From 2011 to 2018, creator Elizabeth Meriwether, gifted audiences with New Girl. The romantic modern sitcom follows Jessica Day, played by Zooey Deschanel, and her four quirky roommates on their individual and collective searches for love, career expansion, and self-acceptance. As Jessica Day, or Jess, stumbles and fumbles through life and love, she finds some men who range from questionable to fun to quite serious about building a life with her. Eventually, Jess finds her soulmate in the most unlikely yet likely person for her.
While each roommate finds their perfect person, some of their journeys are more heartbreaking than others. Most of the roommates’ growth occurs due to either the heartache they experience or the friendships they make along the way. One of the brilliant things about New Girl is how each roommate in the loft is a version of the worst roommate audiences have had. Yet, each roommate in the show is able to find someone who adores them for better and, most certainly, for their worst. With star-studded cameos of love interests, it’s difficult to find other sitcoms with casts that tackle the dichotomy of falling in love and moving on like New Girl does.
Jess’ Worst Boyfriend: Spencer
Spencer, portrayed by Ian Wolterstroff, wins for worst boyfriend across this entire list of ‘worst’ for several reasons. Cheating on a significant other, regardless of time together, is a betrayal of the agreed upon terms of coupling. However, when a person cheats on their vacationing girlfriend, like Spencer did to Jess, that’s an even worse betrayal. On top of this betrayal, he tries to assuage Jess to return to the relationship when she returns to the house for her things, which is manipulative. But the main reason that Spencer is the worst boyfriend Jess had was was he forgot to water the plants while Jess was on vacation.
Jess’ Best Boyfriend: Russell
While the way Jess and Russell, played by Dermot Mulroney, meet is questionable, they develop a comfortable and calm romance. Russell is older than Jess and has several ex-wives and one child. He is Jess’ best boyfriend because he clearly adores Jess and wants to take care of her. From the beginning of their courtship, he makes his intentions to care for those around him and in his life to be as relaxed as possible. Even though Russell and Jess do not end up walking down the aisle, he does make Jess as happy as he can while they are together.
Nick’s Worst Girlfriend: Caroline
Nick Miller, played by Jake Johnson, is perpetually cynical and stagnant in life. When fans meet him, he is stuck on his ex, Caroline, portrayed by Mary Elizabeth Ellis. During a wedding for a friend, Nick relies on Jess to be a barrier between him and Caroline. Though this plan backfires because he’s having fun with Caroline and forgets the pain she caused him. By the end of Season 1, Nick and Caroline rekindle their relationship and decide to move in together quickly, as suggested by Caroline. Just like Jess, Nick’s worst relationship is with someone who is manipulative and makes him forget himself and his friends.
Nick’s Best Girlfriend: Regan
According to CinemaBlend, Megan Fox, who portrayed Regan, was meant to fill in for Zooey Deschanel, as fans loved Fox’s presence, and she was given more episodes. Nick begins to do the impossible once he is with Regan. She has an opportunity to be in New Orleans for an extended period, where Nick joins her and writes his lengthy work in progress. Despite Nick’s leaps and bounds with Regan, they spend a lot of their relationship relying on Jess to communicate rather than building something together. Of course, Nick and Jess end up together, but Nick needed to date someone like Regan in order to realize who was always pushing him the way Regan did.
Schmidt’s Worst Girlfriend: Councilwoman Fawn Moscato
Schmidt, played by Max Greenfield, is the show’s token womanizer. Though this changes after his first break-up with Cece when he starts seeking more serious relationships. During the second half of Season 4, he begins dating Los Angeles City Councilwoman Fawn Moscato, played by comedian Zoe Lister-Jones. Ever the politician, Fawn is concerned with her image to the public and tries to morph Schmidt into her ideal political boyfriend. After a golf tournament snafu, Fawn brings Schmidt along to go lingerie shopping with a news crew, asking Schmidt to take the blame. No matter her intentions, controlling someone and their image for your own gain is pretty awful.
Schmidt’s Best Girlfriend: Cece
What begins with a one-night stand that does not end, Cece, played by Hannah Simone, and Schmidt eventually end up getting married, buying a house, and having a daughter. Cece is Schmidt’s best girlfriend because she continuously forgives him and pushes him to be a better person. Cece and Schmidt have many moments that define their love, as seen in MsMojo‘s YouTube compilation video. In their first encounter, Schmidt tells Cece, “Girl, Imma marry you,” (Season 1, Episode 1). After they’re married, the group travels to NYC to Schmidt’s high school reunion where Cece takes the stage and tells Schmidt’s fellow alumni, “Allow me to introduce myself. My name is Cece Schmidt. So if any of you have anything else you’d like to say to my husband, I will drag you outside, and we will handle this LA Style. I will take you to the corner of Fairfax and La Brea, ”(season 6, Episode 4). Cece loves and stands by Schmidt for who he is, something a lot of his past girlfriends struggled with.
Coach’s Worst Girlfriend: Malia
Coach, played by Damon Wayans Jr., is who Schmidt wishes he was when it came to women. Coach has the least amount of romantic relationships in the show as he is more focused on his career. While the rest of the roommates struggle to find a partner who treats them well, Coach is the foil. He spends a lot of his dating life learning to treat women well. Especially after his break-up with Malia, who the audience does not meet. Coach returns to the loft and acts tough on a night out with the guys. Quickly, he breaks down and shows up to the police station sloppy drunk, wanting to confront Malia’s new boyfriend (Season 3, Episode 7). While not much is known about Malia and her relationship with Coach, he’s actually her worst boyfriend.
Coach’s Best Girlfriend: May
Coach and May, played by Meagan Rath, meet when the roommates sign up for a pub crawl. At each pub, the roommates show up after May, causing her to think Coach is following her from pub to pub (Season 4, Episode 15). Coach is stuck in a cycle with how he treats women. His friendship with Jess and Cece help repair that cycle, so Coach can have healthy relationships with women. These friendships allow him to be open to dating May seriously. When May, a concert cellist, has an opportunity to move to NYC early in their relationship, she asks Coach to go with her. May wasn’t going to put up with Coach’s games, assumedly like his previous girlfriends did. Her “in or out” approach to dating aligned beautifully with Coach’s disciplined lifestyle. Of the roommates, Coach is one of the few to change because of whom he dates but rather for himself to be with someone he will compromise with.
Winston’s Worst Girlfriend: Daisy
Winston, as portrayed by Lamorne Morris, is possibly the most lovable roommate. As he adjusts to life back in LA, he tries to fall into old patterns only to be forced to morph and change. Winston begins to focus on his career but feels something is missing. He meets Daisy, played by Brenda Song, who agrees to help him date again in exchange for watching her cat. Winston and Daisy have a hook-up situation that is not exclusive, at least for Daisy. Upon stumbling on Daisy in the middle of hooking up with someone else, Winston takes her cat as his own (Season 3, Episode 2). Daisy cheated on and treated Winston poorly even when they were together. Although he did get his beloved cat, Furguson, out of the worst relationship he experienced.
Winston’s Best Girlfriend: Aly
After joining the Los Angeles Police Department, Winston is paired with Officer Aly Nelson, played by SNL alumni Nasim Pedrad. Over their partnership, Winston falls for Aly, who is in a steady relationship. After Aly and her boyfriend break up, she admits to having feelings for Winston, and they start dating. In addition to being the most lovable roommate, Winston is also oddly obsessed with puzzles and pranks, often frustrating his roommates with things he finds funny but clearly aren’t. At Cece and Schmidt’s house-warming party, Winston decides to surprise Aly with flying in her family. At one point in the night, Winston tells a story about falling asleep in the tub, which no one thinks is funny, except for Aly who is cracking up along with Winston (Season 6, Episode 14). Their relationship is the perfect mixture of the misunderstood oddball and the direct, no nonsense person who simply adores the oddball.
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