Relationships with age differences in TV shows.

Re-watching Dexter*, it’s occurred to me that there really aren’t that many TV relationships where there’s a big age difference. There are more in movies, typically where the older partner is a successful male actor and everyone pretty much ignores the age difference. But in TV? ISTM like there are fewer such relationships than there are in real life.

So, there’s Debra and Lundy in Dexter - one of the most believable and touching TV relationships I’ve ever seen; there’s an age difference of over 30 years, but they seem so well suited to each other.

In Friends, Phoebe’s brother married a woman his mother’s age and for a while Monica dated a man her father’s age. Ross dated a younger woman and the age difference caused lots of problems.

Charlie in Two and a Half Men often dates much younger women, though most of his serious flings were with women close to his age. Alan married a younger woman. They both slept with the same much older woman once. Hell, there’s so much sex in this show that it’d be weird if age difference hadn’t been part of it eventually.

Any more?

FWIW, I’m defining age difference roughly by the ‘half your age plus 7’ approach. IOW, it wouldn’t be weird to have a 50-year-old dating a 65-year-old, but 20 and 35 is something most people would consider an age difference.

*I considered putting this in a spoiler box, but saying ‘spoiler for Dexter’ would have made it equally obvious who I was talking about, unless anyone thought that maybe Dex and Lundy were going to get it on.

How about Dr Who? The Doctor is over 900 and Rose was under 20. Even if you go by the ages of the actors, Ecclestone was 41 and Piper 22.

Good one.

I don’t think the 900 years old bit counts, exactly, but the actor’s age does.

That’s made me realise that Angel was a fair bit older than Buffy even in human terms.

Holling Vincoeur and Shelly Tambo in Northern Exposure.

Bolander and the cellist on Homicide: Life on the Street. I think that was a 25-year age gap.

Ted Knight was 25 years older than Georgia Engel as a couple on the Mary Tyler Moore Show.

Sgt. Esterhaus married a high school girl on Hill Street Blues. (I liked Hill Street Blues, but that was a creepy storyline.)

Yeah, otherwise you’d have to include every 200-year old vampire who decides 15 year old girls are the appropriate social group to be hanging round with.

Age difference was the premise of an old Britcom called May to December. The lead female character, Zoe, was said to be 26 when the show started, and the man she started dating, Alec, was 53, more than twice her age.

I would guess it happens in Soap Operas frequently.

In Dallas, JR Ewing has numerous affairs with much younger women. He actually married Cally, who was less than half his age.

Sue Ellen had an affair with a Camp Counselor who was about half her age.

Yes, and it was freaking gross. (Not the human terms bit, the idea that an ancient vampire would be dating a high school girl and think that was okay. And have anything to talk about with her.)

No one’s touched on WHY there so many older men/younger women couplings in movies – or television.

My theory? Most of the writing’s done by middle-age guys.

When you expand the parameters to older schlubby men/younger hotter women, it’s even more apparent.

Disclaimer: Older schlubby man (who doesn’t mind those writers giving us older schlubby guys hope… well, okay, at least fueling our fantasies).

That storyline was a setup to explain Lisa Kudrow’s real life pregnancy: since his wie was so much older, she served as the surrogate for their triplets.The wife was played by Debra Jo Rupp, post-Seinfeld and pre-That 70’s Show.

Monica dated Richard, played by Tom Sellack, for a while. This gave a great episode, where her parents hear Richard is dating some young chickie. Monica’s father says he handled his midlife crisis by getting a sportscar. Conversation between Ross who knew about the relationship and Dad, who didn’t know who the chickie was:

Dad: I tell you what, Richard. You can use my sports car and I’ll…
Ross interupts: Dad, I’m begging you Do not finish that sentence.

Ross dated a young student and when her father, played by Bruce Willis, found out, he threatened to tell the university. THEN Daddie started dating Rachel.

Uh, I think this thread’s showing that there aren’t that many such relationships on TV.

Soaps might be the exception, genre-wise - good call; I’d kinda forgotten they existed. :smiley:

There is the rare older woman/younger man relationship on Carnivale between Ben (Nick Stahl, 20s) and Ruthie (Adrienne Barbeau, 50s).

Life with Fran had an older divorced woman with a 26 year old boyfriend, mirroring Fran Drescher’s current real life situation.

On Modern Family, Jay is married to Gloria, a woman closer to his adult children in age than she is to him.

On The Drew Carey Show, wasn’t Shirley Jones a love interest for awhile?

Yes, she went with Drew. One morning he came downstairs in her bathrobe singing I Think I Love You, only to run into her son Chip, played by Donny Bonaduce.

Charlie Harper also dated an older woman for a while, and his mom Evelyn dates young guys as a matter of course.

On Cougar Town, Courteney Cox (45) dated a character played by a 21-year-old actor. (I don’t know the characters’ ages, but I think both were pretty close.)

Though it hardly qualifies as a “relationship,” I suppose. They dropped him after only a few episodes, and there hasn’t been much cougaring going on since then.

And as I recall, the relationship fell apart when Shirley met Drew’s mother (played by Marion Ross) and the two ended up reminiscing about the good old days.