20 Best Good-Girl-Bad-Boy Couples in Movies & Television
Good-girl and bad-boy couples are one of the favorite themes for scriptwriters. The tension and electricity between them fuel many a hit movie or television series plot, and audiences can't get enough.
Fans of movies and TV shows that pair good girls with bad boys enjoy their chemistry. It gives life to the stories and makes for the best romances.
A good-girl, bad-boy pairing may attract criticism, but it also gets much more attention. Viewers who are new to the genre and have never seen evil and good come together with sizzling consequences can binge on these 20 best good-girl, bad-boy couples in movies and TV shows.
Landon & Jamie - 'A Walk To Remember'
"A Walk To Remember" is one of the most popular romance movies. If you've seen this movie, you know how amazing Landon and Jamie looked together; it doesn't hurt that actors Shane West and Mandy Moore had incredible chemistry.
For some, the best bad boy/ good girl film ever is "10 Things I Hate About You" with Julia Stiles and Heath Ledger in a modern take on Shakespeare's "The Taming of the Shrew."
Nicholas Sparks is known for serving up stories of bitter-sweet romance, and this movie is no exception. It follows a rebellious bad boy Landon falling in love with a socially awkward good girl Jamie, and how their relationship transforms their lives.
Damon & Elena - 'The Vampire Diaries'
A good girl/ bad boy list is incomplete without adding the spectacular vampire-human couple, Damon & Elena. At the beginning of "The Vampire Diaries," the romance is brewing between good vampire Stefan, Damon's elder brother, and good girl Elena.
But somehow, Damon's bad boy vibes and the contrasting sweetness under the harsh exterior drew Elena in. Damon's hard-to-miss evil aura, impeccable humor, and sizzling looks drove Elena wild.
As for Damon, he was convinced he was evil through and through, but Elena exposed his soft underbelly. Elena's inability to decide between the good boy Stefan and the bad boy Damon kept audiences glued to the screen for eight seasons.
Annette & Sebastian - 'Cruel Intentions'
"Cruel Intentions" is based on the classic bad boy falling for a good girl. Annette and Sebastian find their lives entangled as the former tries to seduce the latter as part of a bet. But the devious, manipulative Sebastian ends up falling hard for Annette.
Good girl Annette and bad boy Sebastian find it hard to escape from their true feelings for each other. Sebastian's love for Annette leads to his tragic death, and only afterward does she realize he is sincere.
Hardin & Tessa - 'After'
Hardin is the typical bad boy. He is shady, handsome, and indifferent. His cold demeanor and good looks attract Tessa, a new student on campus. Tessa struggles to keep her feelings buried and ultimately lets her guard down.
Hardin is pure evil at first, but he falls head over heels for her later. He has to walk the hard and rocky road to redemption to win Tessa's heart and a happy ending finally.
Bill & Sookie - 'True Blood'
Fans of "True Blood" will remember how hot vampire Bill Compton struggles with the "necessary evil" evil in his life. He is the ultimate bad boy, e sulking, sexy blood-thirsty monster.
Sookie is the only one who sees through Bill's hardened exterior to the sensitive 19th-century gentleman within. The attraction between them is irresistible, and he appropriately calls her "vampire bait."
Frances & Johnny - 'Dirty Dancing'
No other couple had the same magic chemistry dancing together as Patrick Swayze and Jennifer Grey as a mismatched couple of Johnny and Baby, AKA Frances in "Dirty Dancing.". Baby was daddy's little girl, a brilliant student with aspirations for the Ivy League.
Johnny is the dance teacher at a family resort, a sometimes gigolo, and a bad boy from the wrong side of the tracks with no future to speak of. He despises her at first, then falls hard for her sweetness when he has to teach her to dance. It all ends well with an iconic dance number we will remember forever.
Lelaina & Troy - 'Reality Bites'
Winona Ryder and Ethan Hawke as Lelaina Pierce and Troy Dyer were unforgettable in the 1994 rom-com "Reality Bites." Unlike other rom-coms, the film dealt with sensitive subjects like promiscuity, AIDS, and coming out as gay.
Central to the action is the romance between Leilaina and Troy. She finished college as valedictorian and is set to become a filmmaker, he is a bad boy and a failing musician, but somehow they end up in love, ending happily.
Halley & Macon - 'How to Deal'
"How to Deal" is a 2000 film with Mandy Moore and Trent Ford as good girl Halley Martin and bad-boy misfit Macon Forrester. Against all odds, Macon manages to reach Hailey's heart.
The two fall in love and help Hailey's best friend, Scarlett, through a teen pregnancy after her boyfriend, and Macon's best friend dies. Love transforms them both and leads them to happiness.
Jacob & Hannah - 'Crazy, Stupid, Love'
In "Crazy, Stupid Love," a middle-aged divorced man gets back into dating mentored by a slick seducer, Jacob Palmer, brilliantly played by Ryan Gosling. He ends up reuniting with his ex-wife, and all seems well.
Then he discovers that the promiscuous bad boy Jacob is dating his older daughter, Hannah. He refuses to allow Jacob to continue to see his daughter even though the bad boy tells him Hannah has changed him.
Kat & Patrick - '10 Things I Hate About You'
For some, the best bad boy/ good girl film is "10 Things I Hate About You" with Julia Stiles and Heath Ledger in a modern take on Shakespeare's "The Taming of the Shrew."
She is a straight A's student made bitter and sarcastic through disappointment in love; he is the bad boy bribed to date her by a boy in love with her sister. He falls for her, she finds out the truth, and they nearly miss their happily ever after.
Nathan & Haley - 'One Tree Hill'
The 2003 TV series "One Tree Hill" focuses on the rivalry between brothers Lucas and Nathan Scott and their high school life. Haley is Lucas' best friend and agrees to tutor bad boy Nathan in English if he stops tormenting his brother.
Nathan agrees but ends up learning more than he bargains for when he falls for good girl Haley, and she turns his life around. He makes up with his brother and marries Haley. Nathan changes from a bad boy to a good guy, all thanks to Haley.
Belle & The Beast - 'Beauty And The Beast'
The ultimate bad boy/ good girl pairing is also the oldest: "Beauty and the Beast." Based on a centuries-old French fairytale, the film tells the story of a sweet bookish girl, Belle, and a ferocious conniving monster, the Beast.
He forces her father to hand his daughter over in forfeit for his life, but as they get to know each other better, Belle and the Beast fall deeply in love, and it is her love that transforms him into the man of her dreams.
Jess & Justin - '13 Reasons Why'
Netflix's "134 Reasons Why" teen drama features an unforgettable bad boy/ good girl pairing in Jess and Justin. While she is kind and empathic, he is a rebellious jock from a troubled home.
Their relationship is strained, but he becomes a better person as they get to know each other. The two break up, then reconcile, but sadly, Justin's bad-boy past led to his being infected with HIV, and he dies.
John B & Sarah - 'Outer Banks'
Another Netflix series, "Outer Banks," premiered in 2020 and gave audiences a new bad boy, good girl couple in John B and Sarah. He is an orphan struggling to survive, and she comes from an indulgent wealthy family.
She has everything, he has nothing but his good looks and bad-boy swagger, and so, of course, she falls for him. They bring out the best and worse in each other. The series is ongoing, so there's the hope of a happy ending for John B and Sarah.
Phoebe & Cole - 'Charmed'
Love and witchcraft combine in the 1998 series "Charmed," which follows the lives of the supernaturally endowed Halliwell sisters and their adventures. Good girl/ good witch Phoebe Halliwell falls for the half-demon Cole, who is a bad boy through and through.
To be with Phoebe, Cole becomes fully human and gives up his powers. The couple marries, but there is no happily ever after as Cole is once again claimed by the dark side and ultimately dies for the love of Phoebe.
Allison & Wade - 'Cry-Baby'
In the 1990 musical "Cry Baby," Johnny Depp gives life to rock-a-billy gang leader Wade, who falls for country club good girl Allison, to the horror of her snobbish family. What Allison and Wade have in common is that they are both orphans.
However, Allison's parents die in a car crash, while bad boy Wade's parents are executed for being killers. After overcoming a series of obstacles, Alidson and Wade find happiness together.
Claire & John - 'The Breakfast Club'
In the cult1985 film "The Breakfast Club," five teens are held together in detention. Among them are bad boy John, the school rebel who is constantly in trouble, and Claire, described as a "princess," one of the popular kids from a privileged home.
Their initial antagonism becomes attraction as the film progresses, and they discover each other's hidden facets. By the movie's end, they have bonded, and she gives him one of her diamond earrings as a pledge.
Rapunzel & Flynn - 'Tangled'
Bad boys don't get better than Flynn, a thief who meets good girl (good princess) Rapunzel when he attempts to robe her tower in Disney's "Tangled.". She seals the deal by whacking him over the head with a skillet, and he falls madly in love.
Her magical healing hair leads them into many adventures until her identity is finally revealed. He risks his life to free her, and she ends up healing him with tears. The real magic, of course, is that she makes him into a good man./
Dylan & Brenda - 'Beverly Hills, 902102'
In time-honored fashion, the TV series "Beverly Hills, 902102" presented audiences with an unforgettable bad boy/ good girl couple: Dylan and Brenda. At first, they seem to have nothing in common except striking good looks.
Branda is down-to-earth and sensible, and Dylan is volatile and unpredictable. He is fighting alcoholism and remembering an abusive past, and her goodness helps heal him. Of course, her parents hate him, as good girls' parents always have bad boys.
Sandy & Danny - 'Grease'
Some claim that the most charming bad boy of all time is John Travolta as Danny Zuco, opposite sweet-as-pie good girl Olivia Newton-John in the 1971 movie, "Grease.". The plot of this hit musical-turned-film centers on the romance between a mismatched couple.
He's cool, she's not, but he still finds her hot. Danny struggles to admit he's fallen for a good girl, and Sandy is heartbroken. Then she decides to make some changes and meet him halfway. The rest, as they say, is a bad boy/ good girl history.