Sam Malone (Ted Danson) was a bar owner and former Red Sox pitcher (as well as an all-around "player") who flirted with every attractive customer and adored nothing more than his own reflection. Diane Chambers (Shelley Long) was an underemployed and incompetent cocktail waitress who couldn't pass up an opportunity to demonstrate her superior intellect and whose every interaction reminded patrons and coworkers alike that she considered herself too good for Cheers. The combination should have been doomed from the start, but somehow the writers of "Cheers" created a chemistry between this unlikely pair that kept viewers' attention from the series pilot in 1982 until Diane's departure in 1987 [source: Bird].
Of course, our instincts turned out to be correct, as Diane ultimately rejected Sam's repeated marriage proposals and left both him and the bar behind to fulfill her dream of writing a book. The 1993 series finale teased us with the possibility that Sam and Diane might end up together after all, but the two characters thought better of it at the last minute, ultimately parting as friends [TV Guide].