'Star-Crossed' reminds us of pop culture's greatest breakup line: The 'different worlds' excuse

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Image Credit: Mathieu Young/The CW

It only took two episodes of Star-Crossed for someone to utter the line we’d all been waiting for (and secretly hoping would kick off the pilot): “We’re from two different worlds.” To be fair, in Star-Crossed‘s case, that is an accurate statement. Emery is from Earth and Roman is from Atria, a planet we know little about other than that it’s dying and yet somehow superior to Mars. Intergalactic drama, amirite?

But in watching Roman pull the “different worlds” card, I couldn’t help but be transported back to the second episode of The O.C. Fans of the show will remember the moment well. It was the first time Ryan and Marissa confessed that they had any sort of feelings for each other. She showed up at the model home on his last night asking to stay, and he told her, “We’re from different worlds.” She tried to deny it, but he followed it up with, “I’m not like you.” Basically, he was comparing her privileged, party-filled upbringing to his grainy, misdemeanor-filled life in Chino.

Long story short, this got me thinking: How many times have I heard some version of this “different worlds” crap, and what does it even mean?! This is what I came up with:

Show: Star-Crossed
Line: “We’re from two different worlds.”
Meaning: They’re from two different worlds.
Review: This one is pretty much flawless. It’s literal and, quite frankly, fair.

Show: The O.C.
Line: “We’re from different worlds.”
Meaning: You’re rich, and I’m poor. We grew up in different cities/societies.
Review: So maybe it was a bit of an exaggeration, but also not really. Have you seen Chino? Have you seen the Newpsies? That’s all I’m sayin’.

Show: Gossip Girl
Line: “The dissolution of a relationship between two people from different worlds.”
Meaning: This was Dan referencing his relationship with Serena, once again pulling the money/society card. He was an artsy guy from Brooklyn who didn’t have a lot of money, and she was from the Upper East Side.
Review: This one is slightly more dramatic than The O.C. For one, you do not actually live that far apart. And even if the UES is like its own ritzy world, you go to school there, Dan! So clearly your worlds collide a little bit. Also — spoiler! — the moment you started Gossip Girl, you became part of that world, Lonely Boy. Get over it.

Movie: Thor
Line: “We’re from different worlds. Maybe they were separate for a reason.”
Meaning: This line is spoken by Jane and, again, is literal. Thor is from Asgard, which is a lot shinier than Earth.
Review: It’s hard to poke holes in that one. Except maybe that he’s super hot and speaks English, so shut up, Jane, and enjoy your man!

Show: Nashville
Line: Well, it was less of a line and more of an episode title: Season 1, Episode 4: “We Live in Two¬†Different Worlds”
Meaning: This episode title could have multiple meanings. Maybe it referred to Juliette’s nail polish scandal and how she grew up as some girl in a trailer park and was now a famous pop star. Or perhaps it referred to Rayna’s married life and Deacon’s single one? Let’s hope it’s the former.
Review: If it referred to Juliette, it’s fine, albeit a little dramatic. If it referred to Rayna, it’s downright dumb.

Song: “Beauty and the Beast” by Stevie Nicks
Line: “We come from different worlds, we are the same my love.”
Meaning: I’m not quite sure what kind of metaphor Nicks is trying to play with this song. Either her man is really hairy or really animal-esque? And which one is it: Are you different or the same? You can’t have your cake and eat it too, Nicks!
Review: Confusing.

Song: “Two Different Worlds” by LL Cool J
Line: The title.
Meaning: There’s a lyric about her being a queen and him being only a prince, so I really hope this is a song about royal struggles … by LL Cool J.
Review: Perfection.

Show: Orange Is the New Black
Line: “You’re laundry, I’m electric. We’re from different worlds.”
Meaning: Piper uttered these words to ex-girlfriend Alex in an attempt to make herself believe they could no longer work. Outside the prison walls, Alex was a super-exciting drug trafficker, and Piper was now a boring engaged woman.
Review: Considering that it was used ironically — Alex was literally on laundry duty at the prison and Piper worked electric — I can’t find anything wrong with this one.

Book: The Notebook by Nicholas Sparks
Line: “You and I were different. We came from different worlds, and yet you were the one who taught me the value of love. You showed me what it was like to care for another, and I am a better man because of it. I don’t want you to ever forget that.”
Meaning: Again, privileged girl, meet not-so-privileged boy. Boom! Fall in love.
Review: My feelings toward Sparks rarely fluctuate from “too much.”

To sum things up: Don’t ever tell someone you’re with that you’re “from different worlds” unless you are literally from different worlds or maybe if one of you lives someplace as dramatic as Josh Schwartz’s Orange County. Personally, I say we plant both our feet on planet Earth and come up with a real excuse not to be with someone (like if they hate The Lion King or something). Who’s with me?


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