It’s Valentine’s Day and romance on TV is still very much alive! In honor of love, The Young Folks got together to choose and rank what we believe to be the best TV proposals. Some proposals were extravagant, while others were more simple, but all of them were heartfelt and genuine. Regardless of the kind of proposal though, each one was unique to the couple and felt right in the moment the big question was asked. The TYF writers dug deep about why they think these proposals deserve to be on the list and what stood out for them in the respective scenes.
So without further ado, here are the eleven best TV proposals! Don’t see your favorite proposal on the list? Let us know in the comments which proposal you would have picked and why!
11. Shawn & Juliet, Psych
How can you not love Juliet and Shawn together? This is a proposal that melts my geek heart. After eight long seasons of Psych, Shawn finally reunited with Juliet in San Francisco and proposed. He gave up a good thing as a fake psychic to be with the person he loved, and his proposal was a touching one. They loved each other and it wasn’t a conventional proposal that needed all these big romantic props or cliché moments. Shawn and Juliet reuniting was beautiful enough. Though, in true Psych fashion, something bad had to ruin it.
Strangely enough, someone stealing the ring as he proposed, and the couple then chasing after the criminal, represented a lot of their relationship. They’re quirky, they bonded over work and their cases always end up in a fiasco, but they’re perfect together. Their proposal felt true to their characters and to the show – it was a perfect way to end the series. —Justin Carreiro
10. Daphne & Niles, Fraiser
Sometimes a proposal is beautiful because everything comes together to create the perfect romantic moment that makes popping the question the truly romantic gesture it’s meant to be. But sometimes you plan everything and life throws a wrench into things, leaving only you and the person you’re with to create that moment. When Niles decided to ask Daphne to marry him on Frasier, he planned a grand elaborate dinner as a surprise, only for Daphne to come down with the flu. As Frasier hilariously and surreptitiously herded the choir, the cherubs, and everyone else (it was meant to be a very elaborate proposal) out of the apartment, Niles realizes once again how much he wanted Daphne to be his wife, even without all the accompaniments. When Daphne tearfully, happily accepted, it became one of the best and most memorable TV proposals, then one of the most side-splitting after Frasier is forced to tackle a trumpet player to prevent him from serenading the newly engaged couple. —Andrea Thompson
9. Barney & Robin, How I Met Your Mother
When you think romantic proposals, Barney’s proposal to Robin in How I Met Your Mother is one that at first glance you wouldn’t think was romantic but once you sit and look back at their relationship it’s a proposal that could only work for them. Not only do they break up months before but Barney fake dates Robin’s annoying coworker, Patrice, whom she hates. Not only that, but Barney makes Robin believe he will propose to Patrice at her favorite spot in New York City. She comes to find out he was executing his final play in his playbook which he named “The Robin.” While his antics might have been sick and questionable, his motives were pure. The moment he professed his undying love for her and proved once and for all his playboy ways were done because of her, you couldn’t help but allow you heart to melt for Barney and Robin. They were anything but original so it only makes sense that their proposal is as twisty as they were. —Savannah Brock
8. Luke & Lorelai, Gilmore Girls
In true Gilmore Girls fashion, it’s Lorelai who goes down on one knee to propose to Luke. It’s a moment fans have been waiting for since the very beginning of the show when Lorelai walked into Luke’s Diner yelling for coffee.
Although this spontaneous proposal doesn’t directly lead to a wedding – we’ve got to go through some big road bumps *cough* Christopher *cough* for Lorelai and Luke to finally say “I do” – this moment is still very special. I love how Luke doesn’t hesitate to answer “yes.” I also love how it’s Luke’s dedication to helping out Rory that makes Lorelai realize he’s the one. The fact that she makes the grand gesture in this relationship says a lot about how much the sometimes commitment-phobic Lorelai truly loves Luke. —Gabrielle Bondi
7. Michael & Holly, The Office
How does someone even explain this proposal? We all know Michael as the hilarious, no-filter type of guy but deep down and underneath all the sarcastic ass responses, he has feelings. Was it a perfect proposal? Nope. We all knew that though. Of course it wasn’t going to be perfect because Michael always has some way of ruining it. However, this time it wasn’t really his fault. He just put a fire hazard everywhere in the HR room. You know, normal. Michael found his match in Holly, who would shamelessly talk like Yoda with him and it was a great moment after some time spent with Michael pining after Holly and her moving away. And as much as it was a happy moment for everyone in the room, it fell fast as soon as he announced he’d be leaving. How can someone put, “I hate you but we really love you, please don’t leave” on a cake? –Ashley Bulayo
6. Jake & Amy, Brooklyn Nine-Nine
The Halloween episodes of Brooklyn Nine-Nine have been a staple of the show since the very beginning. Every season, someone different wins the precinct heist in new and absurd ways. But season five’s “HalloVeen” episode takes home the prize for best one yet. Because not only is it another heist episode, but it’s also the episode Jake proposes to Amy. What I like about Jake and Amy’s relationship is that it doesn’t always take center stage of the show, allowing both characters to have meaningful story lines all on their own. Using the familiar gag of the Halloween heist story structure, Brooklyn Nine-Nine is able to refresh a trope of the show that might not have lasted past this season while also giving its core couple a sweet and moving step forward in their relationship. The heists might have been started by Jake, but it’s been adopted by the whole Nine-Nine precinct as something that brings them together. —Katey Stoetzel
5. Barry & Iris, The Flash
For a couple who have had several first kisses, two (official) first dates, and two love confessions, it’s safe to say that two proposals for isn’t out of the norm for Barry Allen and Iris West. While the first proposal surprised many fans (myself included)–especially given the proclivity for Barry’s sweeping romantic gestures–it’s the second proposal that really touches an emotional chord and feels more in line with their love story. At the end of the musical crossover episode, “Duet,” Barry comes back home to the loft he shares with Iris and, still wrapped up in the world of song, begins singing “Runnin’ Home to You” to her. The original song, written by Benj Pasek and Justin Paul (La La Land), strikes just the right balance between romantic and heartwarming, soft and sweet. The lyrics are the window into the soul of Barry and Iris’ romance and the impact she has always had on his life. The song is genuine and filled with the promise that Barry, no matter what, will always come home to Iris. The dim blue lighting and the soft glow coming through the curtains bathes the couple in light and only adds to the entrancing moment as Barry pulls out the engagement ring for the second time, much to the surprise of Iris. From the simple execution to the overall gentleness of the acting from Candice Patton and Grant Gustin, the scene is beautiful and so very perfect for this superhero couple. —Mae Abdulbaki
4. Jim & Pam, The Office
How do I even begin this? Everyone was waiting for this moment since season two and three, when they had the whole “will they/won’t they” situation. We all knew that the nice guy, Jim, will most definitely finish last and he didn’t and he and Pam ended up together. I think the best thing about this proposal was the fact it was so… real. It’s something that can literally happen any single day. It wasn’t a full on production. There weren’t any candles, rose petals, or a huge flash mob to greet Pam. It was such a Jim Halpert move. It fit the two perfectly because they aren’t ones to be so extravagant and so this was the perfect way to tie this fictional couple together. Their own wedding day was also not at all about who was with them. They made everything about just the two of them. That is love. —Ashley Bulayo
3. Cory & Topanga, Boy Meets World
Growing up, Cory and Topanga were the quintessential love story. Of course I would find my soulmate in my adolescence. Of course I would follow said person wherever they decided to go in life, track their ambitions, and be lovesick teens together (even amid a possible ski lodge tryst). And then, on the eve of taking that next BIG step into adulthood, at our high school graduation, we’d become engaged! Voila, love is real. Of course, life is messier than that and as I grew from child to teen to adult I learned that rapidly. However, that proposal always stuck in my mind with the power of allowing Topanga to take charge, of showing Cory so earnestly gobsmacked, and the swell of excitement that swelled around me as I saw such an endearing couple make such a serious commitment. Their love was conveyed with such sincerity and sweetness it was hard not to root for them as they made great strides into the future, no matter the bumps in store for them. —Allyson Johnson
2. Leslie & Ben, Parks and Recreation
In one of the greatest fake-outs in sitcom history, Ben is offered a job that would take him far away from Pawnee, even though he and Leslie have just found their dream home together. When Leslie goes back to the house alone for one last glimpse at what might have been, Ben emerges and pops the big question. Before he can even get the words out, Leslie stops him so she can properly absorb the magic of Ben’s heartfelt decision to choose love over career: “I need to remember every little thing about how perfect my life is at this exact moment.” She then shouts “YES!” before he can finish the question. Television’s most adorable couple was actually going to tie the knot, and Leslie Knope’s unwavering optimism was finally paying off. The proposal was so spectacular that she probably didn’t even care that the house didn’t have a trampoline room. —Brian Thompson
1. Chandler & Monica, Friends
Chandler Bing and Monica Gellar have one of the best TV relationships, so it’s only right that their proposal is our favorite. Their first romantic connection – a drunken hook-up – took every viewer by delighted surprise. That was at the end of season four and two seasons later Chandler was ready to propose. In an hour-long episode, we watch Chandler attempt to propose at dinner. Then the famous Richard, Monica’s first love, happens to be there and sits with them – so he can’t propose. Then Chandler thinks Monica’s on to his plan, and decides to throw her off by talking about how he hates marriage.
This coincides with Richard finding Monica to tell her that he still loves her. A series of events ensues where Chandler realizes what’s at stake and has to find Monica before she turns to Richard. Joey tells Chandler that “Monica’s gone” and has left him – and just when we’re with Chandler, thinking he ruined everything, he opens their apartment door to see Monica standing there, surrounded by candles. It’s finally happening! Monica gets on her knees to propose, but is crying through her words. Chandler gets on his knees with her and finishes the proposal with the promise that “the only thing that matters is that you make me happier than I ever thought I could be… and if you let me, I will spend the rest of my life trying to make you feel the same way.” It’s a pretty perfect proposal, and one that this great TV couple deserves. —Beth Winchester