the dysfunction of love - 10 NOTORIOUS POP-CULTURE COUPLES



This episode is "The Dysfunction of Function of Love: PART 2", of our exclusive off-season Valentines Day Episode. Stay tuned to hear our list of 10 Strong Pop-Culture Couples and a psychological breakdown of why they are so successful. This is "The Function of Love" Part 2 of our 2 part off-season Valentines Day Podcast about the two sides of love. If you missed it, don't forget to check out Part 1: The more tame version... Using the same psychological breakdown of relationships, we're here today to talk about the darker, dysfunctional side of love and 10 notorious pop-culture couples


In 1981, just before he shot president Ronald Reagan, John Hinkley wrote this letter to Jodie Foster, the object of his obsession: "This letter is being written only an hour before I leave, Jodie, Im asking you to please look into your heart and at least give me the chance with this historical deed to gain your respect and love, I will love you forever."
— John Hinkley


As we compiled our list of ten pop-culture couples that exemplify FUNCTIONAL relationships, we used a few psychological relationship theories:


If one goes down, so do they all. These three pillars represent a sort of hypothetical table for the relationship to ship on. They are Trust, Respect and Communication. And if one fails, you can no longer continue to have the others, as the relationship table  would collapse.



Better keep your withdrawals the same as your deposit. This is a metaphorical bank account for a relationship in which two people are both withdrawing and depositing. 



Gary Chapman, in 1995, wrote a book called The 5 Love Languages. This theory claims that these are exhaustive, there are no others. Each person has one primary and one secondary love languages. The best way to figure out what love language your partner needs the most is to watch what the exhibit to other people. People naturally tend to love in the way they prefer to receive love. 


#1: Piper & Alex from "Orange is the New Black" (2013)

A notoriously hot couple you wanted to root for at the beginning, but through their own devious ways continue to screw each other over. They have a massive lack of trust considering they basically imprisoned each other for a little bit of lust and money.

#2: The Break-Up

One of the realest 

#3: Daisy Buchanan and Jay Gatsby of "The Great Gatsby"

This timeless unrequited romance is a perfect example of dysfunctional respect in a relationship. Throughout the course of their lives; Daisy needs luxury, materials and status, as Gatsby attempts to become this person for her, all the while they are worlds apart, Gatsby unable to forge status and Daisy unable to forge love.

#4: Hannibal Lectar & Edward Norton of Red Dragon (2000)

 DISORGANIZED ATTACHMENT between the two of them.

#5: Liam and Fion Foxwell from Black Mirror's "The Entire History of You"

A marriage that spirals out of control with their use of technology constantly going back and reliving past events, over analyzing everything causes our main character Liam to absolutely break. While the dysfunction is mostly seen as him being a clingy, obsessed, paranoid entity, it does come out at the end that she was in fact cheating the whole time.

#6: Oliver Threadson of American Horror Story


#7: Whitney Houston's Stalker

“To Miss Whitney Houston: Please, Keep Smiling.” A 1988 FBI report details the 66 letters that a man who described himself as “sort of a loner” sent to now-deceased pop star Whitney Houston. None of the letters were answered.
Here are excerpts from four of them:


Miss Whitney, you are a beautiful lady and a beautiful person. I really and truly am in love with you. Please believe in life and in love and trust in yourself, and in your friends and trust in god.

Miss Whitney, you are a special person with a wonderful gift. Please keep singing and helping people to be happy, but most of all, Miss Whitney, Please Keep Smiling.

To Miss Whitney Houston
Miss Whitney, you are just so pretty and so beautiful. I just cannot stop thinking about you. Many times when I think about you I will start to shake. Miss Whitney, what am I doing wrong. I am in love with you. I really and truly am in love with you. Whitney, Please, Please give me a chance. Whatever you decide to do, could you do one thing at least. Please, Keep Smiling.

To Miss Whitney Houston: I try to write to you but I just do not know what to say. I think that you are the most beautiful lady that there is in the whole world. Miss Whitney, I am in love with you. I saw a headline for an article in one of those things in the supermarket saying that you were married allready [sic]. I am sure they made it up but I allmost [sic] broke down right then and there and I have still been sick for the last several days. I cannot stop thinking about it and I just shake and feel sick in my gut….

Miss Whitney, why can’t you respond to my 70 plus letters… Miss Whitney, I really am in love with you. Please, believe me. You probably think that I am crazy. Well, meebe [sic] I am. I just can’t give up. I have to keep trying. I really am in love with you. Hug your kitty cats and smile that pretty smile of yours. Please, Keep Smiling.



In 2014, the following printed note was found on a dog-walking trail in British Columbia. Police interviewed the woman they believe was the note’s target, but the author’s identity remains a mystery. A picture of the original note follows the text.

I see you nearly every lunch hour of mine in here. You seem to have 3-4 dogs, two black ones, and a brindle, along with a mongrel I am not as of yet familiar with. Perhaps it belongs to your friend.

Yesterday, you were in here with a friend, with a brown dog and the mongrel. Every time that I see you coming, I want to approach you and introduce myself. Instead, I find myself overcome by shyness and jumping off the trail, and watching you from afar. But yesterday, I slipped up and almost came out to say hello, but thought better of it. I was too close and you could smell my cologne. I was close enough to hear you ask your friend if she smelt cologne, and I watched you stop and smell the air. You reminded me of a tiny fox the way you lifted your face and scented the air. I know that your dog seen [sic] me because the hair on its back stood up. I watched you grab you dog before he could bolt into the woods, thankfully for me as it is a very big dog.

I am very impressed every time I see you in the woods. You seem to realize when you are being watched, but perhaps your very large, aggressive looking dogs, plus the bear spray and the concealed knife I know that you carry, give you a sense of security. However, you obviously have sharp senses, as every time that you stop and look around yourself, I feel as if I am almost caught.

I just wanted to tell you that I think you are very beautiful and have a beautiful body. I do not intend for this message to scare you, as it shouldn’t. I only hope that one day I am courageous enough to come out and say hello. I realize that other people who read this may find it “creepy,” but you seem to be smart enough to know the difference, and frankly it is noone elses business.

#9: Psycho

Anthony Perkins dresses up his mom and continues to live his life for her, running the motel and everything.

#10: Paul Bernando and Karla Homolka

—Corey Stewart, @corstew91 on twitter