From making meme-worthy moments to bestowing us with some of our very favorite celebrities here at Wonderwall.com, reality TV truly is the gift that keeps on giving. And one of the most fascinating things to watch unfold week after week? A reality TV relationship! Whether it's a couple meeting for the first time on-camera (like our first duo), or simply watching a relationship crash and burn (Jax and Stassi, anyone?), some of our favorite unscripted shows have really delivered when it comes to watching love lives deteriorate before our very eyes. In honor of "Jersey Shore" alum Ronnie Ortiz-Magro's 31st birthday on Dec. 4, 2016, we're taking a look at the most-tumultuous couples of reality television — starting with the epic saga that is Ronnie and Sammi "Sweetheart" Giancola! Though there was instant attraction, Mike "The Situation" Sorrentino got between the new roommates on the premiere of "Jersey Shore." But by Episode 3, Sammi and Ronnie were off on their first date. What followed were six seasons full of the fiery pair's screaming fights, breakups and epic reunions, culminating in their decision to move in together on the show's series finale in December 2012. The two stuck it out until 2014, when they announced they'd split for good — only to reunite in March 2016. But by September 2016, Sammi confirmed they were in splitsville once more… though that's clearly not permanent with these two! Keep reading to relive more rocky reality romances!
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All hail Speidi! Though they were oft-considered villains on MTV's "The Hills," the relationship between Spencer Pratt and Heidi Montag actually endured past the show's expiration date. Heidi was a fixture on the series' 2006 premiere (as Lauren Conrad's flighty roommate) but it wasn't until Season 2 that one of the most iconic reality relationships debuted. The world met Spencer Pratt in 2007, and while viewers hated him for starting that infamous sex tape rumor about LC, one person who never seemed to mind was Heidi. The televised bumps in the road — like that one time Spencer kicked her out of his car or when Heidi thought she was pregnant — were eventually admitted to have been faked for the cameras. And Heidi and Spencer confessed on Bethenny Frankel's now-defunct talk show "Bethenny" that producers even tried to get Spencer to leave Heidi at the altar during their televised 2009 wedding, but he refused. Seven years later, the couple are still happily married despite a dramatic stint on WE tv's "Marriage Boot Camp: Reality Stars" in 2015 where they clashed over their differing views on when to have kids.
On the Season 10 premiere of "The Real Housewives of Beverly Hills," Shannon Beador's picture-perfect marriage seemed to be crumbling. The reality star opened up about her husband David Beador's eight-month affair, sharing that she found out on April Fool's Day in 2015 after much suspicion. The two were adamant about working things out, and the Orange County-based blonde assured viewers, "Divorce is not an option." While most viewers assumed she'd change her tune, Shannon and David made it work. They sought counseling and eventually fans of the show watched the couple renew their wedding vows more than 15 years after they originally tied the knot.
Some might say Tori Spelling and Dean McDermott were destined to be a reality television couple considering how they started. Tori was newly married to actor Charlie Shanian when she met Dean on the set of the 2005 Lifetime TV movie "Mind Over Murder" and started an affair. Both split with their respective spouses and Tori and Dean eloped in 2006. A year later, the couple welcomed their first child, son Liam, a week before the debut of their first foray into reality television, "Tori & Dean: Inn Love." The happy couple renewed their wedding vows four years later in 2010 and had two more kids (daughters Stella and Hattie) before their second reality TV show, "Tori & Dean: Sweet Home Hollywood," wrapped up in January 2012. Their fourth child, son Finn, was born nine months later, and shortly after that, rumors about an impending split began to swirl. Tori shut down divorce talk in March 2013 and that June, Dean got Tori's name tattooed in an intimate place to prove his loyalty to his bride. But 2014 would bring different challenges: It was revealed Dean cheated on Tori during a business trip, resulting in the Canadian actor heading to rehab for sex addiction. On the heels of that betrayal, Tori turned back to reality television with Lifetime's "True Tori," revealing the effect Dean's cheating had on the McDermott family. But ultimately, Tori said was grateful for the infidelity, telling Khloe Kardashian on her short-lived talk show "Kocktails with Khloe" that "It changed everything. It really did… for the better." And Tori wasn't lying — in October 2016, the couple announced they were expecting their fifth child.
Jon Gosselin and Kate Gosselin married in 1999 and welcomed twins in 2000 and sextuplets in 2004. The Discovery Channel originally aired specials on the family in 2005 before "Jon & Kate Plus 8" was developed and moved to TLC in 2007. Viewers watched the couple bicker incessantly and only two years later, cheating rumors started, with tabloids linking Kate to her bodyguard and Jon to multiple women. The two announced their separation in June 2009 and by that October, the show's name was changed to "Kate Plus 8." Their divorce was finalized that December but seven years later, the former couple are still at each other's throats. They most recently made headlines when Jon told "Entertainment Tonight" that Kate, who has full custody of their brood, will not respond to his texts and refuses to tell him where their 12-year-old special-needs son, Collin, is getting treatment for his issues.
We fell in love with "Vanderpump Rules" mainly due to the incredible insanity that was the relationship of Jax Taylor and Stassi Schroeder. The first season saw Jax accused of a tryst in Las Vegas that left a girl pregnant and led to plenty of subsequent breakups and makeups between the genetically blessed couple. And despite getting Stassi's name permanently tattooed on his body, the Sur bartender ultimately didn't end up with the girl. The final nail in the coffin? When Jax slept with Stassi's best friend, Kristen Doute. You couldn't script this kind of drama!
"Teen Mom OG" stars Catelynn Lowell and Tyler Baltierra have really defied the odds. The cute couple met in seventh grade in a music class at just 12 years old and have managed to stay together through some tough times. But that's not to say their relationship hasn't been rocky! They made it through the birth of their first daughter, Carly, whom they gave up for adoption, which was documented on their episode of MTV's "16 and Pregnant." Fans watched their relationship progress post-baby when they were selected to star on the spinoff, "Teen Mom." Though their first engagement ended with Tyler calling off their 2013 wedding just a few months before they were due to walk down the aisle, the two eventually got back together and tied the knot in August 2015 after 11 years of dating. And in between the failed and successful wedding attempts? They worked on their issues on VH1's "Couples Therapy" and Catelynn gave birth to their second child, daughter Novalee, on Jan. 1, 2015.
Kendra Wilkinson got her start on reality television as one of Hugh Hefner's girlfriends on E!'s "The Girls Next Door" and later chronicled her relationship with NFL player Hank Baskett on her very own E! reality show, "Kendra." The two married the same year the show debuted, 2009, and welcomed a son, Hank Baskett IV, that December. Their happy marriage played out in front of the cameras on both "Kendra" and her new reality show after parting ways with E!, "Kendra on Top" on WE tv. That series featured the pregnancy and birth of their second child, daughter Alijah, in May 2014 — and ultimately chronicled the roughest patch in their marriage to date: Hank's alleged affair with a transgender model, which went down while Kendra was eight months pregnant with Alijah. It nearly destroyed their marriage, as tabloids relished in reporting the tawdry details and Kendra admitted she once considered suicide in the wake of their split. Fortunately for the Baskett family, Hank and Kendra managed to stay together despite his betrayal and celebrated their seventh wedding anniversary in June 2016.
For the VH1 show "T.I. & Tiny: The Family Hustle," T.I. and Tameka "Tiny" Harris started chronicling their life together after the rapper was released from prison back in 2011. The couple, who have been together since 2001 and married in 2010, share seven children and have battled divorce talk numerous times over the years. In 2014, rumors swirled when T.I. leased a home outside of Atlanta, where the family home is located, but the two squashed breakup rumors. In 2016, they found themselves battling another round of divorce news so Tiny, a Grammy-winning singer-songwriter, took to Instagram to fight the speculation, writing in part, "Lies will be told…. But the Truth will be seen!!! I feel no need to address gossip or respond to peons."
For years, "The Real Housewives of Atlanta" fans have watched Cynthia Bailey and Peter Thomas' marriage unfold. Cameras were rolling before they tied the knot and viewers even saw Cynthia's mom and sister try to prevent the wedding from happening. But the couple married on-camera and had their relationship documented on the Bravo show for five years. In July 2016, the pair announced plans to divorce, but their relationship status has continued to be murky ever since. In August 2016, Cynthia attended the opening of Peter's new club, and in October, the couple celebrated his birthday together with the cast in Maui, Hawaii.
The MTV show "The Challenge" was responsible for a bittersweet love connection: Diem Brown and Chris "CT" Tamburello met on the show's 13th season in 2006. They fell in love but had a rough path paved with fights, breakups and makeups airing for the world to see. Throughout their rocky relationship, Diem battled cancer, once in 2006, again in 2012 and then finally in 2014. Before Diem passed away in November 2014, CT actually attempted a reconciliation, proposing to her in the hospital. Diem ultimately declined his proposal, with sources explaining to Us Weekly, "Diem knew she didn't have much longer to live and she didn't want to be engaged under those circumstances." After her death, CT took to Instagram to share his feelings for his former love, writing, "You have always been My Angel. And now you have your wings. We've been thru so much over the years. Thru the ups and downs we somehow managed to keep our promise. We never gave up on each other. Our plan to be together forever hasn't changed… it's just going to take a little longer now. And I'm going to hold onto this ring for you till we are together again. So don't worry mama, I'm not afraid. I know you will always be with me to give me your strength. You are The Love of My Life. My reason to be a better man. I Love You Always and Forever."
On the fourth season of "The Amazing Race" back in 2003, Reichen Lehmkuhl and Chip Arndt were a married team — before gay marriage was even legal. The happy couple were both certainly physically prepared for the challenges of "The Amazing Race," but that didn't mean the grueling tasks didn't take a toll on their relationship. Though they had a rocky start, they eventually won, but unfortunately, taking home top prize didn't bode well for their relationship. Reichen was much too flirty for Chip's taste, something that got him into hot water, which was a factor when the couple split before their season even aired.
Another couple that loved to break up and make up? Travis Barker and Shanna Moakler. The couple enjoyed reality TV success with their MTV series "Meet the Barkers" from 2005-2006 following their 2004 wedding. Shortly after the second season of their show aired, Travis filed for divorce. The pair aired their dirty laundry in the media with some pretty public feuds — including some drama involving Travis stepping out with Paris Hilton — before eventually reconciling in March 2007… only to split again months later. The two attempted to divorce in 2008, the same year Travis survived a fiery plane crash, but got back together before splitting again in 2009. The most recent scoop on the pair? In June 2016, after enduring headlines about a bitter custody battle, Travis told People magazine that he and Shanna were finally "just being friends. Doing the best co-parenting is the most important thing."
Ozzy Osbourne and Sharon Osbourne were reality show pioneers when MTV's "The Osbournes" chronicled their home life beginning in 2002. The famous couple have been married since 1982, but it hasn't been without its ups and downs. Though their reality show that ran from 2002-2005 only portrayed a happy family life, more recently the couple have gone through some major turbulence. In May 2016, Sharon kicked Ozzy out of the family home after he had an affair with a hairstylist. But by July, they'd reconciled.