Friends‘ Ross and Rachel were always endgame — but the “Must-See TV” comedy threw its fans for a loop when Joey developed feelings for his best friend’s girl.
At first, Rachel didn’t feel the same way about Joey. She told him as much during their memorable faux-date. But all that changed in Season 9, when Rachel developed a bit of a crush on her actor friend. They finally got together during a trip to Barbados, but their relationship (if you can even call it that) proved short-lived. They were broken up within three episodes, and their time as more than friends was never to be spoken of again.
While many Ross/Rachel ‘shippers would agree that Rachel and Joey’s fleeting fling is best forgotten, we’re willing to bet that there are a few of you who would have liked to see Rachel wind up with her longtime roomie. With that in mind, TVLine is looking back at both couples with new eyes to settle things once and for all: Did Rachel really make the right choice?
THE CASE FOR JOEY | Regardless of how you (or Good Place architect Michael) felt about this late-in-run development, you can’t deny the obvious: Joey was very much in love with Rachel. His feelings were nothing if not pure, born from an eight-year friendship that evolved once he took her in as a roommate. The twosome became the best of friends, and he was there for her every step of the way while she was pregnant with another man’s baby. He even allowed her and baby Emma to move back in with him when things didn’t work out over at Ross’ place.
And let’s face it: It’s not easy defending Ross (though we’ll attempt to do so momentarily). Ross was always possessive of Rachel, even when they weren’t an item. Take, for instance, when he “banned” her from seeing other men while they were living together and raising Emma, or when he went behind her back and tried to convince her boss at Ralph Lauren to give her a second chance, just so she wouldn’t take an amazing opportunity in Paris. And remember how he nearly derailed her then-fledgling career at Bloomingdale’s, just because he was jealous of Mark? Or when he actually derailed her career when he convinced her to get off the plane? Lest we forget, he also lied to her about getting their marriage annulled after their drunken wedding in Vegas (#Creepy). We can also go all the way back to the beginning and remind you of that icky pros-and-cons list.
THE CASE FOR ROSS | There’s something to be said for soulmates — or, in the case of Ross and Rachel, lobsters. Ross was enamored with sister Monica’s BFF from the moment he first laid eyes on her back in high school. It took Rachel at least a decade before she shared those feelings — but once she had them, they never really went away. That’s why she was willing to take Ross back, albeit ever-so-briefly, after their Season 3 break-up. (If only he had read all 18 pages of that letter — “front and back!”)
It’s also worth noting that some of Ross’ aforementioned behavior seemed… perfectly acceptable at the time! And let’s not pretend that Rachel was completely innocent. She did, after all, fly to London in hopes of putting a stop to his wedding to Emily. And even though she ultimately kept quiet, her very presence caused Ross to blurt out the wrong name at the altar.
Who do you think was Rachel’s better match? Cast your vote via the following poll, then hit the comments to back up your choice!
More of TV’s Hottest Love Triangles:
Good Trouble — Gael vs. Jamie
Smallville — Lois vs. Lana vs. Chloe
Saved by the Bell — Zack vs. Slater
Jane the Virgin — Rafael vs. Michael
Younger — Charles vs. Josh
Veronica Mars — Logan vs. Piz
The Vampire Diaries — Stefan vs. Damon
Felicity — Ben vs. Noel
True Blood — Bill vs. Eric
Beverly Hills, 90210 — Brenda vs. Kelly
Dawson’s Creek — Pacey vs. Dawson
General Hospital — Sonny vs. Jax
Gilmore Girls — Jess vs. Logan
Lost — Jack vs. Sawyer
One Tree Hill — Brooke vs. Peyton
Sex and the City — Aidan vs. Big