Love is in the television air. A little bit of romance has been integral to many a story and TV shows are no different. Some, like Jane the Virgin, are set up to play out like a romance (it is a telenovela after all), while others, like Brooklyn Nine-Nine are sitcoms with a great romantic subplot we can’t get enough of. After all, what’s a story without some romantic tension between two people who (on TV, at least) can take seasons before getting it together?
Last time, we chose some of our favorite TV proposals. This year, we’re taking it back to the very early days of some of TV’s most iconic couples: their first kiss. For some couples on the list, it was their first kiss, for others, maybe their second. Regardless, these kisses kick-started their relationships in some shape or form. The best first kisses aren’t ranked, but simply chosen for their memorability.
Read through to find out which TV couples’ first kiss made our list!
Mindy and Danny – The Mindy Project
The buildup to Mindy and Danny’s first kiss was excruciatingly full of tension during The Mindy Project’s second season. From small, sweet comments to Danny performing a sexy dance for Mindy on her birthday, fans of the show tuned in every week dying to know if this would be the episode that they would finally get together. With that much anticipation, the show waited right until the moment where it would have all diffused to give fans The Kiss. Mindy and Danny’s first kiss surpassed those heady expectations when he walked up to her on the airplane and kissed her with the same passion that we see Mindy’s favorite romantic comedies. —Gabrielle Bondi
Amy and Jonah – Superstore
Ever since Jonah walked into Cloud 9, we all could see that Amy and Jonah were fated to be together on Superstore. From the way Amy stopped him in his tracks on his first day to their funny bickering throughout the seasons, there wasn’t anything overtly romantic between them, especially since Amy was married. However, the show’s focus on their chemistry made fans eager to see if Amy and Jonah would ever hook up. All it took was a tornado for Amy and Jonah to embrace and kiss each other like their lives depended on it. It was as passionate, surprising, and funny as fans expected and made viewers more invested in these two characters. —Gabrielle Bondi
Nick and Jess – New Girl
Starting from the pilot, everyone had just one question: when were Nick and Jess going to get together? Sure, they started out as polar opposites but the sexual tension between them was to the point of distracting. Jess is bubbly and loves polka dots, while Nick is cynical and prefers to drink his problems away rather than approach them. But, despite the glaring differences, these two managed to fall madly in love with each other.
After watching Nick and Jess go on the will they/won’t they rollercoaster, fans finally got their due during the 15th episode of the second season. After a particularly awkward moment of being trapped in a room with Jess, Nick pulls her into a passionate kiss that still leaves me blushing to this day. While Nick and Jess weren’t handled particularly well on the show, their first kiss will always be a reminder that some of the show’s best moments revolved around these two lovebirds. —Yasmine Kleinbart
Barry and Iris – The Flash
Barry and Iris’ original first kiss (because there have indeed been at least three first-first kisses) is special because it was coming in the midst of some tension and buildup. It had only been a few episodes since Barry had confessed his feelings for Iris and Iris confirmed with words that she reciprocated those same romantic feelings. It was epic and sweeping and even included a 360 degree camera shot, of course. But then it got erased, because, you know, time travel. However, the first kiss that made this list is actually the one from season three’s second episode, “Paradox.”
After Flashpoint, Barry discovers he’d once again erased their second first kiss in the season two finale, among several other changes he’d come to realize later. Despite several false starts to their romantic relationship, this particular kiss is far more special because they are finally on the same page. There are no more obstacles standing in their way, no what-ifs or setbacks to prevent them from finally being together. They’ve agreed that it doesn’t matter when or where they are, they’d always find each other. The kiss itself looks great aesthetically as well. They’re both on the porch, moonlight bathing them in a warm glow as they lean forward and lock lips. It’s gentle, beautiful, deep, and full of promises as they happily move into the next stage of their relationship. —Mae Abdulbaki
Ben and Leslie – Parks and Recreation
The romance of Leslie Knope and the one guy great enough to deserve her, Ben Wyatt, started as most favorite TV relationships do: at loggerheads. Leslie initially saw Ben as a heartless numbers guy with no understanding of the work she does. They quickly became allies and friends, though, as they worked together to get the Pawnee Harvest Festival up and running and Ben got to be as impressed with Leslie as we all are. Unfortunately, because of their respective jobs, they were not allowed to ethically date each other publicly, even as it became very clear that they wanted to do.
So, after nearly an entire season of sexual tension and undeniable chemistry, the two friends finally found themselves alone on a business “Road Trip” to Indianapolis. This seemed like the perfect time to make a move until their boss Chris surprises them. They proceed to spend the entire episode thwarting their tension and they succeed in doing the right thing. Until, finally, once back in Pawnee, Ben kisses Leslie at his office, surprising but finally satisfying both of them and everyone watching. Things don’t get easier after that, but it is undeniably the start of a great romance. With one kiss and Leslie’s “uh-oh,” the lives of Leslie and Ben changed forever. —Beth Winchester
Joey and Pacey – Dawson’s Creek
The romance of sad girl-next-door Joey Potter and class clown Pacey Witter is partially so fantastic because it wasn’t supposed to happen. Dawson Leery is the bountifully blonde-haired romantic hero, right? And Joey, his best friend, has been pining for him for ages. We expect them to fall in love—and they do, briefly. But it falls apart pretty fast, and soon, somewhere in the second season, Joey and Dawson’s best guy friend Pacey start getting closer despite themselves.
The idea of a Pacey-Joey attraction was flirted with in season one, and Pacey does actually kiss her, but that happens primarily to get Dawson to realize his own latent feelings for Joey. Instead, the “real” first kiss, the one that both parties want, happens near the end of season two, after Joey and Pacey have become real friends and the show has dropped megaton hints that Pacey is crushing on Joey. After dumping her college boyfriend, Joey calls Pacey to pick her up and Pacey wants to know what’s going on between them. Joey doesn’t have a good answer other than, “I like to talk to you.” Pacey asks, “Don’t you get tired of talkin’?” and then kisses her for real. It takes a few more episodes for Pacey and Joey’s relationship to really start, but once it does the idea of Joey and Dawson becomes a faint memory. —Beth Winchester
Jane and Rafael – Jane the Virgin
Jane and Rafael have had a bumpy relationship over the course of the show–from relative strangers to significant others, exes to friends, and, finally, to partners and lovers–but it’s been clear from the start that they are meant to be. It doesn’t take long for them to have their first kiss, which comes during season one’s fifth episode, “Chapter Five.” Jane had just broken up with her boyfriend, Michael, after being at odds over Jane being accidentally inseminated with Rafael’s sperm. It had been a tough decision, but she knows it’s one that felt right at the time. Enter Rafael, who finds her at the bench, worried because she looked down. It doesn’t take long for Jane to spill the beans.
Music is already playing in the background and Rafael takes Jane’s face into his hands, pulls her in, and kisses her passionately. Jane pulls back momentarily, most likely a bit surprised, but pleased. But she only waits a beat to smile before kissing Rafael again. Their first kiss is very romantic, theatrically sweeping in every sense. Rose petals fall around them and Jane is physically swept off her feet. It’s a kiss of epic proportions. For that one moment, everything felt perfect between Jane and Rafael. And it was.–Mae Abdulbaki
Jake and Amy – Brooklyn Nine-Nine
As is the case with many a Mike Schur show, the main couple has a chemistry that simply clicks. With Amy (Melissa Fumero) and Jake (Andy Samberg), there’s a synergy that plays beautifully because as much as Jake is supposed to behave like the wild card oddball, Amy has been showcased to be just as much as a weirdo as her then co-worker, boyfriend and now husband. They never take away from one another’s accomplishments or characteristics and their coupling didn’t derail from the show’s plot or overall tone. It added another layer to an already charming and hilarious show with two members of TV’s best comedic ensemble getting the chance to throw romance into their already varied bag of tricks. The first kiss was as sweet as to be expected while not straying too far from humor with the perfect amount of will they/won’t they lead up. It amounted to just the right of tension before their lips met. It’s was playful and cute and the embodiment of who these characters were both together and apart.–Allyson Johnson
Niles and Daphne – Frasier
Talk about a long time coming. The show Frasier managed to string viewers along for seven seasons as they watched Niles Crane pine for the oblivious Daphne Moon from afar. In the season seven finale, Daphne finally realizes she returns his feelings… the night before her wedding to another man. Oh, and Niles is on his honeymoon. There are few ways the timing could be worse, but none of this stops us from rooting for Niles and Daphne to finally get it together and get together. When Daphne just goes for it and finally kisses Niles, hearts soared, then they sank when she decided she couldn’t go through with it. Then the next day, Daphne shows up, still in her wedding dress, to drive off into the sunset with Niles for the finale, kicking off a new phase in their relationship, which would eventually include marriage and the birth of their son. —Andrea Thompson