Friends had a few great couples over the years, like Monica and Chandler and Phoebe and Mike. Rachel and Ross were clearly the endgame, and even though they didn't bring out the best in each other, it was always clear that they would reunite.
However, the series also had many couples it clearly wished it could erase from its history, since it never showed any real rhyme or reason why these people were together other than they were both in the same place at the same time. At least one relationship was described as "icky" in-show, and that word could be used to describe all of the others on this list as well.
Maybe there was a familial connection to a character's ex-boyfriend, or, in some cases, a character chose to date someone else because someone they were interested in was dating someone else or they wanted to make an ex-boyfriend or girlfriend jealous. Some of the one-off or recurring characters in these relationships had a personality trait or quirk that a main character just couldn't accept. In other cases, the relationship could have meant something for the development of a main character, but that was promptly forgotten about as soon as the romance was over. In many cases, Friends tended to act like these relationships had never happened by the following episode.
With that said, here are the 25 Couples Friends Wants Us To Forget.
25 Rachel and Tag
Remember when Rachel dated her assistant? She hired him for his looks, then eventually they got together. They weren't in a relationship very long, having realized they wanted different things since they were at different stages in their lives.
However, after they stopped dating, he just disappeared. Rather than deal with any awkwardness at work, Tag just seemingly didn't exist anymore. Even when he came back as a potential father of Rachel's baby, that was clearly more about keeping the others in the dark about the father's identity than Tag and his relationship to Rachel.
24 Joey and Erika
Friends tended to gloss over issues it shouldn't have, and that included how it treated stalkers and other characters who needed help. Rather than get Erika Ford the help she needed, Joey and the others tricked her when she became convinced Joey was his Days of Our Lives character.
Everyone pretended that Joey was his character's evil twin, and Joey sent her off to find his character in the real world. Everyone looked bad in this plot. Despite the fact that Joey was part of the soap opera for years to come, she was never mentioned again.
23 Phoebe and Malcolm
If you find out that your twin sister, even if you can't stand her, has a stalker, do you a) warn her, b) call the police, or c) date him? Phoebe chose option C when it came to Malcolm.
However, that didn't stop him from continuing to stalk Ursula. Phoebe even offered to let him stalk her so that he would stop thinking about her sister. There was absolutely nothing healthy about this arrangement, but because Friends is a comedy, it never became a serious issue. Malcolm was never seen or heard from after that one episode.
22 Rachel and Josh
Rachel and Ross were more off than on over the 10 seasons of Friends. When they weren't together, both were jealous if the other person was involved with someone else. In "TOW Joey's New Girlfriend", Ross tried to make Rachel jealous by showing her that he'd obtained another woman's phone number. (The other woman just wanted to use him for babysitting duties.)
In turn, Rachel started dating a college student who stole from her in order to get back at Ross. However, Josh was so forgettable — and designed to be that way — that the focus remained on Ross and Rachel's feelings and actions towards one another.
21 Chandler and Kathy
Chandler and Kathy could have been a relationship that fans perhaps looked back at semi-fondly before Chandler and Monica got together. All of their relationships prior to theirs didn't have to be problematic. However, anything between Chandler and Kathy was overshadowed by how it affected his friendship with Joey. Then, once that was no longer a problem, Chandler and Kathy's relationship was ruined when she decided to sleep with someone else after they fought.
By the end of the season, Kathy might as well not have existed because Chandler and Monica got together in the finale. Though she was supposedly important enough to Chandler to risk his friendship with Joey over, she was easily forgotten.
20 Joey and Janine
Joey once chose a roommate based solely on her looks. He assumed that she'd be interested in him like other women were, but she wasn't. Then they kissed, and suddenly they were together.
However, their relationship didn't last very long. She didn't like Monica and Chandler, Joey's best friends. Furthermore, she made her feelings known. Monica and Janine fought, and then Janine was just gone. -- and that was it. Everyone, including Joey, pretty much just forgot she existed. Like most of Joey's relationships, it was barely a relationship and no one talked about it once it was over.
19 Phoebe and Parker
Does anyone want to remember Parker? There's being energetic and having a wacky personality, and then there's him. He took everything much too far, always found the "good" in everything, even traffic jams, and was just exhausting to be around.
The best part of his character was that it gave Phoebe a reason to snap and kick him out of her apartment and life. Who would want a character's love interest to be remembered when they were the absolute worst despite seeing the absolute best in everything? Parker was too much, whereas his relationship with Phoebe was nothing.
18 Rachel and Russ
Ross, Russ. Russ, Ross -- they're boring and more boring. Before Rachel and Ross got together (and after the awful pros/cons list he wrote about her and Julia), she dated his doppëlganger, Russ.
Somehow, she didn't see the resemblance, looks or personality-wise, until it was pointed out to her. Then, once the episode was over, so was anu mention of Russ. Once Rachel and Ross got together, it was like Russ had never existed. There were multiple times he could’ve been mentioned in connection to Ross and Rachel's relationship — for example, to state that she had a type — but he never was.
17 Monica and Timothy Burke
Monica and Timothy want to forget this happened, too. Before Chandler, Richard Burke was Monica's most significant relationship. After they broke up, she worried about seeing him when she needed to go to the eye doctor. Fortunately, Richard wasn't there. Unfortunately, his son, Timothy, filled in for him.
No one thought it was a good idea for Monica to invite him to Thanksgiving dinner, but she did it anyway. Their relationship may not have progressed past one kiss, but that one kiss was enough. The kiss reminded Monica of Richard. The series wisely pretended it never happened.
16 Chandler and Joanna
First, Rachel didn't want Chandler dating Joanna. Then, she needed him to go out with her boss again because Joanna liked him. He didn't feel the same, though, since the mascara goop in the corner of her eyes bothered him. Yet, he kept seeing her.
Rachel even had to help him out of a tricky situation when he ended up in handcuffs in Joanna's office. Then, Joanna passed away, and all that mattered was how it affected Rachel's career. No one ever brought up Chandler's brief relationship with her again, even though it wasn't serious.
15 Ross and Elizabeth
Remember when Ross dated a student? First, it wasn't a problem for Ross at work, then it was because it wasn't just "frowned upon." Then, he thought she was mature, only for her to demonstrate the opposite in her reaction to their breakup.
The series was able to quickly move on from that relationship and hoped that everyone else did too because of the timing. They broke up at the end of a season. Then Monica and Chandler got engaged, and the focus was on them. Then, as fans learned the following season, Rachel and Ross were together for one night, she was having his baby and he was constantly forgetting Mona. Elizabeth who?
14 Phoebe and Roger
At first, Roger didn't seem that bad. However, that changed once it became clear that Phoebe's relationship with him was over. He went from having little quirks, like psychoanalyzing her friends even though they didn't care for it, to having a meltdown in Central Perk when their relationship ended.
Surprisingly, Phoebe mentioned him in the following episode, but the purpose of that seemed to be to remind viewers that he wasn't a good guy. That was it, and when you look back at her relationships, he's not exactly one to remember (fondly or otherwise).
13 Joey and Ursula
Over the years, Friends occasionally teased a possible relationship between Joey and Phoebe, but it never happened. They kissed a couple of times, but that was it — and it was the right move. Early on in the series, however, Joey dated Phoebe's twin sister, Ursula, despite the fact that Phoebe was against it and Ursula treated her horribly.
Thankfully, the relationship didn't last, and it was more about Phoebe and Joey's friendship than anything else. Phoebe was even the one to break up with Joey for her sister since Ursula couldn't be bothered to do so -- and that said plenty.
12 Rachel and Paul
Remember that time Rachel dated Ross' girlfriend's father? It was great for Friends to have Bruce Willis when it did, but he clearly wasn't going to become a series regular. That relationship never could have lasted, for multiple reasons.
Then, once it had served its role and was over, no one ever mentioned Paul again. It was strange that the guys were fans of Die Hard and no one commented on the "resemblance" between Paul and John McClane. It's just another sign that the series wanted to forget Paul ever existed, in relation to Rachel or otherwise.
11 Ross and Jill
Fortunately, not much happened between Ross and Jill before Rachel intervened, but it's still not a couple the show would want fans to remember. Ross briefly dated Rachel's sister when he and Rachel weren't together, and he didn't see anything wrong with it. However, later, when Rachel dated his girlfriend's father, he protested because it was weird for him.
Considering the fact that Rachel and Ross were obviously the endgame couple, his relationship with Jill and their reactions made both of them look bad. She threw a fit because he dated her sister, while he didn't care how she felt about it until she talked to him.
10 Joey and Erin
At one point, Joey considered having more than casual relationships. Rachel and Phoebe fell in love with Erin, with whom he spent the night with prior to the beginning of "TOW Ross' Library Book". They then urged him to think about seriously dating her, and he did. However, they didn't realize that Erin didn't want anything serious with him.
It's not like Joey then decided to look for a serious relationship elsewhere after that. He went back to casually dating, even though he was involved with Charlie and Rachel in the later seasons. He, Rachel, and Phoebe never mentioned Erin or his desire for more than one night with a woman again.
9 Phoebe and Vince/Jason
In season 3, Phoebe tried to date two men at the same time (without them knowing): Vince, a firefighter, and Jason, a teacher. When she decided to break up with one of them, she couldn't decide which one because she started seeing things she liked about one in the other. It was a mess, and in the end, they both ended up breaking up with her.
Phoebe treated it like a bigger deal than it was since she and neither man had agreed to be exclusive. Clearly Friends realized such a storyline was ridiculous because it never happened again.
8 Monica and Ethan
Let's put it this way. The word "icky" was used to describe this relationship and, while immature, it was very appropriate. In one episode of Friends, Monica dated a high school student, a plot that never should have happened.
The only thing about this relationship that the show did right was immediately forget about it once the episode was over. Both Monica and Ethan lied to each other about their ages, but his was much worse since it led to the question of his age and the law. At least she realized they couldn't be together, though he didn't seem to care.
7 Rachel and Paolo
Paolo was pretty much nothing but eye candy for Rachel and someone for her to date when Ross liked her (and she didn't know). Then, he made a pass at Phoebe, and he became the guy they all hated.
Fortunately, even though it was early on in their friendship, he didn't come between Rachel and Phoebe. Instead, they correctly realized that he was the one in the wrong. However, he unfortunately reappeared in season 2, when Rachel was dealing with her feelings about Ross dating Julie. At least their relationship was brief (again). Overall, there was no substance to his character, because Friends didn't really care what fans thought of him as his own person.
6 Chandler and Julie
Chandler had a history of being rude about people's weight. He commented on Monica's in flashbacks, which led to him losing a toe when she wanted to embarrass him in return.
When Chandler and Monica were getting married, one of his ex-girlfriends overheard her talking. This led to Monica learning that Chandler had broken up with Julie Graff for gaining weight. She made him apologize to Julie, only to find out that the poor woman didn't know why Chandler had ended their relationship. The series ignored the real issue here with Chandler's character by making it about his relationship with Monica. However, he promised to love her no matter how big or small she was, which was sweet.
5 Joey and Kathy
Though Joey liked Kathy, he didn't like her enough to be exclusive. Even if he had, that's not what their relationship would be remembered for. Instead, any time someone mentions Kathy, it's because she temporarily affected Joey and Chandler's friendship.
Joey didn't know anything about Kathy, not like Chandler did, and there didn't seem to be any reason for him to date her other than to cause the conflict in the friendship. Once Joey forgave Chandler for kissing her, it was like his relationship with Kathy never existed. The series moved on to Chandler and Kathy, and that was that.
4 Rachel and Tommy
There was nothing about Tommy that anyone wants to remember. However, that doesn't mean that his actions weren't outrageous enough that they shouldn't have been recalled at some point. The fact that they weren't says it all about how Friends wanted the audience to react.
Not only was it unclear what Rachel even saw in him, but he was just a very rude person. There was nothing redeemable about him as a character. He screamed at people who didn't deserve it and he yelled at Chandler and Joey's chick and duck. That was enough reason to send the guy packing.
3 Phoebe and Gary
Phoebe didn't have many multi-episode relationships over the course of Friends' 10 seasons. She met Gary when she was posing as a police officer using a badge she found at Central Perk. Things seemed to be going well with their relationship... until they were about to take a major step.
They were going to move in together, until Phoebe discovered that he hated the sound of birds in the morning so much that he decided to pull his gun out and shoot one. Considering the fact that Phoebe was ready to move in with him (despite having reservations earlier), it is strange that she never mentioned him after their breakup. The series clearly wanted to move on from the relationship quickly.
2 Ross and Bonnie
Rachel decided she wanted Ross back while he was dating Bonnie, and both she and he all but forgot that the other woman existed. Rachel didn't even want Ross to break up with Bonnie the same night they got back together. She didn't care that she was with him when he was with someone else, even though she broke up with him for that same reason. He thought them being on a break meant that their relationship was over and he had spent the night with Chloe.
Bonnie's presence turned Rachel into a hypocrite, so obviously Friends didn't want anyone remembering that relationship being an obstacle for its main couple.
1 Rachel and Joey
On the one hand, Joey probably would have been a better endgame for Rachel than Ross. On the other hand, Friends went about their relationship all wrong. He liked her, she liked him, and they finally got together… only to realize that they were too good of friends to be intimate. They decided to be friends, joked about dating once, and then that was it.
Whether or not they were good for each other, it was always going to be Ross and Rachel. Her relationship with Joey suffered because of that in the final season. They needed to break up and it couldn't be a big deal so the endgame couple could reunite without any issues.
Are there any other Friends couples the show wants us to forget? Let us know in the comments!