Shippers either celebrate or mourn their ships reaching this huge milestone. When half a ship courageously utters those three little words, there is a moment of "will he/she say it back?"
Hopefully, the love is mutual, but sometimes, even when it is, "I Love You," isn't the first thing to come out of the character's mouth.
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Sometimes it is a shock, doubt, fear, or just the fact that they don't, in fact, love the other person back. Its tragic and awful but also memorable, awkward, and sometimes hilarious.
Take a look below to see our picks for epically awful reactions to " I Love You," and let us know in the comments if we missed anything or if you disagree.
Steve and D.J. -- "This is Incredible! Yes, Thank You!"
On Full House Season 6 Episode 5 Steve tells D.J. that he loves her. She is so overwhelmed, happy, and grateful, that it doesn't occur to her to say it back. She thanks him, which isn't exactly what he was expecting. Steve is understandably disappointed. However, with some prompting, she realizes her mistake and remedies it. You could tell from her reaction that she loved him, but it is always nice to hear.
Cory and Topanga -- "Yes. Can we go now?
On Boy Meets World Season 3 Episode 3, Cory tells his longtime friend and relatively new girlfriend, Topanga, that he loves her. When she doesn't respond, he asks if she heard him, and she says that she did and asks if they can leave. Cory is naturally confused. When she dumps him soon afterward, he is devasted. As the episode nears a close, Topanga admits that she is scared and doesn't know what love means at fourteen-years-old. Cory tells her what it means to him, and she finally tells him she loves him too. All's well that ends well.
Ross and Emily -- "Thank You"
On Friends Season 4 Episode 17 Ross goes for the big romantic moment, confessing his love to Emily before she hops on a plane back to England. Her response is gratitude, but unlike D.J., she doesn't follow it up with an "I Love You" that same scene. As it turns out, Emily was seeing someone else in England and had not yet chosen between the two guys. Ross flies to England to fight for her, not realizing that Emily has flown back to the states to tell him she ended it with the other guy and she loves him back. She ends up telling him over the phone, but believe us when we say that he is very grateful.
Donna and Eric -- "I love cake."
On That 70s Show Season 2 Episode 7, Donna tells Eric that she loves him after he distracts her from her parent's separation with his dorky humor. Eric freezes and tells her he loves cake. Later, Eric takes Hyde's advice and tells her he loves her, but he is super awkward and weird; Donna is not pleased. She says she said it because she felt it, not so he would say it back. They talk about how saying it has changed things and could change things and decide to pretend like it never happened. However, when the episode ends, Eric says it for the reason Donna initially did, because it is what he feels. Donna says it back, they kiss and nobody mentions cake.
Harvey and Sabrina -- " ... ... ... "
On Sabrina the Teenage Witch Season 3 Episode 24, Harvey decides to declare his love to his girlfriend, Sabrina. She loves him too and can't wait to say it back, but there is the small matter of her having cast a spell that makes her effectively mute. After an episode of running around in a silent movie, she gets her voice back and brightens up a dejected Harvey's night by telling him she loves him. He tries to play it cool but you can see in the first few seconds how happy and amazed he is that a girl like her could love a guy like him.
Dean and Rory -- "I love the car."
On Gilmore Girls Season 1 Episode 16 Dean and Rory celebrate their three month anniversary, complete with a romantic dinner, cuddling in the car he's building for her, and him saying "I Love You." Rory doesn't respond right away. Dean prompts her, asking if she heard him and if she has anything to say. She blurts out that she loves the car. This leads to a fight and a break-up (the first of many). Dean doesn't take to kindly to Rory not being ready to say those three words for the first time. He wasn't exactly fair, but then, he was only sixteen. The two reconcile on Gilmore Girls Season 1 Episode 21 when Rory finally yells, "Because I love you, you idiot!"
Marissa and Ryan -- "Thank You."
So, this seems to happen a lot, but that doesn't make it any less awkward. On The O.C. Season 1 Episode 14, Marissa accidentally blurts out "I Love You" while caught up in the moment of being in Ryan's arms, everything they've been through this past year fresh on her mind. They both stiffen in their embrace, and Marissa sort of tries to backtrack, thinking she's freaked Ryan out. Her fears are not alleviated when Ryan thanks her. She seems kind of pissed, and who wouldn't be? Sure, it was polite, but Ryan is still racing against the clock to tell Marissa he loves her before the ball drops New Year's Eve. Thankfully, he makes it just in time. And she thanks him.
Ted and Robin -- "What?"
So, this one is a bit of a cheat, because what else was she supposed to say? Is there any good response to being told "I Love You" by a guy you just met on the first date? On How I Met Your Mother Season 1 Episode 1, Ted meets Robin and goes on his first date with her, which was going pretty well until he said he loves her. His kids, his friends, and Robin were all shocked and confused by how strong Ted came on. Honestly, if she said it back, we would probably judge her a little. Still, couldn't have been fun for Ted.
Mindy and Josh -- "See ya in chemistry."
On Drake and Josh Season 4 Episode 4, Mindy Crenshaw tells Josh that she loves him. He tells her he'll see her in chemistry and promptly slams the door in her face. Josh lets his brother Drake convince him that Mindy is just trying to distract him from his science project as the two have always been academic rivals. Between Josh's hurtful doubting of Mindy's motives and his inability to suss out his feelings, this lack of reciprocated "I love you" leads to an inevitable break up. While the couple eventually gets back together, this was a hard one for fans at that time.
Dan and Serena -- "Dan, I'm not pregnant, so you don't have to say that ..."
On Gossip Girl Season 1 Episode 13 a pregnancy scare leads to Dan professing his love for Serena. She shrugs it off, thinking he was just trying to be a good guy and not taking it seriously. He spends a large part of the episode trying to say it for real, and when he finally does, all she can say is "okay," which he says is "not okay." After examining the source of her trust issues and a monologue from Dan about why he loves her, Serena is finally able to say it back. Despite everything she learns about Dan by the end of the series, Serena loves Dan Humphrey, always has, always will.
Leonard and Penny -- "Thank You"
The last stop on the gratitude train, Leonard tells Penny he loves her On The Big Bang Theory Season 3 Episode 19 while the two are cuddling in bed post-coitus. Unlike Ryan, who just couldn't say it, Penny is not yet sure she feels it. And unlike Dean, Leonard doesn't dump her for not being able to say it back. He does pressure her a little, and while they seem to get past it at first, Penny ends up dumping him. She realizes that maybe it is unfair for her to string Leonard along when his feelings for her are more profound, and she can't promise she'll ever get there. The two get back together years later, and Penny finally says "I Love You" to Leonard on The Big Bang Theory Season 6 Episode 8.
April and Andy -- "Dude, shut up! That is awesomesauce!"
On Parks and Recreation Season 3 Episode 7, April tells Andy she loves him. He is totally psyched, and he tries to high-five her after telling her that it is "awesomesauce." April is, understandably, pissed, and Andy spends the rest of the episode trying to find out what he did to piss her off. Ron finally points out what should have been obvious; April is pissed because Andy didn't say "I Love You" back. So he tells her that he does and that that is what makes the sauce so awesome. This one was just really a failure to communicate and Andy being Andy. He had no problem saying it; he just didn't realize that it wasn't implicit.
Dan and Blair -- "I do now."
Gossip Girl Season 5 Episode 22 finds Dan doubting Blair's feelings for him in competition with her previous feelings for her ex Chuck. When Dan tells Blair he loves her, he poses it as a question asking if she knows how he feels. She tells him that she does now that he's said it and to come along to dinner with her. He may not call her out on not saying it back, but it doesn't go unnoticed by Dan. Blair's failure to say those three little words is the beginning of the end for Dair. This one never comes back around; she didn't say it because she loves Chuck as unfortunate as that may be, and she ends the series as Mrs. Chuck Bass.
Wade and Zoe -- "Wow!"
On Hart of Dixie Season 2, Episode 22 Wade confesses his love to Zoe after driving half-way across the state to catch her before she boarded a plane to New York. All Zoe can say is "Wow," leaving Wade disappointed and underwhelmed. In Zoe's defense, they only broke-up due to Wade's infidelity a few short months ago and recently had very confusing relapse sex. Zoe explains that does have feelings for Wade, but she's still getting over Wade's cheating, and she needs some time and space. She finally tells Wade she loves him on Hart of Dixie Season 3 Episode 22, which is pretty much a year later by viewer standards, and a year and a half later for the characters.
Nick and Jess -- Finger Guns
On New Girl Season 3 Episode 14, Jess and Cece get to take a limo to a party at Prince's house, and as he's seeing them off, those three little words accidentally slip out of Nick's mouth. Jess is so shocked, she makes finger guns with her hands, and then the limo drives off. She's mortified, and Nick doesn't want to lose her, so he crashes the party to take it back even though he meant it. Prince gives them a bizarro couples counseling session, and Jess realizes that she's just scared of saying it and losing Nick. By the end of the episode, Jess has confessed her love to Nick on the dance floor with a Prince song playing in the background. It doesn't get more sitcom-y than that.
Amy and Jake -- "Noice. Smart."
Brooklyn 99 Season 3 Episode 13 sees Jake and Amy fighting on a couples retreat, but when Jake does what is important to Amy even though he doesn't want to, she confesses her love for the first time. His response is an attempt at acting cool, but when he sees her flinch about it, he gets serious. It was a minimal delay, but if Jake hadn't followed up with an "I Love You," Amy would have been justifiably upset. At least he figured it out without any real prompting.
Kelly and Jonah -- "I think we should break up."
Jonah is super-lovable, but I think we can all agree that he was a horrible boyfriend to Kelly. It is never more apparent than on Superstore Season 3 Episode 21. After being a barely there boyfriend for months then kissing Amy, Jonah leads Kelly to believe he is all in. In his efforts to avoid Amy, he clings to Kelly acting goofy and adorable, finding excuses to kiss her, hold her hand, and just generally be around her. Jonah even says he wants to meet her parents because he thinks they are getting serious. So, after Kelly sets up brunch with her parents, she tells Jonah that she loves him and he promptly dumps her. So, pretty mixed signals.