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The Most Romantic Moments From Vintage TV Gems

This content was paid for by Sony and created by Looper.

There's just something about summer that gets those romantic feelings going. Perhaps it's because summer brings with it good moments like vacations, beach trips, and time away from the routines of daily life, or maybe the hot sun sends a certain love-based magic into the atmosphere. "Summer romance" and "summer fling" are both familiar concepts to many — so much so that they have names — and most everybody can enjoy seeing a romantic TV show reflect those feelings.

Television is the perfect medium to explore romantic storylines. As in fiction as it is in real life, love takes time to develop, and there can be many complications, false starts, reversals, and a whole gamut of other dizzying emotions on the road from meet-cute to crush to happily ever after. The Throwback TV YouTube channel is home to dozens of classic, beloved, and eminently re-watchable sitcoms and dramas from the 1980s and 1990s, many of which offered tantalizing tales of romance. Celebrate summer love with these lovely moments from vintage TV gems.

Tony and Angela kiss for the first time on Who's the Boss?

They were one of TV's most prominent "will they or won't they?" couples of the 1980s, but unlike other shows that kept the romantic tension running and unresolved for years, "Who's the Boss?" gave viewers tantalizing tastes of the inevitable, carefully choreographed union of Angela Bower and Tony Micelli. Even in the show's first season, in the episode "First Kiss," they share a cute and romantic moment, but the circumstances of their whole situation means that ultimately, both parties leave it alone.

After Tony comes home very drunk (he and a friend participated as test subjects in a driving safety project), he finds Angela and a couple of neighbors also knocking back the booze because it's Angela's birthday. Tony, unaware of this, feels so bad that he decides to head into the kitchen and fumble his way through making a birthday cake for his boss. They flirt, they mix, they flirt some more, a flour fight erupts, and before they know it, Tony has Angela in his arms and they're smooching in a powerful embrace. They're instantly regretful — but probably more just surprised.

A kid cupid strikes Tony and Angela on Who's the Boss?

Sometimes a couple of people who ought to be together romantically and seem fated to be so are the last to realize it, leading others in their orbit to give them a little shove into love, as it were. Toward the end of the second season of "Who's the Boss?" it's clear that Angela and Tony are supposed to be a little something more personal and intimate than employer and employee, but while they resist, Angela's young son Jonathan isn't above pulling some strings to take that relationship to another level. 

In the Season Two episode "Jonathan Plays Cupid," the kid plays the old "secret admirer" card — as well as Tony and Angela against each other — to get them in the same room at the same time for a romantic Valentine's Day encounter. Angela gets flowers and a rhyming date proposal; Tony gets a hot and bothered rhyming card. Naturally, when both arrive separately at the romantic and fancy Chez Renee, they're shocked but delighted to find each other.

A double date is loaded with romantic intrigue on Dawson's Creek

High school offers a social scene as complicated and emotionally fraught as life will ever provide, and "Dawson's Creek" captured that energy with its various permutations of couples getting together, breaking up, regretting and lamenting the split, and then scheming to get back together or sabotage their former flames' new entanglements.

In the Season One episode "Double Date," Dawson has recently been dumped by Jen, and he's miffed that she apparently doesn't want to be friends. So, he passive-aggressively arranges a vengeance-fueled double date to the big Capeside carnival. She can bring her new guy Cliff, and he'll bring along a classmate named Mary Beth. However, she's got similar motivations behind the date: Mary Beth used to date Cliff, and she wants to make him jealous by showing up with Dawson. It all comes to a boiling point when Jen and Dawson wind up stuck on the Ferris wheel together, and then he gets even more upset later when he realizes best friend Pacey and idealized girl-next-door Joey are getting closer. Teen love: It's complicated.

Dawson and Joey's second kiss on Dawson's Creek

The teenagers on "Dawson's Creek" were a precocious bunch and certainly much more emotionally mature and articulate about their thoughts, feelings, and ambitions than most real high school-age kids — and definitely more so than the kids on other teen soaps throughout TV history. In the Season Two opener "The Kiss," Dawson and Joey reckon with the ramifications of their first kiss, shared at the end of Season One and on the verge of Joey taking a long and opportunity-laden trip to France. 

Joey opts to stay at home in Capeside, however, because running away from everything seemed foolish and childish to her. There's also the matter of Dawson being in Capeside. Though Dawson has always been her neighbor and close friend, their relationship grew complicated but romantic and exciting with that one little kiss. After walking along the water, comparing their town's delights to those of Paris, Dawson and Joey sit on a couple of swings and kiss a whole bunch more, this time under the moonlight.

Mary Jo and Suzanne cruise for dates on Designing Women

The core four main characters on "Designing Women" never had trouble attracting men. Since they were all attractive, charismatic, funny, and successful interior designers, most of the adult male population of fictional Atlanta in the 1980s would've loved to date anyone from Sugarbaker and Associates. Half the ladies, Mary Jo and Suzanne, decide to put that idea to the test on the Season Two episode "Cruising." Sent on a singles-only cruise to the Bahamas by the carrier who wants Sugarbaker and Associates to redesign their vessels, Mary Jo so tires of stuck-up Suzanne bragging about how every man on board is interested in her that she suggests a bet — she wagers that she can land the best-looking single guy on the ship by the end of the trip.

The game is afoot, and Suzanne quickly earns the affections of a handsome guy named Trevor. Mary Jo can't get much attention, until Trevor approaches her and tells her that he's actually interested in her, not Suzanne. She refuses, tells Suzanne what happened, and they make up. True love happened on this love cruise, but it wasn't romantic love — it was the profound connection between two close friends.

When Jamie met Paul on Mad About You

The sweet and charming "Mad About You" turned the rom-com into a sitcom and adds in the "what-comes-next" after the couple falls in love and settles down together. Paul and Jamie Buchman were still tender newlyweds when the show began in 1992. But viewers and the show's writers clearly wanted more history, specifically to know a little bit more about how Paul and Jamie ever got together in the first place. Early in the series' first season, the episode "Met Someone" delivers a few of the couple's early romantic milestones.

On December 31, 1989, Paul and Jamie go on their first date, bailing on a workplace New Year's Eve party. They realize they live on the same block, talk earnestly, and head to Jamie's private office for her to get her things so Paul can walk her home. She turns out the light, he sees New York City out the window and is struck by its beauty and all the possibilities it holds. Moved by his earnestness, Jamie goes in for the kiss, the first of what would turn out to many on "Mad About You."

Steve gets pursued by a fan on The Steve Harvey Show

"The Steve Harvey Show" revolves around the titular stand-up playing Steve Hightower, a once mega-famous funk musician now working as a high school music teacher. He'll indulge the occasional fan, like Juanita, who in the first season episode "Pool Sharks Git Bit" takes an entry level position at Steve's school. She probably (definitely) crosses a line when she visits Steve at home to bring him a stack of math tests — which is odd since he's a music teacher. He's oblivious that Juanita is just looking for a reason to be near him and that she's into him in a way that borders on obsession. She asks for his autograph, asks to keep the pen, and then furtively steals a couple of objects from the apartment.

While he considers himself a ladies' man, Steve is unaware of Juanita's intentions even when she makes a passing remark about his body, but he finally takes the hint when she visits him in his classroom when he's working late the next evening. She's prepared a full picnic for Steve including "everything but dessert," he notices. But she's apparently got that covered. The fact that she came in wearing a trench coat should have clued him in, because when he looks up, Juanita has removed the jacket to reveal herself in a very skimpy and very tight dress. Now he gets it, and he's all aflutter.

Steve and Regina finally get romantic on The Steve Harvey Show

Over the course of five years as coworkers — not counting the decades they've known each other or their shared high school experience — Steve and Regina on "The Steve Harvey Show" slowly move toward a life-changing romance that was always obvious to everyone around them. By the Season Five episode "Love is in the Air," mutual friends Cedric and Lovita have so tired of the pair almost-but-not-quite connecting romantically that they conspire to basically force the two to admit their latent but developing warm and fuzzy feelings.

First, they lure Steve to their apartment with the promise of a blind date with a mystery woman. Then she arrives and it's Regina, told that she is also supposed to meet her blind date there, too. Cedric and Lovita leave them to a romantic dinner. They could be mad or feel awkward, but that's far from the case. Regina likes Steve's cologne, and Steve likes Regina's slinky dress, and he even admits that he hoped his blind date would wind up being someone that reminded him of Regina.

Joe and Dave both fancy the new assistant on NewsRadio

In the Season Five episode "Assistant," New York City station WNYX, the locale where all the action takes place on the '90s ensemble sitcom "NewsRadio," gets a new employee. Reporter and occasional station manager Lisa hires an assistant with the ridiculously suggestive name Foxy Jackson, and it's one that maintenance guy Joe instantly believes is apt. 

As soon as Foxy enters the station's offices during a staff meeting, Joe is smitten, bounding to his feet and identifying himself as Lisa Miller in order to get to meet her. As the days wear on, Joe finds every excuse he can to be near the blatant object of his affection, including attempting to fix a copier near Foxy. She thwarts his advances by telling him copy toner kills her libido, but he remains all giddy and love-struck to the point where he does wild, silly, and workplace inappropriate things, even after it's clear manager Dave and Foxy have got a romance going. Never mind that, Joe implies, removing his shirt to show off his muscular physique in the break room. She doesn't much care, or even notice, leading Joe to desperately plead with Dave to back off so he can pursue her. It's just not going to happen for Joe — sometimes crushes go unrequited.

Mr. Sheffield loves Miss Fine on The Nanny

It takes a long time before Mr. Sheffield and Miss Fine could finally call each other by their first names on "The Nanny." In the season four opening episode, it looks like things are finally official and romantic between wealthy dad Maxwell and Fran, the door-to-door makeup salesperson he hired to look after his three children. Increasingly magnetically attracted to one another, Maxwell and Fran take a romantic plane trip to Paris at the end of Season Three, and on the plane right home to New York, it looks like it could be all over — as in everything could be over, as their plane experiences some major turbulence, frightening both parties and making it the right time to come clean with some emotional confessions. 

Fran tells Mr. Sheffield that the past three years she's spent with her boss and his family have been the greatest of her life, while Mr. Sheffield is much more blunt and bombastic with his response. Falling into each other as a result of both feelings and a bumpy flight, the pair kiss passionately, only for Mr. Sheffield to break away and tell Miss Fine that he loves her. The situation gets a bit more complicated when, after safely arriving back home in New York, an embarrassed Mr. Sheffield takes it all back... even he obviously meant what he said.