Law and Order: SVU's Mariska Hargitay and Christopher Meloni Reunite Ahead of History-Making Season

Benson and Stabler got back together for a "Sunday night dinner"

By Chris Harnick Sep 16, 2019 12:53 PMTags
Mariska Hargitay, Chris Meloni, SVUNBC

Benson and Stabler, back together? At least on Instagram. Law & Order: SVU's Mariska Hargitay and her former on-screen partner Christopher Meloni reunited ahead of the long-running show's history-making season 21. Meloni left the series after season 12.

"Sunday night dinner….," Hargitay captioned the series of selfies.

The two former costars have not been shy about reuniting—off screen. Meloni reportedly left the series after season 12 because of a contract dispute and has only been mentioned, never seen, since. Season 21 of the series makes it the longest-running scripted primetime drama, unseating Gunsmoke and Law & Order. Might we see Meloni's Stabler back in the fold to celebrate the historical season?

Does Mariska Hargitay Have an Ideal Ending for "Law & Order: SVU"?

"It's interesting to me. As long as the show is running, I feel like we will—someday, I would hope to see him again," returning showrunner Warren Leight told E! News about Meloni. "I don't know how, I don't know when, but, yeah, that's kind of, I think the fans and Benson and Stabler are owed that."

Now that the show, which officially turns 20 years old on September 20, has made history with season 21, creator Dick Wolf has given the mandate: get to season 25.

See more Hargitay and Meloni reunions below.

Rise & Shine

Mariska Hargitay and Christopher Meloni wake up early to promote a new season of their Law & Order shows on NBC's Today show.

Presenting TV Magic

Before announcing one of the biggest winners of the night, the 2022 Emmys presenters have a little fun onstage at the Microsoft Theatre. 


The Law & Order: SVU stars stop by the Backstage Creations giving suite at the 2022 Emmys, where they have some fun dressing up in their comfortable Spirit Hoods.

Dinner Party

"Sunday night dinner," Mariska shared alongside a selfie of her and Chris, who she starred with on Law & Order: SVU for 12 seasons before the actor left the series in 2011.

Vacation Buddies

Hargitay posed this snap with her bestie while on vacation in December 2018 and we're obsessed. "Vacay...A great night with this one. #Reunited #OldFriends #PTL," she captioned it.

Partners for Life

In May 2018, Meloni and Hargitay hung out together in New York City and of course they documented it...thank goodness.

Selfie Fail

"Crazy ppl on the streets of nyc," Meloni captioned this selfie fail and seriously, how can you not just love these two together?

Blurry Buds

Blurry or not, this snap of the two former Law & Order: Special Victims Unit co-stars spending time together during the holidays in 2017 is too cute.

Happy and They Know It

After Thanksgiving in 2017, the two pals ran into one another and clearly they still have fun no matter what the occasion.

Kiss Kiss

Ugh, how do we get Detective Stabler to give us a smooch?

Goofballs Forever

"Even the effortless moments..." Meloni captioned the previous photo only to follow it up with this funny picture and the caption, "...need to be rehearsed." 

Birthday Bash

Hargitay shared this sweet snap in honor of her former TV partner's birthday in April 2017 and said "PFL" at the end of the note and we're dying a little inside because Stabler and Benson are partners for life!

Be Mine

"And then that happened...Just when I thought Valentine's Day was over," Hargitay wrote alongside this kissing picture from Valentine's Day in 2017 and we are again getting teary-eyed at these two loving each other so much.

Stabler & Benson for President

In 2016, the former TV partners and real-life friends celebrated Christmas together (well, a few days early) and we are in desperate need of an on-screen reunion now.

Friendly Run-ins

"Lean on me #PFL #FacialHairDontCare #Hargoatee #HanginWithAFriend #ItsAllInTheEyesKid," Hargitay wrote on this precious picture and we will never get tired of these quick reunions.

Spotted: SVU Pals

In 2015, in the dark of night, New York City's greatest detectives, err, we mean friends, reunited once again and posed for an epic photo.

Ride or Die

It doesn't matter how long these two are apart, they always make time to check in with each other and we are totally on board with all the run-ins that have happened over the past few years.

Bestie Reunions

In March 2014, the duo reunited for dinner proving that they will always be partners, even if they aren't acting alongside one another anymore.

Law & Order: SVU season 21 premieres Thursday, Sept. 26 at 10 p.m. on NBC.

(E! and NBC are both part of the NBCUniversal family.)