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Relationship Revolving Door

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So I cross my heart and I hope to die
That I'll only stay with you one more night
And I know I said it a million times
But I'll only stay with you one more night
Maroon 5, "One More Night"

One way of getting around the potential monotony of Will They or Won't They? is by getting them together... then breaking them up. Then getting them back together. Then breaking them up. This allows writers to both explore the pair as a romantic couple, but still (hopefully) avoid a Shipping Bed Death by keeping the relationship novel and keep an air of drama as the relationship isn't set in stone. (That said, there's still the looming threat of Romantic Plot Tumor if done poorly.) Naturally, this can be Truth in Television as people can break up with a lover but find themselves back together.

While this trope was once considered one of the main ways to create drama between the show's couples and keep viewers intrigued, as opposed to the standard characters that genuinely do love each other despite all the wacky shenanigans they get up to, in no small part thanks to a famous show in the fifties, and thus was seen as a nice breath of fresh air, it's slowly becoming more and more of Discredited Trope with each new generation of media. Indeed, because of the overuse of this trope, in no part thanks to a famous nineties show that took this trope to its Logical Extreme, this is slowly starting to be viewed as one of the ways to not write a relationship in fiction. Instead, it's often viewed better to have a couple who genuinely love each other despite their differences, and focus more on them trying to find a middle ground with each other's quirks, and at the end of the day, it all works out.

In other words, to paraphrase, the breath of fresh air ended up becoming a cliché itself, and making the cliché it replaced a breath of fresh air for a new generation.

Of course, writers often Take a Third Option by having a couple who's in a loving relationship, but not have it be the main focus, but that's a completely different topic entirely.

Remember though, despite it being viewed as a Discredited Trope among more recent media, this doesn't make it an inherently bad trope. This trope can be used as a fine source of drama in fiction, but it needs to be one that's handled with care. Have the couple break up too many times, and it'll end up stretching the audience's Willing Suspension of Disbelief, and it gets to the point where it's more annoying to viewers than interesting, causing a show to fall under.

Compare New Old Flame, which is usually a one-time getting back together and usually used as a form of Remember the New Guy? May result in Friends with Benefits for a while... but don't expect that to last terribly long. Sometimes starts with Sex with the Ex. This trope is a specific form of Yo Yo Plot Point.


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    Anime and Manga 
  • Dragon Ball: Bulma and Yamcha had a pretty rocky on-again-off-again relationship, partly due to Yamcha being a Chick Magnet and Bulma getting jealous over all the attention he kept getting from other girls. They split up for good in Dragon Ball Z, and Bulma eventually married Vegeta.
  • In Jormungand, Chiquita and Lehm have been married twice (and divorced twice). The reason behind their breakups hasn't been explored.
  • Lupin III:
    • The series has the "official couple" of Lupin and Fujiko, which is usually him chasing after her, but rare examples have Fujiko trying to get him to marry her, or the two of them actually united in purpose. Their on-again-off-again relationship is best summarized in The Castle of Cagliostro, as she explains to Clarisse:
      Fujiko: "We've been allies, and enemies, too. On occasion, we've even been lovers."
    • A good portion of Part 5 gives focus to the cyclic nature of the Lupin/Fujiko relationship, particularly with The Reveal that, in the interim between the last series and this one, Lupin and Fujiko actually settled down, tried to go straight, and even tied the knot. Unfortunately, they weren't able to maintain a Happily Married lifestyle for various reasons and divorced, causing Lupin to give Fujiko the cold shoulder early on (and there are a few times later on where she's just as frosty towards him). It's not until the final episode that they patch things up and go back to being an Outlaw Couple — and if their interactions in Part 6 are any indication (such as one episode depicting them trying to enjoy a romantic dinner together or Fujiko having moments of open, genuine affection towards Lupin), it sticks.
  • Touko from Random Walk constantly breaks up and makes up with her boyfriend Tsukasa. However, their relationship is never given focus by the narrative (with the breakup and make-up always happening off-screen), and these ups and downs only serve to influence what sort of romantic advice she will give to The Heroine, Yuka.

    Comic Books 
  • Aquaman and Mera have one of the most egregious examples, particularly pre-Flashpoint, as the death of their son Aquababy caused them to drift apart. When Mera came back, they were no longer officially together due to Aquaman hooking up with Dolphinnote , and stayed together mostly to keep with appearances, only reuniting for good after he came Back from the Dead at the end of Blackest Night. Post-Flashpoint, their relationship as fiancees was on more steady ground, but less certain on when they would finally consummate their relationship. That is, until they had a child and brought democracy to Atlantis in #65 of the Rebirth era.
  • Batgirl: Stephanie Brown and Tim Drake are constantly going through this, partially due to external factors and partially because Tim isn't the most supportive of boyfriends (though he has his moments), but is still one of a very small group of people who actually care about her at all. It's exceptionally notable since, even after the New 52 reboot, they're still at it!
  • The comic continuation of Buffy the Vampire Slayer does this with Buffy and her two vampire boyfriends, who she gets together with again and breaks up with again throughout the six-season run. By the final twelfth season, she's not with either of them and remains single, though a Maybe Ever After is implied with Spike.
  • Laura Dean Keeps Breaking Up With Me: The titular Laura Dean has dumped the main character Freddy three times by the time the story starts, and then proceeded to insert herself back into her life and act like they were together again without so much as an apology. Deconstructed, as the relationship is toxic in more ways than one, and Freddy's friends cannot figure out why she keeps taking her back. Freddy, for her part, is constantly walking on eggshells, paranoid that Laura Dean will dump her yet again. The story ends with Freddy breaking the cycle by breaking up with her for once, and outright telling her, "You're a shitty girlfriend."
  • Nightwing actually has two. Both Starfire and Barbara Gordon have been his on-and-off girlfriends through several real-world decades and three continuity reboots, and certain possible futures have shown that he could be very happy with either of them if DC Comics would let him. However, because True Love Is Boring, the editors will never allow the Love Triangle to be resolved within the main continuity, to the frustration of fans.
  • In Scott Pilgrim, Steven Stills and Julie Powers break up with each other then go back out with each other constantly, although as they're not a focus of the comic it's downplayed. By the end of the series, Steven realises he's gay and ends up in a relationship with Joseph.
    Knives: Sex Bob-Omb broke up?!
    Stephen: What? No. Me and Julie broke up.
    Knives: For like the fiftieth time.
  • X-Men: Rogue and Gambit have been in a constant state of on-and-off ever since Gambit first joined the X-Men, to the extent that it's practically a permanent sub-plot. While they both have declared love and devotion for one another on multiple occasions, the relationship never lasts too long before something happens and they end up separating again, only to reconcile at a later stage. This is partially due to the strain on the relationship caused by Rogue's mutation, meaning the pair can never make physical contact, but also both partners carry some serious emotional baggage that surfaces every so often, sometimes leading to a breakup, whilst other times bringing the pair together. 2018's Rogue & Gambit (2018), after a lenghty examination of this very trope, has the two decide to get back together, followed by an impromptu wedding in X-Men: Gold and a series depicting their (still chaotic) life together as newlyweds, but it remains to be seen if this time is for keeps.

    Fan Works 
  • Blood and Honor: "On, off, on again" is roughly the pattern for Quinn and Sanguis. They're attracted to each other almost from the start, but Quinn isn't willing to act on his feelings until Sanguis is about to leave the planet he's stationed on. Once he decides to transfer to her crew, he asks that they end their short relationship, and she (more or less) agrees. It takes him some time to change his mind again, but they remain together once he does.
  • Triptych Continuum: Stile has one with Allie Way. They're described as having breakups as regular and nearly impossible to reconcile as a seven-ten split.

    Live-Action TV 
  • Van and Earn from Atlanta are a more downplayed example of this, although they do have a child together. They live together off and on as well, although, for the most part, they aren't together.
  • The Big Bang Theory: Leonard and Penny have this kind of relationship, full of false starts, setbacks, and at least two notable breakups. As of Season 5, they're significantly more stable, but Penny's Commitment Issues have threatened to bring them back to square one a number of times. However, they move past it, and eventually marry—in some ways, by the last couple of seasons, they become the most stable and mature couple!
  • Bones:
    • Angela and Jack. They started off as friends, moved to UST, went on one date, decided it was too perfect and would end terribly, changed their minds, got engaged, found out she was already married, stayed together for a while, broke up, dated other people (in Angela's case mainly) and almost got engaged again because she thought she was pregnant with another man's child. Turns out she wasn't, but this prompted a Love Epiphany that lead to a spur-of-the-moment jail cell wedding. Finally resolved now and they seem to be Happily Married. Will They or Won't They? indeed...
    • Sweets and Daisy. They dated in Season 5 and he proposed, but they broke up when Daisy went with Brennan to Maluku. They started Season 6 as Friends with Benefits, insisting they weren't back together. Eventually he considered proposing again but decided not to. Then they were together in Season 7 and part of the eighth, breaking up when Daisy wanted to move in together and Sweets still didn’t want to think about getting married. They still couldn't stay away from each other and she got pregnant and they were married at the beginning of Season 10 when Sweets was killed.
  • Conversations With Friends: Frances is best friends with Bobbi, whom she previously dated. She begins seeing Nick, a married man. After they fall out, they get back together. Then she breaks up with him. She then gets back together with Bobbi. Yet at the end it's indicated she may also reunite with Nick-polyamory, perhaps.
  • Friends:
    • Ross and Rachel's relationship epitomized the trope for almost all ten seasons of its run and was the show's primary focus. All told, they were only really together for about one season, with everything else mainly being Ship Tease before they get back together for good in the Grand Finale.
    • Chandler had an on-and-off relationship with Janice for several years, even after Janice got married.
    • For the first season or two Monica had an on-and-off with "Fun Bobby." The gang realized that Fun Bobby had a drinking problem and helped him quit, but then discovered that without alcohol Bobby wasn't Fun.
  • Grey's Anatomy: With almost all of the major pairings, all of which easily span over three seasons.
    • Meredith and Derek. Ever counted the times they say "Finally this is over. Completely." only to be drawn right back together episodes later?
    • Alex and Izzie. They date, but Alex doesn't kiss Izzie at the end. Then They kiss and proceed to have sex, but Alex has, uhm, problems. Then he cheats on her with Olivia. Then along come Denny, Lexie, George, and Ava between them. Just as they're finally growing steady, Izzie is diagnosed with Stage 4 cancer. That, however, leads us to the grand wedding scene. Only to be followed by Izzie being fired from the hospital and leaving Alex.
    • Cristina and Owen. Two breakups, one divorce, interlaced with multiple "hot and cold" moments. Star-Crossed Lovers or what?
    • Mark and Lexie. The drama this pair creates really rivals their best friend/sister. The only difference being the outcome...
    • Callie and Arizona. First over the desire (or lack thereof) to have children, then over leaving the hospital to go to Africa. Most recently, with Arizona's amputation and cheating.
    • Jackson and April. Turns into a big Will They or Won't They? in Season 10 with the Love Triangle involving Matthew. They will.
  • How I Met Your Mother:
    • Ted and his high school/college girlfriend Karen. They'd have a cycle where he'd catch her cheating, break up, then eventually get back together, much to his friends' irritation.
    • Ted and Natalie had apparently gotten together and broken up three times.
    • To a lesser extent, Barney and Robin. They hooked up in Season 3, dated throughout Season 5, broke up, almost hooked up in Season 6, hooked up in Season 7, then got engaged in Season 8 before finally getting divorced a few years after marriage. Almost every period where they weren't dating involved an Unrequited Love Switcheroo.
  • New Girl:
    • Schmidt and Cece. At first they were casually hooking up, then they stopped when feelings got involved, then they were dating, then they broke up, then Schmidt declared his love for her, then Cece decided they weren't working, then they were friends with benefits, then she got engaged to someone else, then she broke off the wedding because she liked Schmidt, at which point they get together again... only for her to dump him when she learns he never broke up with his ex and had been dating them both. It's been a complicated story.
    • Off-screen, Nick and Caroline. Before the series began, she had dumped him three times. They get back together and break up at the end of the first season.
  • On The Office (US), Kelly and Ryan have this. To be fair, the relationship was largely one-sided, with Ryan pretty much dating Kelly when he was bored or not dating anyone else. There is an Unrequited Love Switcheroo in one episode when Pam sets Kelly up with a handsome Indian doctor and she has to choose between the two. Ryan then campaigns to get Kelly back, even riding in on a white horse outside the office. In the finale, they end up running off together.
  • In Once Upon a Time, Rumplestiltskin and Belle set the pattern from the first episode where Belle makes an appearance. Not coincidentally, this trope usually runs parallel to Rumplestiltskin's Heel–Face Revolving Door, since Belle believes in I Can Change My Beloved and Rumple does want to change for her sake: they get together and are briefly happy, then Rumple chooses his power over her (again), they break up, then he is remorseful and Belle is so moved she takes him back. After several cycles of that, Rumple's final Heel–Face Turn is ultimately cemented and he and Belle have a happy marriage and then get Together in Death.
  • Oz: Tobias Beecher and Chirs Keller. First, they're new cellmates with loads of UST, then they confess their love and kiss, but, once Keller returns from the hole, he claims not to be interested in Beecher. It turns out he was working with Beecher's abuser and Arch-Enemy, the Nazi rapist Schillinger, and the two of them break Beecher's arms and legs. This would end any chance of romance, right? Well... Keller realizes that he really loves Beecher and wants him back. After a season of tension and several dead bodies, they get back together. Their happiness is short-lived, though, when Beecher mistakenly believes Keller had Beecher's children kidnapped. Once Beecher learns the truth, he wants to reunite with Keller. Keller, however, hurt that Beecher actually believes that Keller is capable of something like that, dumps him. Beecher spirals after this rejection, begins hooking up with many, many prisoners to numb his pain. Keller, still in love with Beecher, kills his hook-ups. When it finally looks like they can be together, Keller confesses to a crime Beecher committed to save him, then was transferred to a prison in Massachusetts. However, he returned when he was found not guilty. Before the Meadow Run reunion can occur, Keller is put on death row, and thus cannot see Beecher. Beecher eventually takes a job in the mailroom, so he can visit Keller when he delivers the mail. When Beecher is up for parole, he begins seeing his attorney, while maintaining his relationship with Keller. The attorney and Keller even meet, when Beecher asks her to represent Keller to get him off death row. Ultimately, Beecher and the attorney break up, partly because of Keller. When Beecher is paroled, he begins dating a school teacher, all the while seeing Keller, and working to get his death sentence overturned. Keller, unable to live without Beecher, sets Beecher up to violate his parole so they can be together. Beecher rejects Keller, despite still loving him, and Keller commits suicide, making it look like Beecher killed him, so they'd be reunited in death, if not life.
  • Chris and Ann from Parks and Recreation. They first broke up when Chris moved back to Indianapolis and tried to break up with her as gently as he could (which she didn't realize until a week later). For the next couple of seasons, they each try dating different people but continue to stay on good terms with each other. Then, when Ann decides she wants a baby, she chooses Chris as her sperm donor, during which they realize they still have feelings for one another, make the baby the old-fashioned way, and become a committed and happy couple.
  • In Scrubs, Elliot and JD have been on-again-off-again so often that even by the third season other characters treat it as a mundane occurrence.
    Carla: What's wrong with [JD]?
    Turk: He slept with Elliot last night.
    Carla: [bored voice] Oh, that time of year again.
  • Seinfeld: Whether or not Elaine was dating Puddy or not would depend entirely on what works for the episode. Their unstable relationship was lampshaded often.
  • You Me Her: Izzy gets together with Jack and Emma. Then later Emma breaks up with them. After this, they get back together again. Then however Izzy breaks up with them, but wants them back later. Jack and Emma break up with her to stop it a final time. You'll guess by now that they take this back and then reuinite with her.

  • Brothers Osborne's "Stay a Little Longer":
    One more drink leads to another
    You slide up close to me
    Tear the t-shirts off each other
    Your hands all over me I tell myself I'm not in love
    But one more time is not enough
    One last kiss and then you're a goner
    And I'm here wishing you could stay a little longer
  • Eminem's relationship with his Muse Abuse target Kim was this in real life, a Destructive Romance in which the two would fight, break up supposedly for good, and get back together again, for over a decade. The whole story is charted in Eminem's songs.
    • Eminem got an Embarrassing Tattoo of her grave on his navel after an argument, thinking they would never, ever get back together — his third tattoo under his new Slim Shady persona. Several later Eminem songs reference that this had not been a good idea.
    • Eminem had planned on marrying her despite their fights ("It's OK") and married her at around the time his breakout album The Slim Shady LP came out (which he initially didn't reveal to the press, but acknowledged in "The Real Slim Shady" after Christina Aguilera had leaked it on an MTV link). Kim filed to divorce him in 2000, after a suicide attempt, due to his serial cheating, bad behaviour, and mockery of her through his music and his pistol-whipping of a bouncer he saw kissing his wife. She tried to cut him off from seeing his beloved daughter as he participated in unfulfilling rebound hookups with groupies and famous women (multiple songs from The Eminem Show are about this).
    • Kim then moved into Eminem's house so they could parent their daughter, and they began to rekindle their relationship physically ("Lady"), but broke up again as a result of Eminem using his daughter as a vocalist in a Diss Track to Ja Rule, attempting to get her away from him. However, her cocaine addiction led to her running from the law, leading Eminem to take sole custody of their daughters ("Puke") until her legal situation was dealt with.
    • Eventually they ended up remarrying in 2006, but Eminem filed divorce papers a few months later. Kim claimed he was a drug addict; he claimed she was lying (she was not) and that she was an addict (she was) ("50 Ways").
    • After Eminem got clean, he stopped indulging in airing out his personal life that affects his family, with Eminem occasionally writing songs in which he appears to take a sympathetic view of her ("Stronger Than I Was") or apologises for his mistreatment of her ("Bad Husband"). However, Eminem stayed involved in her life. In "Killshot", he did say that if Machine Gun Kelly wanted to be him so bad, he'd have to "fuck Kim in my flannel."
  • "We're Makin' Up" by Hot Apple Pie has the line "We're makin' up, our 'on again, off again' is on again / We're makin' up, she really wants to make it work".
  • Kane Brown's "One Mississippi":
    You and I had this off and on so long
    You've been here, then you've been gone
    So many times
    And every night, yeah I'm always bumping into you
    Well, you do the same things we used to
    It's your place or it's mine...
  • Katy Perry's "Hot n Cold."
    We fight, we break up / We kiss, we make up
  • "My Life Would Suck Without You" by Kelly Clarkson is about a couple getting back together after yet another breakup.
  • "We Are Never Ever Getting Back Together" was inspired by Taylor Swift's relationship when she and her boyfriend broke up and reunited several times.
    I say, "I hate you," we break up, you call me, "I love you"
  • Trent Willmon's "On Again Tonight" attempts to invoke this: "I need your 'on again, off again' on again tonight".
  • Trout Fishing In America's "Lightning" appears to be about one:
    Am I crazy or just crazy about her?
    Make a wish and dive for cover; if you survive, then make another
    Crazy or just crazy about her, well, I don't know
    Oh, can't trust that lightning, yeah, but it sure does feel fine
    No, you can't trust that lightning, but still you take your chances time after time
    Do we learn from our mistakes? I surely hope not
    Takes all the fun out of making them again
    'Cause if you listen to the warnings you can die from the boredom
    Safety is the hazard, well, it never was my friend...
  • Chris Young has at least two of these: "I'm Comin' Over," in which it's a mutual desire despite being broken up, and "Tomorrow," in which he recognizes there's a reason they broke up in the first place and this cycle is toxic, and he'll stop it—but not tonight.
  • Easton Corbin's "Clockwork:"
    You call, I say hello
    You knock, I'm lettin' you in
    You say, you've missed
    My lips, we kiss
    Here we go again
    Your dress, my shirt
    We love, I live and never learn
    I crash, I burn
    You leave, I hurt
    Like clockwork''
  • Florida Georgia Line's "Sippin' On Fire" which is both this trope and a Fire and Ice Love Triangle; the singer suggests that they're in this Relationship Revolving Door because she keeps trying to be with the guy she thinks is "safe" and she's afraid of the intensity of their relationship.
  • Cole Swindell's "Lonely Tonight," which suggests a booty call that they blame on the alcohol in the morning.

    Newspaper Comics 
  • Popeye: Popeye and Olive Oyl. Though in this case, the breaking up and getting back together is solely on Olive's side, breaking up with Popeye for often arbitrary reasons, then "taking him back" equally randomly. She does this so rapidly, often they're back "on" before Popeye can figure out what he did wrong.

  • La Bohème: Marcello and Musetta broke up some time before the start of the opera, but get back together in Act II, then break up again in Act III, and in Act IV it's hinted that they might reconcile again. Rodolfo and Mimí also break up, then reunite, but only once.

    Video Games 
  • Sam & Max: Freelance Police: In Sam and Max Save the World: Abe Lincoln Must Die!, Sam and Max trick Sybil Pandemik into thinking a giant animatronic Abraham Lincoln wants to go out with her, as part of an attempt to bust Abe's presidential campaign. In "Bright Side of the Moon", Sam and Max help Abe's giant disembodied head score a date with Sybil, and the two start dating as of Sam and Max Beyond Time And Space. Then they break up in "Moai Better Blues" after Sybil catches Abe getting distracted by a lady Moai when they're supposed to be on a picnic date. After trying to find a new boyfriend in "Night of the Raving Dead", Sybil decides to get back together with Abe, and by the time of "What's New Beelzebub?" the two are planning to get married.

    Web Animation 
  • hololive: The answer to the question "Are IRyS and Baelz Hakos together?" exaggerates this trope for laughs, as whether they're together or not is so seemingly random day to day that it's been called a Schrodinger's relationship. One day they'll be Sickeningly Sweethearts who are eager to go play Monopoly, the next day they'll be having a Toilet Seat Divorce over Bae's bento efforts, then they'll call in Mio Ookami to act as marriage counselor and patch things up, then they're signing divorce papers after a game of Yacht, then later they'll have a collaborative double stream where they each dub over the other and freak Calliope Mori out about how alike they sound.
  • Homestar Runner and Marzipan are the Official Couple, but Marzipan claims that they have an open relationship, which Homestar doesn't agree with. They break up very often but are usually seen back together by the next episode. Marzipan's character introduction video even reflects this, with Marzipan saying "Homestar Runner and I are one hot item when I say we are," and the Flash version has her randomly follow it up with either "and today, we are" or "and today, we are not."


    Western Animation 
  • Zuko and Mai in Avatar: The Last Airbender. They get together at the beginning of Season 3, but Mai calls it off in a fit of anger about a third of the way through. They patch it up before the episode ends, but Zuko breaks up with her again after another third, when he leaves the Fire Nation to join Aang and his friends in defeating his father. They get back together in the series finale, only for Mai to leave him again in the comic book continuation, The Promise, when Suki tells her he's been asking his imprisoned father for advice and not telling anyone. Five more comics and they haven't gotten back together, although Aang was hopeful they had the first time he saw Mai and Zuko in the same room together again. By the time of the Sequel Series, The Legend of Korra, Zuko is confirmed to have a daughter, the current Fire Lord Izumi, but the identity of Izumi's mother is never revealed... which didn't stop most fans from speculating it's indeed Mai, especially given the strong physical resemblance between the two and comments from Gene Luen Yang (who handled writing duties for the aforementioned comics) at Emerald City Comicon 2017 stating that, though he had two characters (commonly believed to be Zuko and Mai) break up, it was only temporary and they'd be back together in a few years.
  • BoJack and Princess Carolyn from BoJack Horseman are treated this way before the show moved on to focus on the more serious connection between BoJack and Diane.
  • Fry and Leela from Futurama at first their relationship is a one-sided crush on Fry's part before Leela confesses her feelings for Fry in the fifth season finale—they have an on-again-off-again relationship during the sixth season but have settled into being a more stable couple in the seventh (and final) season.
  • Bonnie Rockwaller and Brick Flagg from Kim Possible had this kind of relationship for most of the second and third seasons before eventually breaking up for good in the fourth season (after Brick left for college). This trope is lampshaded by Kim in So the Drama, who (at one point) exclaims "How many times can two people break up and get back together?!" Not missing a beat, Monique quips that Bonnie "loves the drama" and that Bonnie and Brick "deserve each other."
  • A common complaint of The Legend of Korra's first two seasons. First Mako is dating Asami, and then, after much Love Triangle drama, he presumably breaks up with her and gets together with Korra. They break up partway through Season 2, then he kisses Asami, then puts off telling Korra about their breakup when she gets Laser-Guided Amnesia, with Asami annoyed in the background. Thankfully the season ends with them all deciding to forego romance, and they remain single until the comic continuation.
  • The Simpsons:
    • Although they've been married throughout the series with their one legal divorce being a deliberate prelude to a vow renewal ceremony, Homer and Marge have had more than their fair share of brief separations, broke up at least once when they were dating (albeit in an episode, "That 90s Show," to which Fanon Discontinuity is frequently applied), and in one future episode are shown to have had a breakup that stuck long enough for Homer to live in his own place and Marge to try dating again before they're inevitably back with each other by the end.
    • Seymour Skinner and Edna Krabappel's relationship was like this between Season 15, when she left him at the altar due to his reluctance to commit, and Season 22, when she found a Second Love in Ned Flanders. They slept together a few times with no strings attached and, in the episode "Homer and Lisa Exchange Cross Words," were shown to be boyfriend and girlfriend again until Edna got Homer to dump him for her.
  • Star vs. the Forces of Evil: Rafael and Angie Diaz, Marco's parents who have been together since high school, have admitted to being like this before committing to a more serious relationship and eventually getting married. In fact, Angie claims in "Sad Teen Hotline" that she and Rafael broke up "literally a hundred times," with one such breakup occurring shortly after Valentine's Day.

    Real Life 
  • Doc Holliday and Big-Nosed Kate famously had such a relationship, characterised by living together for a while, having a fight, one or the other storming out of town, and then the taking back up together next time they were in town. Fictional portrayals usually retain this.
  • Wikipedia has a list of people who remarried the same spouse.

Alternative Title(s): On Again Off Again Relationship, On Again Off Again Boyfriend, On Again Off Again Girlfriend