desk is not a speed dating stall
When we first set eyes on Mad Men's Peggy Olsen, we'd have sworn on our grandparents lives *and* the Bible that there was no way she'd get going with a colleague. But despite her determination for workplace equality and the fact that Pete Campbell was engaged, the two of them hook up not once but twice. And Peggy soon learns that the fall from grace is all hers, when she has to leave the agency after falling pregnant and return only to see Pete getting ahead in the company. Never again.
Pet names aren't just for pets
Think that calling your other half by anything other than their Christian moniker is lame? Pah! Tell that to big, bolshy badass Khal Drogo. His little wife might have been sold into their Game Of Thrones marriage against her will but give it a few months (TV months, so who knows how long) and they soon come to share a genuine love for each other, passing sweet little pet names like "my sun and stars" and "moon of my life" between them.
Bring your A-game to arguments
Wake up and smell the matcha tea; all couples have disagreements, however solid. And few TV couples bicker more than Mitch and Cameron of Modern Family. They can't get through a single episode without eye rolling, sparring, throwing digs and the real treat comes when they blow up into full-on hissy fits. Why are their arguments so watchable? Because they both put everything into each and every one, completely disregarding the other person, before letting it roll over them and getting on with life as a devoted couple. Relationships work best when you both put in equal effort – and that counts during barnies as with everything else.
95% of sex is awkward
Peep Show didn't just deliver the jokes, it broke the TV taboo of depicting sex as us humans actually experience it. Sometimes it's not that great, sometimes you can't help thinking about your roommate or the friend you met earlier for lunch, sometimes the person you're sharing a tender moment with pauses to whisper a prayer to Jesus. In short, it isn't anything like the sex scenes Hollywood forcefeeds us and the sooner we accept that, the better our relationships will be.
Slow-burn love isn't second rate
Big-screen films might have you believe that the only type of love worth having is the kind that hits you between the eyes the moment you meet your other half, but TV has the episodic installments to invest in relationships that grow over a long period of time, and opens our eyes to the fact that you might not want to rip your partner's clothes off at the very beginning. Monica and Chandler are the ultimate example of the slow burn but New Girl's Nick and Jess aren't bad either...
Don't keep it in the family
There are tons of possible partners out there in the big wide world, TONS, so if one doesn't work out, there's really no excuse to go after their nearest and dearest. Vampire Diaries' Elena went from good brother Stefan to bad brother Damon, creating an angsty love triangle and breaking poor Stef's heart in the process. And as if winning over the mother-in-law wasn't enough of a drama, just think of the pure awkwardness of any future family gatherings.
There's no such thing as a 'break'
You know it, we know it, Ross knows it.
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