This past Valentine’s day, I was nostalgic for my TV youth. Sitting in front of the screen as a teenager with boxes of chocolate I bought myself, living vicariously through the fictional characters with bold, dramatic love lives. Now that I’m older and not so much wiser, but more cynical, I am more the type to roll my eyes than giggle while watching the TV hero woo the girl. But when I rewatch these seven dramatic speeches, I remember the flutters all over again. So, whether you’re looking for the inspiration to sweet talk someone you may have disappointed this weekend, or just like remembering how romantic television can be, go ahead and swoon – no one’s watching.
1. Meredith’s speech to Derek, Grey’s Anatomy
“I lied, I’m not out of this relationship. I’m in. I’m so in it’s humiliating because here I am begging…Okay here it is. Your choice, it’s simple: her or me and I’m sure she’s really great, but Derek I love you in a really, really big way. Pretend to like your taste in music, let you eat the last piece of cheesecake, hold a radio above my head outside your window, unfortunate way that makes me hate you, love you. So pick me, choose me, love me.”
Stellar and heartbreaking moment for Meredith who until this point could hardly express her feelings to anyone, let alone tell Derek exactly what she wants and how she feels. Watch the clip here.
2. Michael’s Goodbye to Maria, Roswell
“I wanted to say that this thing has been screwed up from the beginning. You and me. Us, Just the whole long, stupid story. But I wouldn’t trade it for anything. It’s meant so much to me. You know, from day one, from the moment I kidnapped you and stole your car…I knew you were the girl for me. I never wanted anyone else… I still don’t. Just…wherever I’m going, whatever I’m doing, just know I’ll always love you.”
….And then he rides off on his motorcycle. Maybe most people who watched Roswell were all about Max and Liz, but I always thought the B-couple, Michael and Maria with their on-off whirlwind, surprising relationship were the adorable ones. And this, stoic last goodbye summed Michael Guerin up to a T. Watch a fan video here.
3. Spike’s Regrets after Buffy comes back, Buffy The Vampire Slayer
“I do remember what I said. The promise. To protect her. If I had done that … even if I didn’t make it … you wouldn’t have had to jump. But I want you to know I did save you. Not when it counted, of course, but … after that. Every night after that. I see it all again … do something different. Faster or more clever, you know? Dozens of times, lots of different ways … Every night I save you.”
Ah Spike. He went on a horrible downward spiral in later seasons, but this speech right when Buffy comes back brings you back to the moment you see him sobbing when he sees her dead body – it’s the speech that made him a fan favorite – the reason Joss Whedon and the other writers gave Buffy another vampire life interest even though Angel was supposed to be the only one. So, let’s try to remember Spike as the noble guy who saved Buffy in his head over and over again. Watch a super dramatic fan-made cut of the scene here.
4. Seth apologizes to Summer, The O.C.
“It’s not like now that me and Anna broke up, I’m now choosing you. Okay, ’cause the whole reason that we broke up is ’cause for me, it’s always been you Summer, it’s always been you. I’ve tried to fight it and I’ve tried to deny it and I can’t. I can’t do it. You’re undeniable.”
I mean, this isn’t exactly top notch swoon-worthy material – it’s kind of irritating that Seth jumped between Anna and Summer and basically didn’t deserve either, but when he throws down the “there’s no one else” gauntlet, you kind of had to forgive him. Watch the moment here.
5. Lucas explains why he loves Brooke, One Tree Hill
“Because, you kink your eyebrow when you’re trying to be cute. Because you quote Camus even though I’ve never actually seen you read. Because you miss your parents, but you’ll never ever admit that! And because I’ve given exactly two of these embarrassing speeches in my life, and they’ve both been with you. I mean, that’s gotta mean something right?! And because we’re both gonna get pneumonia, but if you need to hear why I love you, I can go on all night.”
From the Brucas era when Lucas had to continuously prove that he loved Brooke and gave multiple over the top speeches that had her forgiving him for pretty much anything. This one is the best one because what makes a speech even more romantic? Rain. Duh. Watch the gooeyness here.
6. J.D. keeps it simple with Elliot, Scrubs
“Look Elliot, every year we bounce around this thing, and I never had the courage to stand up and tell you how I feel: I’m crazy about you, and I want you to know if I had the choice of hanging out with anyone in the entire world or sitting at home with you eating pizza and watching a crappy TV show, I’ll choose you every time.”
The subtly dramatic declaration. This is why Scrubs was so brilliant – they could go from the most hilarious moment, to the most romantic, to the most gut wrenching. And while JD and Turk were probably the OTP of this series, JD and Elliot were a close second. Sigh along here.
7 . Rachel loves Ross, Friends
“Ross, hi. It’s me, I just got back on the plane and I just feel awful. That is so not how I wanted things to end with us. It’s just that I wasn’t expecting to see you and all of a sudden you’re there and saying these things and now I’m just sitting here and thinking of all the stuff I should have said and didn’t. I mean, I didn’t even get to tell you that I love you too. I love you. I love you. What am I doing? I love you. I’ve got to see you. I’ve gotta get off this plane…”
“Oh my God. Did she get off the plane? Did she get off the plane?” Sigh… Watch it all over again here.