Here’s the Complete Timeline of Carrie and Big’s Relationship, and You’re Welcome
**Warning: there are massive spoilers in this post. If you have not yet watched And Just Like That… then please do read any further (but please also come back later when you have!).
One of TV’s most iconic couples, Carrie Bradshaw and Mr Big have a relationship that’s filled with extreme ups and downs.
And now, with And Just Like That… coming out tonight, December 9, 2021, on Binge, we get to see how the rest of their love story unfolds.
Will they still be married? Do we want them to be? Are they still living in that gorgeous New York apartment with the iconic closet that Big proposed to Carrie in? We have so many questions.
We thought that now would be the perfect time to revisit the relationship timeline of Carrie and Mr Big because sh*t, they’ve been through a lot and we need the whole picture to properly get into this new chapter of their lives.
So, I’ve taken it upon myself to recap Carrie and Big’s relationship timeline in its entirety. It’s taken literal hours. You’re welcome.
Here is Carrie and Mr Big’s complete relationship timeline:
Pilot — Ultra Textured Trojans with a Reservoir Tip
Carrie and Big have one of the most classic meet-cutes of all time and of course, it happens in the pilot episode of the Sex and the City series. She’s leaving a friends-with-benefits romp, in a cute black wrap-around dress, when someone knocks her and she drops her purse. Everything spills onto the sidewalk, condoms and all. Big comes to the rescue, picking up some of her condoms and a lip gloss. They lock eyes. Carrie notices that 1. he is very handsome, 2. he isn’t wearing a wedding ring and 3. he now knows she carries around a personal supply of textured Trojans with a reservoir tip (a type of condom). This leads to a string of chance encounters over the next few episodes.
Season 1, Episode 6 — The Naked Dress
The next encounter worth noticing involved one of Carrie’s most iconic outfits, the naked dress — a skin-tight skin-coloured tight mini dress — with a massive fur coat over the top. It is both classy and slutty; an iconic combo. When Big first sees Carrie in it, he remarks “Interesting dress”, to which she says “What?” and he repeats himself: “Interesting dress.” TBH, this is a bit of a cringe moment for Big. He’s implying that she looks naked and that she did it on purpose so that he’d want to have sex with him, which is wrought with misogyny. But it also kinda makes sense for the Big character, and it was 1996 so we’ll let it slide. After they both remark that they can restrain themselves, they proceed to steamily make out in the back of Big’s car, a scene which puts all my back seat make outs to shame. In this episode, they have sex for the first time.
Season 1, Episode 9 — A Fool in Divorce Court
After learning that Big was previously married, Carrie then finds out that he doesn’t want to get married again. This obviously shakes her, as it would anyone in a new relationship. She wonders: “Can I date a man who won’t get married?” as she eats wedding cake in bed.
Season 1, Episode 11 — A Watershed Relationship Moment
Carrie farts in front of Big. She loses her mind with embarrassment and convinces herself that they won’t have sex ever again. Of course, they end up having sex at the end of the episode.
Season 1, Episode 12 — Wearing Armani on Sunday
Carrie becomes intrigued about men who go church, and, in doing research for her column — which involves listing of the designers that people are wearing as they come out of the churches she walks by — she spots Mr Big, wearing Armani and exiting the church with his mother. This sends Carrie into a spiral, as she realises she’s never met Big’s mother. Of course, Carrie thinks that the best course of action is to go to the church herself, with Miranda, to spy on Big. They wear hats that are obnoxiously large for two gals who are trying to spy on a boyfriend. Big references Carrie as his “friend” when introducing her to his mother, later explaining that she “doesn’t need to meet another girlfriend”. Then, when he fails to tell Carrie “she’s the one” before they go on a trip together, she breaks up with him, supposedly realising that he isn’t able to give her what she wants. They’d been together for a year.
Season 2, Episode 5 — Someone Who Knows Better
After dating a series of freaks, Carrie and Mr Big mend things in this episode. Big calls her. I love their phone calls and the general relationship of calling people’s home phones as a way of communication. It almost seems more effective than today’s overwhelming options. They go to Roberto’s on a sexy date, they make out at his door and then Carrie leaves, changing her mind about getting back together.
Season 2, Episode 6 — An Emotionally Unavailable Man
They kiss. They have sex. Carrie remembers how god damn horny it is to have sex with an emotionally unavailable man. It’s an unhealthy habit and a bit of a cliche, but none of us can deny that it is, in fact, sexy as hell. Carrie and Mr Big officially get back together in this episode.
Season 2, Episode 10 — I F*cking Love You
Big gives Carrie a diamante purse shaped like a duck-swan hybrid. Carrie hates it, so she tells Big she loves him. He says “oh”. He then later tells her over the phone that he f*cking loves her.
Season 2, Episode 12 — Nothing’s Definite
Big tells Carrie in a much too chill tone that he might have to move to Paris for work. Carrie is not chill about it. He tells her not to get carried away and we all simultaneously scream with frustration because we’ve dated men like this. Carrie calls him, Cosmo-in-hand, and tells him to grow up. Big tells her to have another cocktail. The whole thing is infuriating. They later break up over McDonald’s. Then, later again, they have break-up sex. Big moves to Paris, and they’re over again, after another year together.
Season 2, Episode 18 — A-OK
Big calls Carrie. She asks if he wants to have lunch and be friends. They go to lunch, get drunk and he tells her that he is engaged to a woman named Natasha. They have an argument in the restaurant and Carrie leaves. Big calls her later and they talk it out without resolving anything because omg, they really can’t communicate efficiently can they?
Carrie then walks past the Plaza on the day of Big and Natasha’s engagement party. She’s wearing a white silk dress and looks like she could be a bride, which I’m sure is a very conscious decision. Carrie asks Big why it wasn’t her. Big says that it just got so hard, and Natasha is… implying that life with her is more simple than with Carrie. Carrie walks away, resolving that she just can’t be tamed.
Season 3, Episode 3 — It’s Official, He’s Married
Carries finds out that Mr Big has married Natasha through an ad in the Sunday Times.
Season 3, Episode 7 — I Spy
Carrie has been dating Aidan for five blissful weeks until she sees Big at the opera. They spot each other through those cute little binocular things that rich people use at the opera to see the stage better. Carrie leaves, Big follows but misses her.
Season 3, Episode 8 — Go Home to Your Wife
Everywhere Carrie goes, Big seems to be. They run into each other at an event on a boat. Carrie tells Big that she’s dating someone “perfect”. He later turns up at Carrie’s apartment just after Aidan leaves to pick up some groceries. Carrie asks what he wants, Big says he doesn’t know, but it’s pretty obvious. Carrie tells him to go home to his wife.
Season 3, Episode 9 — My Heart…My Heart
Carrie runs into Big at a furniture fair she’s at with Aidan. Big gets drunk and tells Carrie that his relationship isn’t working. Carrie says that no one is interested and walks off like a badass babe. She then kinda ruins this bold move by having an extremely steamy one night stand with Big in a hotel room. The affair goes on for weeks.
Season 3, Episode 11 — Sweetheart?
Natasha comes home early and catches Carrie sneaking out of Big and Natasha’s apartment. Carrie ends things with Big.
Season 3, Episode 12 — My Flaw
Carrie confesses to Aidan that she’s been having an affair with Big. Aidan is annoyingly understanding. They break up.
Season 3, Episode 17 — An Act of Gossip
Samantha tells Carrie that Natasha left Big. Carrie feels responsible. She tells Natasha at lunch that she’s sorry. Natasha says she ruined her lunch.
Season 3, Episode 18 — Was It All My Fault?
Big tells Carrie they need to talk. Carrie agrees to have lunch with him. This sparks Carrie and Miranda’s first fight, with Miranda refusing to endure anymore Big and Carrie relationship drama. Big and Carrie meet up. Big tries to kiss her and Carrie dodges, which sees them both fall into a pond.
This proves to be a moment of clarity; their romantic relationship is over and is evolving into something else.
Season 4 — A Synopsis
Although Big is still abundantly present in the narrative of season four, we get a little bit of a break from the messy romantic relationship that is Carrie and Mr Big. They manage to keep quite a healthy friendship throughout the majority of season four.
Carrie turns 35 and gets back together with Aidan. They also get engaged, even though it’s clear that Aidan can’t 100% trust Carrie after her affair with Big. He pressures her to commit, which Carrie pushes back against because it just doesn’t feel right. She and Aidan break up again. During their engagement, Aidan bought Carrie’s apartment and the two were set to live together in it. After the break-up, Carrie wants to buy it back but isn’t in a financial condition to do so. She reaches out to Mr Big for help and in doing so, finds out that he’s moving to Napa, California, to go into the wine business.
Season 5, Episode 7 — It’s Just Sex
Carrie goes to San Francisco as part of her book tour and also to see Mr Big because she hasn’t had sex for a while. The two have remained friends. At her reading, a man puts his hand up to ask a question… and yep, it’s Mr Big. Shocker. As the crowd parts and we see his face, he asks “if this Mr Big character has a name” and yes, it is as cringe as it sounds. Carrie invites Big to her hotel room, where she tries to seduce him and fails. They go to dinner, where Carrie’s flirtatious attempts fall flat. Big says he didn’t realise he’d hurt Carrie so much. Carrie tries to brush it off. Big continues to go through parts of the book that shocked him for the remainder of the night. They fall asleep, without having sex. They wake up and have uncomplicated friend sex in the morning.
Season 6, Episode 19 — You Do This Every Time
For the second half of season six, Carrie becomes involved with a famous conceptual artist named Aleksandr Petrovsky. Carrie is into him and he’s into her, but Samantha, Charlotte and Miranda don’t really like him. When Petrovsky prepares to move back to Paris to open his latest exhibit, he invites Carrie to move with him. She agrees. Enter: Mr Big.
Carrie had been avoiding his phone calls and so, in true Big fashion, he turns up out the front of her apartment in his car. He rolls down the window and tells her to get in. It’s just like old times! He tries to apologise to her about his general inability to commit or be “good to her”. She keeps saying “it’s fine”. He asks her to dinner the next day, but she tells him she’s leaving for Paris that night with a man she’s in a relationship with. She tells Big not to feel bad about anything and gets out of the car. Big follows her. Carrie gets upset, telling Big he has a knack of swooping in as soon as she gets happy. He says he made a mistake, not choosing her. He says it’s different this time. She yells at him and runs away. She tells the girls all this over Cosmos at their final dinner together.
Carrie goes to Paris and is miserable. She doesn’t have the bond she has with New York in Paris, and Aleksandr seems too busy with his work to care about what she’s doing or how she feels. Carrie calls Miranda and tells her that she feels lost. Charlotte goes to Carrie’s apartment to grab her mail and Big calls. Charlotte lets it go to voicemail and listens, while Big says he made a mistake, he loves Carrie. Charlotte picks up and invites Big to lunch with the girls. He asks for their advice. Miranda leans in and says “go get our girl”. I cry every time.
Season 6, Episode 20 — Carrie, You’re the One
Carrie eventually realises that she has to go back to New York, her city, her home. Big tries to find her all over Paris. He finds her crying in the hotel lobby. She tells Big that she got slapped (not on purpose) and Big runs up the stairs of the hotel looking for Aleksandr until he is puffed, and the two start laughing at the ridiculousness of the whole messy situation. They go for a walk. Big tells Carrie that she’s the one. They kiss. Carrie asks Big to take her home. It’s assumed that the two stay together and live happily ever after.
Sex and the City (The Movie)
Three years and three books later, Big and Carrie have been ‘together’ one and off for ten years as a couple. They buy an apartment and decide to get married. Big then leaves Carrie at the altar. It’s devastating. It was supposed to be this big event with Carrie wearing an iconic Vivienne Westwood gown. She had a Vogue cover story and everything.
Carrie refuses to talk to Big after that, going to Mexico with her friends and trying to work on herself. She colours her hair brown in that classic “New Me!” attempt at getting over someone and starting again. After a year of not speaking to Big, she finds months’ worth of love letters in the inbox from him. She goes to their apartment and finds him in the closet he built for her. He proposes again — properly this time — and they get married, in Big and Carrie reunite in an understated courthouse ceremony.
Sex and the City 2
Carrie and Big celebrate their second wedding anniversary as Carrie’s latest fifth book, I Do! Do I? is released. Their marriage gets tested when Big suggests that they take some time to themselves every other week. Carrie goes to Abu Dhabi with the girls, where she runs into her ex-fiance, Aidan. Why is it that we only ever run into our exes in times of vulnerability? It’s like the universe is testing us. Anyway, they kiss and Carrie feels guilty and tells Big. He gives her a black diamond engagemt ring, FINALLY. He tells her to wear it as a reminder that she’s married and it’s like ‘ummmm yes, Big, that’s how it’s literally been done all throughout history — why does it always take you so long to realise this?’.
So, after 12 years, three proposals, one almost wedding, one actual wedding and finally, a goddamn wedding ring; Carrie and Big are bound to each other, officially.
And Just Like That…Episode 1 — John! Honey!
Carrie and Big are still together and happily married. Carrie comes home after a lunch with the girls and a podcast recording that she co-hosts, to a silver fox Mr Big who is in the kitchen opening a bottle of wine. Carrie has brought home salmon — she cooks now! — and starts preparing it for dinner while the two exchange flirty banter. They still got it! She asks Big if they can move their trip to Hamptons to Thursday instead of tomorrow because Charlotte wants Carrie to be at her daughter’s recital. Big says yes, in a way that makes you feel he’d do anything for her. I’m loving older, wiser and emotionally available Big. Big picks out a record to listen to and it’s honestly just like the most wholesome, adorable time that if you’d not lived through the past 12 years with them, wouldn’t guess how much of a mess they once were.
During her podcast recording, Carrie is asked to talk openly about masturbating, which she struggles to do. So goes home and asks Big to masturbate for her. “Will you join me?” he asks. “No, I’m just going to watch.” say says. I think it’s very cool for an older couple to be explorative with each other like this but I would expect no less from Mrs Carrie Bradshaw, ex-sex columnist of NYC.
Carrie is on her way to the recital. She wears her wedding shoes; a pair of blue Manolo Blahnik’s and Big admires her, sitting atop his desk, in a white shirt, cigar in hand. She turns back to look at him before she walks out the door and he looks at her in a longing way, in a way that feels like something big is going to happen. “What?” asks Carrie. “I’m just looking at you” replies Big. Carrie goes to the recital, telling Big to message her if he wants to leave for the Hamptons tonight and she’ll come home early.
We see montages of Charlotte’s daughter Lily playing the piano flawlessy at the recital and everyone gasping with delight in the audience; Miranda and Steve, Stanford and Anthony, Charlotte and Harry, interspersed with Mr Big doing a workout on his bike at his and Carrie’s home. He seems to be exerting himself a bit too much, and as the music crescendos and he gets off his bike, he texts Carrie “Let’s go tonight” and then we see him fall and clasping his chest and then his arm. We know that Mr Big has a heart condition, from when he needed heart surgery back in season 6, so we know that he is having a heart attack.
Carrie comes home early to find Mr Big propped up next to the shower. He looks up at her, with a helpless look in his eyes. He passes away, in front of her. She runs to him, screaming his actual name “John!”. It’s a devastating scene. I was completely shook.
The episode ends with “And just like that… Big died.” WE WERE NOT EXPECTING THIS OMG.
And Just Like That… Episode 2 — She’s Kind of Our Jackie Kennedy
Carrie calls Miranda and asks her “what do I do now?”. I feel terrible for Carrie. Her whole life has been about loving Mr Big for so long. Carrie must plan a funeral for Big. She seems distant and numb. Charlotte is the most emotional of all because 1. she’s Charlotte and 2. she feels responsible because she asked Carrie to come to the recital and therefore, Carrie wasn’t able to be with Mr Big.
Carrie plans an absolutely breathtaking funeral for Big. It’s super minimal, in a white room, with white seats and a projector screen. Someone has delivered flowers. Carrie didn’t want flowers. She finds out that they’re from Samantha and she keeps them. She writes something for Miranda to say. It’s breathtakingly beautiful. Carrie remains a poised, beautiful hostess, and you get the sense that planning something like this has distracted from what a tragedy this is for everyone. Literally everyone. Everyone in the show, and every loyal fan.
We see Miranda, Stanford and Carrie drinking martinis later in the episode. This is a result of Carrie being delivered Big’s ashes unannounced, but also just because they always drink martinis in a crisis. The episode finishes with Carrie, unable to sleep at 4am.
Phew. I’m exhausted. I feel like I’ve just relieved a very traumatic, passionate, dramatic and deeply emotional experience.
I’m super sad about the death of John James Preston AKA Mr Big, but do you know what? I’m also kind of relieved. The relationship of Carrie and Big ended on the highest note — with Big telling his brother that “he’s never been happier” the week before his death — and now, it feels like we’re really starting a new chapter with Carrie Bradshaw.
And I, for one, am excited to be a part of it.