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Friday Night Lights: 7 Couples That Are Perfect (& 6 That Make No Sense)

Friday Night Lights was one of those once-in-a-generation shows. It united those viewers who loved teen dramas, sports stories, and primetime soaps into one cohesive group of television fans. The series might follow a high school football team through the trials of the season, but the entire show wasn’t about what went on on the football field. The family drama had its fair share of romantic relationships.

RELATED: The 5 Best (& Worst) Episodes Of Friday Night Lights According To IMDb

Over the course of the show, high school kids hooked up and broke up almost as often as Julie Taylor shed her tears. A lot of the Friday Night Lights couples are great fits, which is what made the audience want to root for them. Others, however, make no sense for the show.


Updated on October 17th, 2021 by Amanda Bruce: “Clear eyes, full hearts, can’t lose,” became a catchphrase not just in the show, but for Friday Night Lights fans as well. Those “full hearts” weren’t always occupied by football though. For the fans who want to relive the highs and the lows of all of the relationships in Dillon, Texas, the entirety of Friday Night Lights is available to stream on Netflix. These couples are just a sampling of what appears in the series. 

Friday Night Lights Couples That Are Perfect

Riggins And Lyla

Tim Riggins and Lyla Garrity Friday Night Lights

While Taylor Kitsch is a fan favorite performer for Friday Night Lights, this particular couple might be a controversial pick since Lyla ended up with Kitsch’s Riggins while her boyfriend (and his best friend) was in the hospital following a serious injury on the football field. Lyla did plenty of shaming herself when the two first hooked up though so the audience wouldn’t have to.

Though Riggins was a hometown football hero and Lyla was clearly getting out of Dillon the first chance she got, the two were good for one another. Lyla gave Riggins a sense of stability that his other relationships didn’t have, and Riggins gave Lyla the passion that was missing in other areas of her life. They never would have worked out long term, but the two of them were exactly what they each needed during their high school days.

Smash And Noelle

Smash and Noelle sit at a picnic table in Friday Night Lights

Noelle wasn’t a part of Friday Night Lights for long, but she made a big impression on Smash fans. She and Smash dated while college scouts were looking at him, and she gave him a lot of valuable advice for picking out a school. They genuinely cared about one another’s futures and understood that big dreams could become a reality if they followed a plan.

RELATED: 10 Couples That Would Have Made A Lot Of Sense In Friday Night Lights, But Never Got Together

Unfortunately, the more small-minded in their Texas small town didn’t exactly approve of an interracial couple. It’s a shame the series didn’t get to explore the dynamic between the two more.

Matt And Carlotta

Matt And Carlotta Friday Night Lights

Yes, Matt and Carlotta might have been the most boring couple on Friday Night Lights, it’s true. During the time that the two of them met one another, however, Matt and Carlotta made perfect sense – on paper.

When Matt couldn’t care for his grandmother on his own anymore, he hired Carlotta to be her nurse. Though there were a few years of age difference between them, the two appreciated the caregiver instinct in one another. They each found someone who understood what it meant to put someone else’s life before their own.

Vince And Jess

friday night lights jess

Before Jess got to know him, she wanted nothing to do with Vince. She thought he was an arrogant troublemaker (since he was one of the best football players in the show and clearly knew it), and she didn’t want that in her life. Much to the joy of the audience, however, Jess eventually saw Vince for who he really was, and the rest is history.

The two had a lot in common. Both considered from the “wrong side of the tracks” in their small town, they worked hard to achieve their goals. They were also heavily invested in their families, trying to do right by them. Jess and Vince bonded in ways that surprised her and made them one of the best couples the show had to offer.

Landry And Tyra

Tyra and Landry stand together in a kitchen at a party in Friday Night Lights

This is one of the few relationships in Friday Night Lights that no one saw coming. Landry, who never seemed to get any time on the football field and was best friends with Matt Saracen, somehow became one of Tyra Collette’s most trusted friends.

RELATED: Recasting The Main Characters Of Friday Night Lights Today

Initially, Landry clearly had a crush on her, and Tyra pretended she didn’t feel the same way. She continued to ask him for help, knowing how he felt about her, without completely letting him in. It wasn’t until Tyra let her guard down around him – and they bonded over an ill-conceived accidental death storyline – that the audience realized they really were perfect for one another.

Matt And Julie

Matt Saracen And Julie Taylor Friday Night Lights

Julie is one of the Friday Night Lights characters that many fans liked to hate. That hatred was born from the fact that Julie was just very immature. Her immaturity, however, was just what was needed for her relationship with Zach Gilford’s fan-favorite, Matt, when it began.

Matt spent so much time alone with his parents gone, and having to take care of his grandmother made him grow up very fast. He didn’t get a lot of time to just be a teenager outside of football. His relationship with Julie allowed him to be a normal guy experiencing the ups and downs of first love. It’s no coincidence that these two kept finding their way back to each other throughout the series. Julie loosened Matt up and Matt made Julie think about the consequences of her actions. They complemented each other.

Eric And Tami

Tami And Eric Taylor Friday Night Lights

The series might have been centered around high school football, but Tami and Eric Taylor provided the emotional foundation for the series. They made for one of the best Friday Night Lights relationships. These were two people who loved one another so much that they never let obstacles drive them apart. 

The audience watched the two of them struggle with parenting disagreements and issues with how their school handled things, but they always found a way to discuss their issues and come together as a united front. Tami and Eric never strayed from one another, unlike nearly every other pairing on the show. In fact, according to EW, that was a sticking point for actors Connie Britton and Kyle Chandler regarding their characters. Tami and Eric weren’t necessarily always a perfect fit, but they made sure to work to maintain a perfect relationship. 

Friday Night Lights Couples That Make No Sense

Jason And Lyla

The head cheerleader and the quarterback seem like the perfect couple in just about any piece of teen fiction. Jason and Lyla, however, always seemed to work better as supportive friends than they did as an actual couple. Lyla’s frustrations in their relationship, and her fears after his paralysis, boiled over into her cheating on him with Riggins, after all.

Jason and Lyla were perfectly polite and sweet to one another around other people, but it didn’t seem like they had much in common outside of football, or really anything else to talk about. When serious subjects came up, one, or both of them, just ended up walking away in anger. They were definitely an ill-fitting pair.

Luke And Becky

Luke And Becky Friday Night Lights

Luke and Becky both joined Friday Night Lights in later seasons. A member of the next football generation, Luke was a nice kid from a farm and Becky was a good girl who often had crushes on the bad boys.

RELATED: Friday Night Lights Characters Sorted Into Their Hogwarts Houses

It seemed they only ended up together because they were in the same place at the same time. They didn’t really know one another at all, and Becky spent a lot of time following Tim Riggins around. Do Becky and Tim Riggins ever get together? No, but not for lack of trying, even when she and Luke found themselves paired off.

Derek And Julie

Julie Taylor In Her College Years Friday Night Lights

Some fans might have spent some time in their first watch of the series wondering, “do Tom Riggins and Julie Taylor get together?,” since she made a play for the older student. While that didn’t happen, Julie did get involved with someone else older. This is one instance where the age difference between two characters was a definite hindrance to a relationship. When Julie went away to college, she fell for Derek. The trouble was, Derek was the teaching assistant in one of her classes.

Derek and Julie didn’t have much in common. Julie was one of the least mature characters amongst the teenagers, making her incredibly impressionable. Derek was a married man who took advantage of her interest in him. 

Mindy And Billy

Mindy Collete And Billy Riggins Friday Night Lights

Tyra’s big sister and Tim Riggins’ big brother were a fun pairing on the show. Fans watched the two of them get married and have a daughter. They also watched Mindy continuously stress out about her relationship with a man who couldn’t get his act together.

As much as Mindy cared about Billy, these two should never have lasted. Billy was all about get-rich-quick schemes that landed him in hot water. Mindy was trying to create a stable home environment for her family. They didn’t mesh as well as they thought they did.

Riggins And Tyra

Tim Riggins And Tyra Collette Friday Night Lights

Tyra Collette was going places. She wanted nothing more in life than to get out of her tiny Texas town and leave the obsession with high school football behind. Tyra wanted people to get to know her for who she was, and not because she was a Collette woman. That’s why it’s so odd that she spent so much time with Tim Riggins early in the series.

Riggins was the embodiment of “Texas forever,” never really wanting to leave his home behind, and that wasn’t necessarily a good thing. He never even wanted to do much more than what people expected of him. Riggins would have held Tyra back if she decided to stay with him.

Buddy And Angela

Angela Collette And Buddy Garrity Friday Night Lights

If there’s any relationship that made fans wonder just what the writers were thinking, it’s that of Buddy Garrity and Angela Collette. Buddy was one of the most powerful men in town and used to getting his way. Angela was the perpetually down-on-her-luck mother of Mindy and Tyra. When she really needed the money, she got a job as Buddy’s assistant.

That job somehow led to a romantic relationship. Now, there are plenty of times that employers have fallen for employees and it worked out just fine. Considering Buddy tried to pay $700 to Angela so she’d keep quiet about their relationship seemed ill-advised. The power dynamic just didn’t work. 

NEXT: Tami Taylor’s 10 Most Inspirational Quotes In Friday Night Lights

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