The 5 ‘Best’ Times Sitcom Characters Cheated on Their Significant Others
Infidelity is one of those topics that’s only really funny when it doesn’t affect you – or your favorite character on TV. Some New Girl fans still haven’t forgiven Schmidt.
It’s inevitable that most long-running sitcoms eventually visit the same well of episode plotlines that writers have been visiting since the dawn of television to pad-out later seasons. Two characters have a baby. Someone’s never-before-mentioned sibling becomes a core cast member. Andy Bernard becomes the boss. All these attempts to shake up the chemistry and keep things fresh have a dismal success rate, but none are more risky than the infamous infidelity arc – and none receive more pushback from the actors involved. The late Matthew Perry reportedly refused to carry out the Friends writing room’s plan to have Chandler cheat on the love of his life Monica, and both John Krasinski and Jenna Fischer confronted the Office showrunners when they thought Pam and Jim were being set up for extramarital drama.
However, for as many rumored cheating plotlines were squashed behind the scenes before any vows could be broken, plenty others made it through to showtime, with varying degrees of success. Over in the sitcoms subreddit, users recently discussed which times they think an infidelity arc was pulled off successfully, starting with…
King of the Hill: Everyone Knew About Nancy Gribble And John Redcorn Besides Dale – And Joseph
Joseph Gribble’s patrilineage is arguably the greatest elephant-in-the-room in sitcom history that is never fully exposed – after all, Dale would sooner believe that Joseph’s real father is an alien than ever suspect that his wife Nancy would ever do anything untoward with her magnificently attentive masseuse.
Friends: “We Were On A Break!”
Many would object to the inclusion of Ross Geller’s one night stand on a list of infidelity instances – but none would be more emphatic in their arguments than the doctor himself. Friends regularly mined miscommunication for conflict, but this was easily the most dramatic instance where two people’s interpretations of the same phrase were so very different.
Frasier: Niles Nails Daphne Before He Fully Ends Things With Maris
The offscreen antagonist of Niles’ lovelife, Maris Crane fails to earn any empathy from fans when Niles finally consummates his long-time affection for Daphne due to her own affair with the pair’s marriage counselor – and, ya know, because we never actually meet her. The marriage between Maris and Niles was as unsalvageable as it was unhealthy, so Daphne’s snatching of Maris’ man was a mercy killing more than anything.
Reba: Brock Cheats on Reba Before We Even Met Him
This infidelity arc is more palatable than most because we were never able to fall in love with Brock and Reba as a couple before the former steps out and knocks up Barbara Jean. The entire premise of the series is to introduce us to these characters after their relationship falls apart and let us watch them slowly put their lives back together.
New Girl: Schmidt Cheats On Cece And Elizabeth With Each Other
The biggest issue with Max Greenfield’s performance as the supposedly sleazy Schmidt is, frankly, that Greenfield was too charismatic, too funny and too likable to be the scummy, womanizing narcissist whom the character was originally intended to be. That didn’t stop the writers from forcing Schmidt to juggle his ex-girlfriend Elizabeth with his future soulmate Cece to the heartbreak of the latter – and the chagrin of Schmidt fans everywhere.