Why Abbott Elementary's Janine And Gregory Are My New Favorite Will-They/Won't-They TV Couple

 Janine and Gregory kissing in the classroom made of flowers
Janine and Gregory kissing in the classroom made of flowers
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This article contains spoilers for Season 2 of Abbott Elementary.

Sam and Diane. Ross and Rachel. Ben and Leslie. And now, Abbott Elementary’s Janine and Gregory. Will the pair go down in history as one of the greatest will-they/won’t-they TV couples of all time? Spoiler alert: I’m obsessed with them.

Abbott Elementary fans have been shipping Janine (played by Quinta Brunson) and Gregory (played by Tyler James Williams) since the premiere of the Emmy-winning show, but their kiss at the teaching conference really solidified them as one of the best will they/won’t they couples in recent history.

The actors and writers of Abbott Elementary have created an OTP for comedy fans and teachers everywhere in Janine and Gregory, and I’m going to explain how. Here are five reasons why Janine and Gregory are one of my favorite potential couples to root for on TV.

janine and gregory working on an egg drop.
janine and gregory working on an egg drop.

They Have So Much In Common

It’s of course not a requirement that all couples share a bunch of common interests, but in the case of Janine Teagues and Gregory Eddie, they just have so much in common it’s impossible to ignore. In addition to both being Type-A overachievers whose favorite way to unwind is by “staying busy,” they’re both fiercely committed to their students and their careers. It’s just obvious that their lives together would be very compatible.

The ep that sealed the deal for me on Janine and Gregory’s compatibility was the one where they went to the club (Season 2, “Holiday Hookah”). There are two types of people at the club: the ones that want to be there and the ones that want to go home early, and Janine and Gregory both fall into the latter.

And don’t get me started on the LEGO bouquet of flowers, which Amber turned down moments after Janine had said they were the perfect gift. No shade to Amber—she deserves a boyfriend who understands that she wouldn’t think that’s cute. It’s just the fact that Janine and Gregory see eye to eye on everything, including gifts.

Janine and Gregory pointing at each other in Abbott Elementary
Janine and Gregory pointing at each other in Abbott Elementary

They’re Both Awkward People

Janine and Gregory are both a little bit awkward when interacting with—well, basically anyone other than their students. That means despite the fact that they’re clearly attracted to each other, Janine and Gregory are going to awkwardly pretend like they’re “just friends.”

As a fellow awkward person, I can definitely relate to being totally awkward when it comes to navigating complex romantic relationships. Despite being perfect for each other, these two probably won’t actually admit their feelings for each other anytime soon. It would be too complicated and messy, and they’re both too professional for that. My prediction is that it won’t happen until the gang finds themselves outside the walls of Abbott Elementary again—maybe on a field trip, or at next years’ teaching conference.

Hear me out though—at the end of the day, we need Janine and Gregory to keep acting awkward for the sake of the “will-they/won’t-they.” Less awkward characters would have gotten together like, half a season ago. Personally, I hope the writers take their time letting Janine and Gregory’s romance develop.

Tyler James Williams and Quinta Brunson on Abbott Elementary
Tyler James Williams and Quinta Brunson on Abbott Elementary

Only Teachers Understand Teachers

Lots of ensemble workplace comedies feature coworkers in romantic relationships, but let me explain to you why a romance between teachers just makes so. Much. Sense.

There are certain professions you just can’t understand unless you’ve done it yourself (or watched someone you love do it), and teaching is one of them. Janine and Gregory’s non-teacher significant others can’t understand what it’s like to be a teacher—they can’t understand how hard and draining it is, how rewarding it is or how consuming it can be. For teachers like Janine and Gregory, who see teaching as a lifelong calling, that’s a type of devotion outsiders can’t comprehend.

Janine and Gregory also both have that new teacher glow—they care SO much about their students and always go above and beyond for them. Watch literally any episode from the series and you’ll find multiple examples.

Left to right: Amy Poehler as Leslie Knope, Quinta Brunson as Janine Taegues, Adam Scott as Ben Wyatt and Tyler James Williams as Gregory Eddie.
Left to right: Amy Poehler as Leslie Knope, Quinta Brunson as Janine Taegues, Adam Scott as Ben Wyatt and Tyler James Williams as Gregory Eddie.

They Remind Me Of Ben And Leslie

Abbott definitely seems to have pulled a lot of influence from one of itse “mockumentary” predecessors, Parks and Recreation — Quinta Brunson even shared in an “Actors on Actors” interview with Adam Scott that she studied Parks before writing Abbott. Maybe that’s why Janine and Gregory remind me so much of Ben Wyatt and Leslie Knope, and I'm clearly not alone with that opinion.

Janine has the bubbly, “change-the-world” attitude of Leslie Knope, while Gregory has the realism and down-to-earth mannerisms of Ben Wyatt. All four are extremely hard working people who would do anything for the people they care about.

That’s not to say Janine and Gregory are carbon copies of Leslie and Ben—they stand on their own as a TV couple, thanks to the writers’ efforts to keep the romance from feeling like “typical TV.”

Maurice holds a Telfar bag
Maurice holds a Telfar bag

Their Exes Aren’t Totally Hateable

We’ve seen Janine and Gregory both go through a breakup or two during Seasons 1 and 2 of Abbott Elementary—but I think the writers have done an amazing job of giving them exes who aren’t horrible people. They’re just not right for Janine or Gregory.

In fact, Gregory’s ex Amber and Janine’s boyfriend Maurice (rapper Vince Staples) kind of seem like they’re endgame. Actually, I could watch an entire spinoff about Amber and Maurice, mostly because I’m so impressed by Abbott guest actor Vince Staples’ comedic timing and deadpan, sincere delivery. He’s a great addition to the show, especially considering his previous acting credits only include voice work and a cameo as himself on Insecure. Anyway, I’ll feel less bad about Janine dumping Maurice for Gregory knowing his perfect match is already in his life.

My point is… in any good will-they/won’t-they, there are bound to be love triangles, exes and rebounds—but Abbott Elementary has done an amazing job of filling Gregory and Janine’s story with colorful, memorable side characters. It’s not hard to imagine why Gregory dated Amber, or why Janine stayed with Tariq for so long.

“Just two friends getting caught up in the moment” my ass—these two are meant to be. New episodes of Abbott Elementary air on Wednesdays on ABC, and episodes of the series are included with a Hulu subscription.