What are the most devastating Disney channel breakups of all time? Thanks to advances in technology and streaming services, millennials and young adults of all ages have gotten to experience a ton of nostalgia in the form of Disney+. The streaming platform brought back access to a ton of Disney Channel original series and movies, and reminded fans that there was actually a lot of intense moments on the channel. There were fights between friends, family emergencies, and even relationship issues that lead to some heart-wrenching breakups.
Even though Disney Channel shows were very G-rated and extremely family-friendly, they still had some dramatic moments, especially when it came to romance. That’s why there were more than a few Disney Channel couplings that had fans in their feelings. However, the most devastating Disney Channel breakups proved that despite the lighthearted nature of the network, there were still real emotions involved. So, read on to look back and remember all the Disney Channel breakups that had you crying tears back in the day. It’s quite the trip!
Troy and Gabriella's breakup in High School Musical had everyone crying
Perhaps the most defining film to come out of the Disney Channel universe was High School Musical. The movie was a musical, obviously, but also a love story and a tale of two worlds clashing, all told from the perspective of high schoolers. So yes, it was pretty melodramatic. Still, the ultimate love story of High School Musical and its two sequels was between Troy and Gabriella (played by Zac Efron and Vanessa Hudgens), the star athlete and the star nerd, essentially.
In High School Musical 2, Troy and Gabriella’s relationship was put to the test when Troy had to choose between performing in the talent show with Sharpay or standing up for Gabriella, and he chose Sharpay. Gabriella tragically ended things with him by singing a truly depressing song, “Gotta Go My Own Way,” and returning to him the necklace he gave her at the start of summer. Of course, the two eventually find their way back together, but that doesn’t mean the breakup was any less devastating, and fans were seriously upset.
On Good Luck Charlie, Spencer and Teddy's first breakup was awful
The Disney Channel original series Good Luck Charlie really drew in a wide range of viewers. One of the show’s stars was Teddy (played by Bridgit Mendler), the older sister in the Duncan family, and fans loved watching her go through adolescence. While she often got swept up in the hi-jinx of her siblings, one of the biggest plot points of the series was Teddy’s love life; that mostly revolved around Spencer (played by Shane Harper), her first real boyfriend — and also her first real heartbreak.
Teddy and Spencer started the series as classmates, but their feelings obviously evolved over time, and soon they were a full-on couple. So, when Teddy discovered that Spencer had cheated on her, it was awful to watch her reaction. Teddy then ended things with Spencer, and then spent a lot of time crying in her room.
Honestly, as devastating as the breakup was, Teddy’s reaction to it was even worse. Fortunately, her mom, came to comfort her, but it was one scene in Disney Channel history that seemed totally authentic.
Justin and Juliet deserved better on Wizards of Waverly Place
On Wizards of Waverly Place, the Disney Channel did away with the perfect, good-girl main character, and presented Alex (played by Selena Gomez) instead. Where Alex was rebellious and sarcastic, her older brother Justin (played by David Henrie) wasn’t, and while his relationships on the show tended to take a backseat to Alex’s, when it came to Juliet (played by Bridgit Mendler), fans were invested.
Justin wasn’t a wizard, but Juliet was a vampire (yes, really), meaning that the two had a hard go of it from the start. But they still fell hard for each other, despite their parents being enemies, and it seemed like all was well.
That is, until it wasn’t. When a showdown between Juliet and Alex’s boyfriend, Mason (played by Gregg Sulkin), left Juliet in the body of an old lady, she and Justin end things. It’s pretty sad, despite the odd situation, since Juliet and Justin seemed so perfect for each other. But it was out of their control, and they had to break up.
Raven and Devon were never meant to be on That's So Raven
The Disney Channel wasn’t exactly known for being diverse during it’s early years, but when it launched That’s So Raven, that started to change. The series put a woman of color in the lead role (Raven-Symoné), and fans loved the show’s wacky and hilarious premise. Raven’s psychic abilities might have meant that she could see glimpses into the future, but even she couldn’t have known that her relationship with high school sweet heart Devon ( played by Jonathan ‘Lil J’ McDaniel) wasn’t meant to be.
In the original series, Raven and Devon seemingly ended up together. But when the spinoff, Raven’s Home, premiered, fans were shocked to learn that Raven and Devon had actually divorced. “They were high school sweethearts, but things change,” star Raven Symoné told Seventeen. “People marry their high school sweethearts, and then they grow up and things change, and they get divorced and things are good because there’s still friendship there.”
Symoné has a point, but the fact that the two couldn’t make things work and had to break up was still pretty devastating to most fans.
Andi and Jonah's ending hit fans hard in Andi Mack
Anyone who remembers the angst and melodramatic feelings they had in middle school and even high school will know the pain of an unreciprocated crush. In the preteen and teen world of the Disney Channel, unreciprocated crushes were kind of the norm. Specifically, on the Disney Channel original series, Andi Mack, the titular character Andi (played by Peyton Elizabeth Lee) has a longstanding crush on her friend, Jonah (played by Asher Angel).
When Andi reveals her true feelings to Jonah, it’s a little uncomfortable. At first, Jonah doesn’t seem interested in Andi, but when he fears he might lose her because things got awkward, the two start dating. However, after Jonah goes off to camp, Andi then concludes that she’s fine with Jonah just being her friend, and they break up when he returns home.
It’s never easy when such an intense crush doesn’t end well, so Andi and Jonah’s breakup was especially sad. But at least they stayed friends!
In The Suite Life on Deck, Cody and Bailey shouldn't have ended things
While The Suite Life of Zack and Cody didn’t feature too much romance, when the twins got older in the spinoff, The Suite Life on Deck, Zack and Cody (played by twins Cole and Dylan Sprouse) had love on the brain. For Cody, his romantic interest was Bailey (played by Debby Ryan), a girl on the ship who shared his interests of science and all things nerdy.
At the end of the first season, Cody and Bailey went from friends to boyfriend and girlfriend, and things seemed to be going well for the most part. Well, until the season 2 finale, when the pair were meant to celebrate their one-year anniversary at the Eiffel Tower in Paris, only to both be overcome by jealousy. They fought on what was supposed to be a magical night, and ended up agreeing that they should break up. It was devastating for fans, and for Cody and Bailey, as the two were the perfect couple.
Mason and Alex seemed destined to be together on Wizards of Waverly Place
Because the Russo children on Wizards of Waverly Place were all either teenagers or pre-teens when the show started, it only makes sense that a large part of the series would focus on their love lives. And while Alex (played by Selena Gomez), went through many crushes and dates on the series, when Alex met Mason (played by Gregg Sulkin), things seemed different. And they were, mostly because Alex soon found out that while she may be a wizard, Mason was a werewolf, and that kind of complicated things.
It was during an intense conversation that Mason confessed he was still in love with a vampire, Juliet (Bridgit Mendler). Juliet then bit Mason, turning him into an actual wolf, effectively ending Alex and Mason’s relationship. Yes, it was complicated, but as Alex was so devoted to Mason, it was also unfortunate to watch. While — spoiler alert! — the two eventually ended up together in the end, their temporary breakup was nevertheless a total tearjerkedevastating.
Jessie and Brooks weren't meant to be on Jessie, but it still hurt
While many Disney Channel original shows center on younger kids or teens, Jessie told the story of a young woman on the precipice of her career. Jessie, played by Debby Ryan, had moved to New York City to pursue a career in the entertainment industry, but ended up nannying for a wealthy family to help pay the bills. While working as a nanny, Jessie meets a cute boy in the part named Brooks (played by Pierson Fode), and the two eventually fall in love and even get engaged.
However, before their wedding, Brooks learns that a work opportunity is going to force him to move to Africa. He and Jessie then speedily get married, but it doesn’t take Jessie long after Brooks says “I do” to realize she isn’t ready to leave her life in New York City behind. They end things at the altar, in one of the most devastating Disney Channel breakups ever. Not only was Jessie heartbroken, but this wasn’t some high school romance that ended — it was an actual engagement, and almost a wedding, which made it all the more dismal.
Many argued that Lucas and Maya belonged together on Girl Meets World
Hardcore fans of Boy Meets World got to relive the nostalgia of their youth when the Disney Channel launched a spinoff of the original series; Girl Meets World followed Cory and Topanga’s daughter, Riley (played by Rowan Blanchard, who’s undergone a stunning transformation), as she grew up. One of the most intriguing plot points on Girl Meets World was when Riley and her friend Maya (Sabrina Carpenter) had a kind of love triangle with their friend Lucas (Peyton Meyer), as they both had feelings for him.
While Lucas and Maya dated for a while, they eventually ended things, and it was pretty devastating. In the end, Maya claimed that she never really had any feelings for Lucas, and he broke up with her for Riley. It was hard to watch, especially because not everyone agreed with Maya’s claims. In fact, the chemistry between Lucas and Maya had many fans convinced that they were the couple that belonged together, not Lucas and Riley.
With such a strong connection and deep friendship, it was sad to see the pair break up.
In The Suite Life on Deck, Zack and Maya's ending was especially hard to watch
When The Suite Life of Zack and Cody first premiered, both Zack and Cody (played by Dylan and Cole Sprouse) were so young that the idea of being interested in girls grossed them out to an extent. However, as time went on and spinoff The Suite Life on Deck launched, the twins really started to lean into romantic relationships. And for Zack, or was more of a player than Cody, that meant finding love with girlfriend Maya Bennett (played by Zoey Deutch).
Maya and Zack start off as friends, with Zack being incredibly interested in Maya, and Maya not being interested due to Zack’s reputation. However, Zack eventually wins Maya over, and the two date for quite a while. However, towards the end of the series, when they’re about to graduate from high school, Maya reveals she is moving to Africa and she and Zack have to break up. It was an intense ending to a relationship that no one saw coming. And since Zack was never the type to be in a relationship, watching his first real one end was pretty devastating.
Austin and Ally's breakup was inevitable on Austin & Ally
Austin & Ally, the Disney Channel original series about the two titular friends and their musical endeavors, was pretty adorable from start to finish. Throughout the series, Austin and Ally (played by Ross Lynch and Laura Marano) went through plenty of makeups and breakups, in both their friendship and romantic relationship. But the devastating breakup they endured in the series finale was truly one for the books.
As Seventeen reported, Ally actually broke up with Austin before she went off to college at Harvard University. And while the entire series practically teased their inevitable happy ending, it actually made sense for Ally to end things with Austin. Of course, the two eventually realized they belonged together, but their time apart was equal parts tragic and logical. They had to learn that they needed each other, despite all the ups and downs of the real world. So, their breakup before college was a low point, sure, but it was important in the grand scheme of things.
On Hannah Montana, Miley and Jake went through a lot together
One of the most popular Disney Channel original series of all time is Hannah Montana. The series, which starred Miley Cyrus, launched her career, and gave pre-teens and teens a show to look forward to.
One of the most exciting story arcs of Hannah Montana was when Miley found herself in an intense relationship with Jake (played by Cody Linley), who ended up breaking her heart when he cheated on her. What made that particular breakup even more devastating was that the actors themselves hated that it happened.
In fact, Linley told MTV that he didn’t think his character should have cheated. “I think that it was just such a match made in heaven,” he explained. “I even thought that we were going to be together, and it was so sweet, cause Miley was I think kinda bummed that they wrote my character out.” He added that there were only two ways the relationship could have gone, so in the end he was just happy to have been on Hannah Montana at all.
Sonny and Chad never had a chance on Sonny with a Chance
On Sonny with a Chance, Demi Lovato — who’s undergone a stunning transformation — starred as Sonny, a girl with ambition who lands her dream job appearing on a fictional sketch comedy show, So Random! On the show, Sonny meets Chad (played by Sterling Knight), a fellow actor who’s both narcissistic and charming — and of course, she falls for him. The two have a fairly normal relationship, until Sonny and the cast of So Random! win an award over Chad, and they’re kind of a sore winner. Then, when Chad demands a recount of the votes for the award and ending up winning, he was the sore winner.
In the episode where Sonny and Chad ended things, Sonny is clearly distraught, and points out that people in a relationship should be supportive of one another, not so competitive. Chad demanding the recount and then calling Sonny losing “normal” really rubbed her, and fans, the wrong way. Not only was the breakup devastating, but it was also pretty realistic, which made it all that much more heartbreaking.
Lizzie's heartbreak from Ronnie was just cruel in Lizzie McGuire
Even though the Disney Channel original series Lizzie McGuire only lasted two seasons (plus a movie), it’s a total fan favorite. Lizzie (played by Hilary Duff) truly goes through her awkward stages on camera, and viewers get to relate to the tortures of middle school, all while having a laugh at the incredible situations Lizzie and her friends find themselves in. But in season 2, Lizzie has grown up a little bit, and even lands her first boyfriend, a paperboy named Ronnie (played by Joe Rokicki).
Lizzie is obviously smitten with Ronnie, but her best friends, Miranda, and Gordo (played by Lalaine and Adam Lamberg), get annoyed by how much she talks about him. Still, when Ronnie dumps Lizzie – after taking her first kiss away from her, mind you — Miranda and Gordo are totally there for her.
A heartbroken Lizzie wasn’t something viewers were used to seeing, but the relationship and even the breakup helped to make the show more relatable. After all, everyone remembers their first heartbreak.
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