Friends season 6 featured a pair of episodes that revealed a glimpse into an alternate reality. The two-part special "The One That Could Have Been" looked at what could have been if the core characters had made different life choices. It turns out that while some aspects of their lives might have been very different, others remained the same.
"The One That Could Have Been" marked episode 15 and 16 of Friends season 6. The episode began with Rachel learning that her ex-fiancé, Barry, was divorcing her ex-maid of honor. She then contemplated what her life would have been like if she went through with the wedding. This made the rest of the group reflect upon some of their own past decisions, and what could have been if things had gone down a different path.
The episode then transitioned into an alternate universe, as if the characters chose the paths they pondered about. The opening credits were even transformed into the alternate reality versions of themselves. Here's an explanation of all Friends' alternate storylines and how they affected each character in "The One That Could Have Been."
Ross Geller (David Schwimmer) - In an alternate reality, Ross was worried about his romantic life with his wife Carol. From the advice given to him from Phoebe, Ross tried to come up with ways to spice things up with Carol. He offered up the idea of inviting another woman into the bedroom, something she immediately agreed to. Carol invited Susan, a woman she met at the gym (who was her wife in the main reality), to be the third person. Much to Ross' dismay, he didn't get to participate in the threesome and Rachel later hinted that Carol was probably a lesbian.
Joey Tribbiani (Matt LeBlanc) - Joey was still a big star on Days of our Lives. He eventually hired Chandler as his assistant to help him out with his money trouble. Joey gave Chandler a list of tasks, most of which are food-related. He acted like a big-shot and would get angry if Chandler didn't do what he asked. Joey later realized he was being a jerk so he apologized to Chandler as their friendship meant more to him than having an assistant.
Rachel Green (Jennifer Aniston) - Rachel wouldn't have been in a happy marriage if she married Barry. Since she went through with the wedding, Rachel wouldn't have run into Monica in Central Perk. She later reunited with her old friend through Ross. This was how she met Joey, who in her mind, was a famous actor that she was attracted to. Joey invited her to his apartment and she agreed to go despite still being married to Barry. The pair share a passionate kiss before she ran away to throw up. She later revealed that she wanted an affair with Joey because she knew Barry was already cheating on her.
Monica Geller (Courtney Cox) - Monica was still overweight in the alternate universe and she just started dating a doctor named Roger. She reconnected with Rachel and revealed that she was hesitant in taking her relationship with Roger to the next level. Monica cooked a romantic dinner for Roger in his apartment but he was called away for an emergency. Chandler came over to have dinner in the hopes of cheering her up and they later slept together. They considered it a one night stand but they both realize it could be something more.
Chandler Bing (Matthew Perry) - During an alternate reality, Chandler was a struggling writer who got rejected by Archie Comics. He then worked as Joey's assistant to earn extra money but the job was terrible. Chandler used his experience as Joey's assistant to write a new story for Archie Comics and it got accepted. He then filled in as the back-up date for Monica before it grew into a real romance.
Phoebe Buffay (Lisa Kudrow) - Phoebe became a stockbroker in the alternate universe. Her workaholic personality caused her to become a heavy smoker. After a major drop in sales on the stock market, her company lost $13 million so Phoebe had a heart attack. Ross learned that she was fired, but he kept it a secret from her so she could recover. He hinted to her that she should maybe look for another job. When Phoebe got out of the hospital, she returned to work and finally learned she had been fired - resulting in a second heart attack. She was later seen performing a song about her heart attacks at Central Perk.