Date planning can be super stressful.
But not every date has to be at that fancy French restaurant with the super pricey snails.
The whole point of a date is to spend time with someone and get to know them better. This is true in television too.
Some of the best television dates involved someone getting a little creative. Okay, so sometimes they had to break the bank, but not always. In any case, some of these dates would be very fun.
So let's take a cue from the couples of television and see what some of the most creative dates they've gone on were.
1) Puck and Quinn - Glee - Babysitting
When a pregnant Quinn invited Puck to babysit with her on Glee Season 1 Episode 11, she was testing whether or not he was daddy material. This is something that a lot of couples (or almost couples) think about.
And even if having a baby is so far from what you're thinking about right now, there is no better way to test the teamwork dynamic than trapping yourself in a house of little monsters.
Or, if you already have some monsters of your own, staying in together and singing a song to them might be all the bonding you need. Scratch that. Parents need date night away from the kids.
But those in pre-parent bliss might enjoy playing family for a night. If nothing else, you'll learn a little about your partner and yourself.
And the best part, if the kids really are monsters, is that when the night is over, you get to hand them off to someone else.
2) Rose and Fredrick Dean - Hart of Dixie - Bluebell Battle
Babysitting isn't the only way to test teamwork. Getting together for a competition can be a fun way to bond. It's a low-key way to get to know somebody.
Hart of Dixie Season 1 Episode 20 introduced fans to the Bluebell Battle: a wacky townwide race with various challenges and obstacles. Rose's Hattenbarger's first date with her crush Frederick Dean had them teaming up and competting together.
It was tame enough for her mom to approve of, but as Zoe tried to convince Rose, a lot can happen in the heat of the moment when you're trying to win a game.
The adrenaline rush that comes with trying to win can lead to another kind of adrenaline rush. And if you want to leave early and find a quiet spot together like Rose and Frederick Dean did, that's an option too.
3) Rory and Jess - Gilmore Girls - Basket Bid
Bluebell isn't the only town with wacky traditions that lead to great first dates. Rory and Jess (and Luke and Lorelai) went on a picnic on Gilmore Girls Season 2 Episode 13. But the fun part was that the picnic basket was one Rory filled with "food" and that Jess bid money on.
So, the idea of purchasing a date is a little antiquated. But a harmless picnic auction can be fun if you don't take it too seriously.
Rory and Jess ate their meal on the bridge. Then they went for pizza because the picnic lunch was disgusting. They ended their date shopping for books, which is a good date for anybody.
(I feel compelled to mention that Hart of Dixie Season 2 Episode 9 also featured a basket auction, pairing up Zoe and Wade, Lavon and Lemon, Shelby and Brick, and George and Tansy. If you want to take Tansy and George's lead, you can complete your meal by stealing a dog.)
4) Alison and Scott - Teen Wolf - The Woods
If you're willing to steal a dog, maybe you'd be up for ditching school? I'm kidding, of course; I would never advocate ditching. But on a serious show like Teen Wolf where everything is life and death, it was nice to see the teens blow off some steam.
They ditched and headed to the woods for Alison's birthday on Teen Wolf Season 1 Episode 5. I don't know why the woods, but surprisingly, nothing sinister happens to them there. They just goof off and have fun.
So, this date isn't really good if you are one for creature comforts, but if you like nature, by all means, adjourn to the woods.
5) Alex and Marissa - The O.C. - The Tide Changing/The Beach
If you're into those nature dates, how about something on the beach? Alex has a tradition of going to watch the tide change to signal a major change in her life. On The O.C. Season 2 Episode 12, that change was Marissa Cooper.
I don't think anyone was surprised when Marissa and Alex's first date wound up being on Valentine's Day, despite Alex's earlier protests. Including Marissa in her ritual was the perfect way to start off this relationship.
It was a big change for both of them and they marked it by kissing on the beach just as the tide changed.
Nightime beaching could be romantic, but even a fun beach day could be a nice day. Do it O.C. style!
6) Catherine and Vincent - Beauty and the Beast - Hotel Pool
If you aren't one for the outdoors but you like to swim, maybe go to a local pool for a date.This is what Vincent and Catherine did on Beauty and the Beast Season 1 Episode 21.
Somehow, on television, people seem to get the pool more or less all to themselves. I don't know how they do this, but going to a hotel pool instead of a public one might help a little.
Funnily enough, the whole point was to be out in the world like a normal couple 000instead of the anti-social couple they have to be due to Vincent's secret. Still, once they got in the water, it was clear these two didn't have eyes for anyone but each other.
7) Lucy and Wyatt - Timeless - Undercover Double Date
Sometimes you want other people there with you for a date, hence the famous double date. A double date has a little less pressure.
At least it would if you weren't doubling with a dynamic duo of infamous bank robbers. Then again, maybe those bank robbers are the very reason for this date. Lucy and Wyatt found themselves doubling with Bonnie and Clyde as they tried to maintain their cover as a couple on Timeless Season 1 Episode 9.
Of course, not everybody has a time machine. Not everybody can go on a double date with Bonnie and Clyde. (Incidentally, if you do have a time machine, going on a double date in the past might risk the timeline)
But if your life involves some undercover craziness, doubling with some criminals might be right up your alley.
It worked out pretty well for Lucy and Wyatt, after all. I mean, being married was all kinds of fake at the time, but the sparks from that kiss were pretty real.
8) Lois and Clark - Lois and Clark: The New Adventures of Superman - Cabin Stakeout
Even if you are on an undercover type mission, sometimes the date is real.
Nothing says "Let's get to know each other better," like a good old fashioned stakeout.
Lois and Clark's first date plans fall through when they are stuck staking out a person of interest on Lois and Clark: The New Adventures of Superman Season 2 Episode 13. That does not stop them from getting cosey with a little wine as they watch the POI from a cabin.
The thrill of a stakeout mixed with the coziness of a cabin, plus your date takes off his shirt? What could be better?
9) Buffy and Spike- Buffy the Vampire Slayer - Car Stakeout and a Flask
Stakeouts don't always work out. Sometimes you're trapped in a car with a vampire who has the hots for you.
What was worse for Spike's idea of a date on Buffy the Vampire Slayer Season 5 Episode 14? Him singing a Ramones hit, or offering her a flask of bourbon?
But if it isn't an obsessed vampire and is, in fact, someone you can actually stand, using a stakeout as a way to bond can be good.
Sure, it's no cosey cabin, but people can get plenty cosey in a car. After you chase down your perp, you can make-out a little bit.
10) Neal and Emma - Once Upon A Time - Breaking into An Amusement Park
Cops and reporters and bringers of justice can stakeout until the cows come home, but criminals need love too. How about a date that involves breaking in somewhere?
Hear me out. I'm not suggesting breaking windows and making off with merchandise. While I imagine that would have its thrill, I'm thinking a more low-key crime like Neal and Emma committed in a flashback on Once Upon a Time Season 3 Episode 22. Breaking into an amusement park. Picking a lock and turning on the lights.
You'd have to know how to get the lights on, but just hanging out on a carousel drinking coffee with your date could be really chill with a side of thrill.
It's how Emma and Neal started, and look where they ended up? Okay, bad example.
11) Charles and Liza - Younger - Riding a Carousel
If you're a stickler for the rules, come to the amusement park during opening hours and pay for it. In this case, not only do you get to sit on the pretty ponies, you get to ride them.
If you want something exceptional, you can go to the Seaglass Carousel in Battery Park. That's fish instead of horses. They look like they are made of Seaglass, shimmering as they do.
Riding the Seaglass Carousel is described as an under-the-sea garden experience. But the real experience? Holding hands with your date under the table like Charles and Liza when they went on this beautiful ride on Younger Season 5 Episode 8.
12) The Doctor and Rose - Doctor Who - The End Of The World ... From A Distance
Again, unless you have a time machine, this one is kind of hard. You can't exactly go five billion years in the future and watch the world be consumed by the sun safely from a space station platform as Rose and The Doctor did on Doctor Who Season 1 Episode 2..
However, there's a lot in the universe that we can see here and now. If you can go to a space station and observe a major event from a safe distance, that would be a pretty cool date, time travel or no.
And afterward, you can get french fries. Or chips, as Rose would say.
13) Eleanor and Chidi - The Good Place - A Mailroom Outside The Good Place
You what's harder to get to than the future? The Good Place.
Having a picnic outside The Good Place s pretty unlikely as long as we're alive (and possibly even after we're dead). That's all theology though, and that is not why we're here. We're here for dates, even impossible ones, apparently.
Chidi and Eleanor try to find a distraction on The Good Place Season 3 Episode 11. They enjoy each other while waiting things out in the mailroom outside The Good Place. So we have something impromptu and a mailroom while awaiting a major life-changing ruling.
If you have a major legal decision coming up, a nice picnic in a waiting area might help to ease your nerves. Making the best of a bad situation is part of why creative dates exist.
14) Lorelai and Jason - Gilmore Girls - The Supermarket
Speaking of making the best of a bad situation, if a fancy restaurant doesn't work out, and takeout is rejected, you may find yourself hungry on a date. This is unacceptable.
When faced with this very situation on Gilmore Girls Season 4 Episode 9, Jason and Lorelai dashed into a supermarket and assembled a variety of prepared and pre-packaged foods. Then they settled down to eat them.
We may not ship Lorelai with Jason (because who does?) but you can't deny that this date was a creative and clever solution and adorable to boot.
It isn't the sort of thing one would plan, but sometimes ending up at a store in the middle of the night can be just the whimsical sort of date you need.
15) Kat and Adena - The Bold Type - The Airport
When it comes to impromptu dates, this was one of the better ones. Because being stuck somewhere with someone can be a blessing in disguise. And aren't airports fun?
You have gift shops and food, and you can make a pillow fort. I repeat, A PILLOW FORT! Does it get better than a pillow fort?
Hopefully, visa problems never force you into the situation Adena's was in on The Bold Type Season 1 Episode 9, but if you have a night before you leave the country, what better way to spend that time than on a date? And if it's stuck at the airport, so be it.
16) West and Claire - Heroes - Sitting on The Hollywood Sign
If your life is a little more science-fiction than you're willing to admit to us, then a plane isn't the only way to fly.
West flew Claire up onto the Hollywood Sign for their first date on Heroes Season 2 Episode 4. Can you imagine being up high like that and looking down on everything? And to get to be up there and just hang out with a cute boy?
In the real world, touching the Hollywood Sign is not allowed, but you can take a nice hike in Griffin Park and find yourself up and above that location.
It's hard not to be jealous that Claire got to do this off-limits thing. I guess if your boyfriend can fly, the sky is literally the limit, but there is something to be said for high-up, off-limits spaces. Maybe a nice rooftop could do the trick.
17) Nathan and Haley - One Tree Hill - Lingerie Shopping
It isn't only boys with superpowers who can pull out all the stops. Okay, so technically, Brooke was the one who planned the whole thing for Nathan and Haley on One Tree Hill Season 1 Episode 8. Go Brooke!
Having a friend plan a scavenger hunt date could be great. It can encourage you to spend time sharing secrets and having a romantic dinner.
Or it could be awkward because the most creative part of this date was buying sexy clothing for your date at a lingerie store.
Depending on what kind of couple you are, this can turn out kinky or adorkable. (It's adorkable because you feel awkward and buy socks).
There is nothing wrong with getting a little kinky and no reason not to do so proudly. Buying clothing and sharing secrets are great ways to express that you care about someone. Not to mention, get to know someone. Isn't that what dating is all about?
18) Jane and Ryan - The Bold Type - Sex Club
Buying lingerie might be a little on the kinky side, but going to a sex club? That brings the kink up to an 11!
Going somewhere that takes you out of your comfort zone can be scary. If you have to do it, what better way to do it than with a partner? Especially if partnering is the whole point.
Jane and Ryan both felt awkward about the whole thing on The Bold Type Season 4 Episode 4, though their reasons were different. They made it work for them though.
And hey, you don't have to do anything you don't want to do. But nobody can deny this was a creative date night for Janestripe.
19) Rachel and Ross- Friends - The Laundremat
Sometimes it isn't about buying clothes or taking them off. Sometimes it's about washing them.
It doesn't get more low-key than going to do your laundry together. If you are either half of Roschel on Friends Season 1 Episode 5, you might not even know that it is a date ... at least until Chandler points it out.
Still, there is something sweetly domestic about it. Doing laundry can be such a chore, but if you go with someone who you like to talk to then it can be a great time.
And if you're lucky like Ross, it might end in a first kiss. And, you know, a headache.
20) Ted and Stella - How I Met Your Mother - 2 Minute Date
If you have trouble even finding time to do your laundry, you probably don't have time for dinner and a movie. Unless you plan it just right the way Ted did on How I Met Your Mother Season 3 Episode 13.
And by plan it just right, we mean pay a waitress to set up a table and bite-sized snacks outside your date's work. Then set television in a store window with a highlight reel for a movie less than a block away. Or something like that.
Keep it short and sweet, fitting in little samples of all the best date cliches. It won't be much, but if someone only has two minutes for lunch ...
21) Catherine and Gabe - Beauty and the Beast - Cake Decorating
If you have more than five minutes, you might have time to plan something elaborate. And if your date is stuck on a gift for a friend, this date will be perfect for you.
It isn't dinner, but you can eat it. It's fun and creative and let's you be artistic for the night. And who doesn't love cake?
If you can find a place near you that'll let you decorate a cake, I'd say that sounds like a pretty fun date.
And hopefully, you aren't faking the whole thing like Catherine was with Gabe on Beauty and the Beast Season 2 Episode 21, not that we can blame her given the circumstances.
22) Leonard and Penny - The Big Bang Theory - Shooting Range
Another great place to go to is a shooting range. You have to be sure you know how to shoot a gun as it is no joke, but tons of people enjoy the experience.
Part of what made this date so great was that Leonard went out of his way to find out what Penny likes on The Big Bang Theory Season 5 Episode 14. It wasn't something he would do on his own, but he knew doing something she liked would make her happy. And as it turns out, Penny likes guns!
Presumably, they make sure that it's safe, though feel free to check out the particulars before booking some time.
23) August and Emma - Once Upon A Time - Watering Hole
This one is completely free but may take a fair bit of planning. Find a watering hole like August did on Once Upon A Time Season 1 Episode 13.
That's right, an actual watering hole; you might also call it a well. How's that for creative?
Again, do your research. Make sure the water is safe and scope out the spot.
But if you ask a girl to get a drink and then take her to a well, you can't deny she'll be surprised and perhaps even charmed.
So, we have a lot of different ideas here, but I think the main thing is finding a fun way to spend some time together. Are there any you want to try? Are there any we didn't think of? Let us know in the comments.
Leora W is a staff writer for TV Fanatic..