The Sex And The City Scenes That Prove Carrie And Big's Relationship Was Actually Toxic

For a long time, Carrie and Big were the It couple on TV. If you watched "Sex and the City" back its heyday, chances are you were just as obsessed with them as we were. One thing they always delivered on was the drama. Just when you thought everything was rosy for Carrie and Big, they'd get into another fight. But, of course, soon enough, they would get back together again. This on-again, off-again couple definitely kept us on our toes.

But while many of us thought that the romantic highs and lows of Carrie and Big were the pinnacle of passion, looking back, we've started to realize that this couple was actually pretty toxic. Not only were they terrible at communication, but they also had some other terrible relationship habits — namely, cheating, lying, gaslighting, and manipulating. Of course, the couple eventually ended up together — as actress Sarah Jessica Parker told Extra at the premiere of the 2022 reboot, "Big and Carrie are lucky, because they still love." While Big and Carrie may have loved each other, it doesn't mean they were a healthy couple — here are some of the scenes that prove it.

Carrie's insecurity about Big bubbles up in their very first meeting

You may have thought that Carrie and Big became more and more toxic over time. However, looking back at their very first meeting, you can already see some signs that their relationship would not be a healthy one. Way back when Carrie was still a brunette, she met Big after bumping into him on the street. As he picked up the string of condoms that fell out of her purse, she looked up into his eyes and then down to his ring finger, and it was love at first sight.

Later that day, the pair have their first conversation after he offers to drive her home in his car. Almost immediately, a power imbalance is established. Big is flirtatious and confident. He tells her, "I get it, you've never been in love." Her voiceover chimes in: "Suddenly, I felt the wind knocked out of me. I wanted to crawl under the covers and go right to sleep." When he tells her with a smirk he has been in love, her face says it all. Carrie is deeply intrigued by Big, while for Big, it appears he thinks this was just another passing flirtation.

When Big refused to communicate with Carrie about their relationship at a party

One of the biggest red flags is when your new romantic partner fails to tell you about their other romantic partners. We get it though; until you have the "exclusive" chat, it's technically ok to date several people at once. But when a couple can't communicate about whether they want an exclusive relationship, things can quickly become pretty toxic — and that's exactly what happens with Big and Carrie in Season 1, Episode 7.

Big introduces Carrie to a friend at a party as "someone very special." The friend mistakes her for someone named Julia. Carrie instantly becomes frosty while Big becomes defensive and aggressive. "How many women are you dating?" she asks him. "In the tri-state area?" he asks with a smirk. When Carrie tries to interrogate him further, he says, "I'm not doing this here." And when she becomes stand-offish, he says, "Come on, what do you want from me?" Carrie replies sadly, "Nothing. I don't want anything from you."

In this scene, both Carrie and Big fail to communicate what they actually want. Instead of having an open, honest conversation about their relationship status, they become sarcastic, aggressive, and even cruel, leaving Big feeling annoyed and Carrie feeling hurt.

When Carrie went behind Big's back and spoke to his ex-wife

While Big was always a bit of a player, it didn't help that Carrie became more and more insecure as their relationship went on. In Season 1, Episode 8, Carrie becomes so jealous of Big's previous relationships that she speaks to his ex-wife behind his back. When she confesses to Big, she reveals just how insecure she is about the relationship.

"Everyone has a past and Carrie has taken it upon herself to feel personally victimized by Big's,"'s relationship expert James Thomas told us. "Going behind his back to meet up with his ex-wife is a clear sign of jealousy and unhappiness within herself and the relationship, and shows major trust issues." Of course, she isn't the only one to blame. Thomas explains that Big should have given her more reassurance and told her about his ex-wife sooner. Plus, if Carrie felt that she needed more information, she should have asked him instead of going behind his back. Essentially, this scene proves that Carrie is insecure — and Big's nonchalance does nothing to help!

When Carrie freaked out about farting in front of Big

As Gary Brown, a marriage and family therapist, told HuffPost, "It's a healthy sign that you are comfortable enough with each other to [pass gas]." In other words, being able to fart in front of your partner means you probably have an open relationship with fewer insecurities.

Of course, Carrie is not famous for being secure! So, naturally, she totally freaks out when she farts in front of Big. After it happens, she manages to laugh it off — but when Big stops wanting sex every evening, she shuts herself off and throws herself into repainting her apartment, assuming that he's no longer attracted to her. "All I could think was, 'Why aren't we having sex? Is this normal? What's wrong? Where are we going?'" Carrie says in a voiceover. This scene shows that Carrie is terrified of not being perfect in front of Big — and that even a small hiccup in the relationship can send her into a spiral of self-doubt and overanalyzing. If only she had been honest with him about how she was feeling!

When Carrie demanded Big tell her she was the one

Even though Carrie and Big clearly have great chemistry in Season 1 of "Sex and the City," they also have lots of problems. While Carrie has super strong feelings for Big, he consistently shows himself to be unavailable for a long-term, serious relationship. Of course, because Carrie likes him so much, she ignores the red flags. Things come to a head in the Season 1 finale when Carrie finally tells Big what she needs from him — commitment.

"I need a sign," she says, adding, "Just tell me I'm the one." Big looks at her sadly and says nothing. The pair break up, which was probably exactly what they should have done — except, of course, they keep on getting back together! "Carrie is ultimately forcing Big to be something he is not, and instead of looking at what is right in front of her, is seeing the ideal version of a man she wants to be with," James Thomas, a relationship expert, told The List. "This is a toxic pattern of going back to something which isn't serving you any purpose in life just because it could be right one day."

When Carrie couldn't communicate with Big about him not saying, 'I love you'

In another case of communication problems, Carrie manages to spiral into a panic after telling Big she loves him and not hearing it back. Of course, this happens all the time in real life. As relationship expert Chloe Ballatore told Bustle, "It is absolutely normal for one person to say 'I love you' first and not hear it back. In my practice, that's what happens about 50% of the time." Still, therapist Ieshai Bailey added that responding with anger was definitely not the right reaction.

Naturally, Carrie provided an example of what not to do. Instead of staying calm, she let her anxiety bubble up inside her. Eventually, she began to take out her anger on Big, and the pair got into a fight at a party. The next morning, Big called Carrie and finally explained why he hadn't said "I love you" back. "It's just something I've got to do in my own time ... Well, I f***ing love you, alright?" he said. Unfortunately, Carrie had already spent the night sleeping next to another man! If only these two actually communicated, none of this would have happened.

When Carrie and Big broke up before he moved to Paris

In classic Carrie and Big style, the pair soon reunited after their breakup in the Season 1 finale. While their relationship initially seemed stronger than ever, it soon became clear that the same old issues were still there just below the surface — Carrie wanted stability and commitment, while Big wanted freedom.

Things reached a breaking point in Season 2, Episode 12, when Big announced he was moving to Paris. After an initial panic, she showed up at his house in a beret with McDonalds in tow, saying she'll move to Paris too. "I don't want you to uproot your life and expect anything," Big said, leading to their breakup.

Once again, Big downplayed the seriousness of their relationship and refused to give Carrie any hope of future commitment. As psychotherapist Jack Worthy told Bustle, this is not only an example of toxic behavior, but also kind of dangerous for viewers. "TV shows can portray a reality wherein a man is ambivalent about a woman, and the woman, through her perseverance, pushes a man through that ambivalence into commitment," he said. And this is definitely an instance of classic Big ambivalence!

Carrie was always trying to prove herself as marriage material to Big

By the end of Season 2 of "Sex and the City," Big is engaged to Natasha. Carrie and Big have a bittersweet conversation just after his engagement party. "Why wasn't it me?" she asks him. He only replies, "I don't know. It just got so hard. And she's ..." As Carrie walks away, she sees an out-of-control horse. Her voiceover says, "Maybe the problem was he couldn't break me." In other words, Carrie is left feeling that she was too wild to be marriage material.

This scene seems to send the message that women have to become demure, calm women in order to be good long-term partners for men. It's pretty clear that Carrie wishes she could have been less wild — and that Big was unwilling to put up with Carrie unless she made life easy for him.

Carrie became the other woman when Big married Natasha

Nothing screams "toxic relationship" like cheating. When Carrie started seeing Big again after his marriage to Natasha, she proved herself to be impulsive and selfish — and Big showed himself to be untrustworthy and disrespectful. After all, Carrie was also in a relationship with Aidan at the time! After breaking up twice and then having an affair, this was definitely the peak of their toxicity as a couple.

When Charlotte found out about the affair, Carrie tried to explain herself. "It was a force bigger than me, like Niagara Falls or something, you know?" she says. "No, I don't know. He's married," replies Charlotte coldly. Carrie tries to explain that she did think about Natasha. Charlotte goes on to give Carrie some hard truths: "You think about what would happen to you if she found out. You don't think about her." We have to say — in this instance, Charlotte was totally right.

When Big tried to convince Carrie not to move to Paris

Just when we thought Carrie was finally free from her toxic cycle with Big, he came back and tried to rope her back in. In Season 6, Carrie decides to move to Paris with Aleksandr. Right before the move, Big turns up at her house to try to win her back. But this time, Carrie puts her foot down. "You do this every time — every time," she yells. "What, do you have some kind of radar? Carrie might be happy so it's time to sweep in and s*** all over it?" In this scene, Carrie has finally realized that the relationship is based on the toxic pattern of Big pulling her in and then pushing her away again.

"Even after 6 years, Big expects to hold power over Carrie. However, when she holds her own and informs him that she is now happy and moving abroad, he freaks out. This is a clear sign of power shifting and his ego being bruised," relationship expert James Thomas told The List. "He is trying to win her back emotionally by manipulating her to stay now that he comes to his senses." As far as we're concerned, this scene would have been the perfect ending for this couple!

When Big tries to show up as Carrie's knight in shining armor

Even though Carrie makes it very clear that she's done playing games with Big, he still travels to Paris confident that he can win her back. He finds her crying on the floor of her hotel after being hit by Aleksandr. Big storms off to go "kicking some Russian a**" despite Carrie's pleas. "I don't need you to rescue me," she shouts. Of course, the pair eventually end up on a picturesque Parisian bridge where they get their happy ending. Big gets to be the knight in shining armor, and Carrie, after waiting for six years, gets to be "the one." Talk about an imbalance in power!

If this ending left you with a bitter taste in your mouth, you aren't alone. Even Candace Bushnell, the woman who wrote the original books on which the show was based, wasn't happy with Big and Carrie ending up together. "Well, I think, in real life, Carrie and Big wouldn't have ended up together," she said to The Guardian. And, Darren Star, the show's creator, was also unhappy seeing Carrie and Big together. "I think the show ultimately betrayed what it was about, which was that women don't ultimately find happiness from marriage," he told Kindle Singles (via People).

When Big abandons Carrie on their wedding day

Naturally, Big and Carrie's problems didn't just go away once he told her she was "the one" in Paris. In the "Sex and the City" movie, Big's hesitancy and fear of commitment lead him to bolting right before their wedding, leaving Carrie heartbroken and humiliated. Of course, Big realized, too late, that he was making a mistake. "Carrie, I freaked out for a minute, but I'm ready now," he says when he sees her. If that doesn't sum up Big's entire relationship with Carrie, we don't know what does! "I knew you would do this. I knew it!" she screams at him, hitting him with her bouquet.

Of course, later in the film, Carrie forgives Big and the pair get married. Yet again, viewers of the show are taught that non-committal, unreliable men are just something women have to put up with. As therapist Sally Baker told Vogue, this dynamic between Carrie and Big "gives this message of whatever you have to put up with, and however many times you've been let down, frustrated or heartbroken, if you can keep the goal in sight, you'll get your happy ending."

When Carrie cheats on Big with Aidan

Of course, even as a married couple, Carrie and Big still display plenty of toxic traits. No scene demonstrates this more than the fallout of Carrie cheating on Big with her ex-boyfriend Aidan. In the strange scene, Big forgives Carrie, saying, "I'm a grown-up, and I made a vow, remember?" He then gives her a wedding ring, and says, "You have to wear this every day so that you remember you're married."

We have to say, this is a really bizarre way to resolve cheating in a marriage. Not only do Carrie and Big skip over the part where they actually talk about what happened, Big simply restates his claim on her as her husband. Even actor Chris Noth wasn't happy with the scene. He told The Guardian, "I was a little uncomfortable with the, um, in the second one, how the issues between Carrie and Big were resolved."

When Big didn't tell Carrie about his plans to leave money to Natasha

"And Just Like That..." began with a pretty shocking plot twist — at the end of the first episode, Big suddenly dies. But even from beyond the grave, he and Carrie still have a few unresolved issues. And after decades of marriage, it seems that Carrie is still riddled with insecurities about their relationship. This all comes to light when Carrie discovers that Big left his ex-wife Natasha a million dollars in his will.

After stalking Natasha online and in person, Carrie finally speaks to her to her about the will. Once she learns that Natasha also didn't know why Big left her the money, she realizes that it was probably Big's way of "saying that he was sorry." As numerous viewers of the show have pointed out, Carrie is still demonstrating toxic behaviors even after Big's death. Apparently, some things never change