Friends: 20 Things That Don't Make Sense About Joey And Phoebe's Relationship

The NBC sitcom Friends will always be known as one of the best tv shows of all time. While it contained many of television's most memorable moments, it wasn't without its flaws.

While there may have been awkward moments like Monica's fat suit, Phoebe revealing herself to be a former mugger, or Tom Selleck appearing sans mustache, the show still made itself memorable by the chemistry between its wonderful cast. While most people tend to focus on the traditional couples of the show, like Monica and Chander, or Ross and Rachel, the unsung heroes of the show might just be Joey and Phoebe. While it was not romantic, they were still worth rooting for in a lot of ways. They were always fun to watch, and often got into the most ridiculous scenarios or conversations that would give the Chandler and Joey duo a run for their money.

The chemistry was so strong that fans often missed moments in the show that just don't make sense upon a rewatch. Joey and Phoebe's relationship is definitely a strange one that the show never seems to pin down. At times they seem as though they are each other's romantic interests, as their physical attraction toward one another is off the charts. Other times they are shown to be almost toxic friends. Most of the time though, they pull through these moments and prove that they have one of the strongest friendships in the show.

Here are 20 Things That Don't Make Sense About Joey And Phoebe's Relationship.

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20 They Flirt Constantly

It's no secret that the friends in Friends frequently found themselves romantically entangled (or close to it) with each other. Whether it's Ross and Rachel, Chandler and Monica, Chandler and Rachel, Joey and Monica, Ross and Phoebe, Joey and Rachel...well, you get the point. Despite all of the relationships and near hookups, there's one pair that surprisingly never came close to having any kind of relationship, Joey and Phoebe.

While this wouldn't be weird for several of the other characters, Phoebe and Joey seemed destined for at least a hookup. For two supposedly platonic friends, Phoebe and Joey do an awful lot of flirting. They both frequently discuss how beautiful the other one is or flirt with one another in ways that make it seem like there are true feelings bubbling just under the surface. Even if they are just physical. Apparently, fans weren't the only ones that felt this way.

19 The Actors Wanted Them To Be Friends With Benefits

Lisa Kudrow and Matt LeBlanc as Phoebe and Joey in Friends

Fans shipping characters with chemistry together is pretty par for the course for a show like Friends. Almost any show with a mild to extreme fan base has tons of speculation as to who could end up with who. What is rare is to see the actors do the shipping themselves.

Matt LeBlanc and Lisa Kudrow admitted they wanted to see the pair engage in some sort of physical activity. Apparently, they even went to the producers to pitch the idea. Somehow the producers disliked the idea and refused to go ahead with it. Maybe they just thought there was too many romantic entanglements in the cast already. If only they'd had the same revelation about Joey and Rachel. Oh, well. They may not have ever had a physical relationship but that doesn't mean there wasn't a plan in place to change that.

18 Phoebe Made Him And Ross Her Backup

Lisa Kudrow as Phoebe, Jennifer Aniston as Rachel. Matt LeBlanc as Joey, and David Schwimmer as Ross in Friends – backup

A common trope in Friends style sitcoms is that two of the members will declare that if they are single by a certain age they will marry one another. A marriage back up plan. While it's a major plot point in some shows (See How I Met Your Mother's finale) it was just a throwaway gag in Friends. Except for this time, one of the friends doubled down on backups.

Phoebe and Joey being each other's marriage back ups makes perfect sense. They get along extremely well and have an obvious physical chemistry. What doesn't make sense is that Phoebe would go behind Joey's back and make Ross her back up as well. Ross?! How many happy couples tell the stories about how they first met with, "I robbed him outside a comic book store, it was awesome!" Probably not many. They may have never gotten to get physical with their emergency marriage, but that doesn't mean that one of them didn't pretty much get to second base.

17 Joey Popped Open Her Shirt

The Friends episode "The One Where Everybody Finds Out" is one of the true classics of the long-running series. The scenes where Phoebe and Chandler try to out flirt one another or when Joey laments that he doesn't understand the constant scheming between the friends are some of the funniest of the show. For Joey and Phoebe, it also features one of the steamiest.

While Phoebe is trying to out-seduce Chandler, she hits a wall in trying to freak him out. Joey's aptly suggests that she show her bra since Chandler is afraid of them. Phoebe agrees and Joey skillfully pops open her blouse with a flick of the wrist. That is pretty impressive handiwork there Mr. Tribbiani, but it's safe to say that Phoebe probably could've handled that herself.

16 when she tried to teach him french

Lisa Kudrow as Phoebe and Matt LeBlanc as Joey in Friends

In "The One Where Joey Speaks French", Phoebe unsuccessfully tries to teach Joey to speak French. His attempts to repeat after her are not only failed but are hilariously bad. He barely even attempts to speak the words back at her. Eventually, she throws in the towel, but it doesn't end there. Joey goes to the audition somehow thinking that he can wing the French and magically be fluent saying random French sounding syllables. He, of course, fails entirely. Phoebe tries to cover for him to the casting director but her excuse crosses the line a bit. She tells them that the reason he's making a fool out of himself is that he is actually mentally handicapped.

While this does provide adequate cover for him, it doesn't change the fact that she lied to people that work in his business about his mental aptitude. This team may very well be casting a different role in the future and now they will definitely refuse to cast him. Though he may have burnt that bridge himself. C'mon Joe, you can do better. You were Dr. Drake Ramoray! While they may have had a rough spot there, it didn't stop their regular dates together.

15 They Had Regular Friend Dates

Lisa Kudrow as Phoebe and Hank Azaria as David in Friends

While many of the titular friends were crazy close, perhaps none were quite as close as Joey and Phoebe. None of the others had a standing appointment to have dinner together. While their regular dinners were sweet, they were also a bit weird.

Apparently one of the core reasons for these dinners was to talk about the other members of the friend group. That's more than a little weird for a group so tight that they rarely go a week without seeing each other. The ritual of the dinner is also so important to the pair that it supersedes any other plans that might arise. Phoebe very nearly misses a date with her star-crossed ex, David for a dinner. She may have guilted Joey for the same type of behavior but his date definitely wasn't as serious. Surely a dinner designed for gossip isn't as important as true love.

14 Joey Broke His Promise And Ate Meat

Matt LeBlanc as Joey Tribbiani in Friends

Phoebe's surrogacy for her brother was one of the show's biggest recurring plot points. Her triplets caused a lot of changes for Phoebe, but perhaps the most disturbing for her was the cravings they gave her for meat. Phoebe, a devout vegetarian, found the notion of this very problematic.

Luckily, Joey had an answer. After he cooked them up a few steaks, Joey made a guilt-ridden Phoebe a special deal. Joey would stop eating meat to more than cancel out all of the meat Phoebe might eat. This is one of the noblest acts Joey does in the series considering how passionate he is about food. He almost took a bullet for a sandwich, this is a big deal! Too bad it didn't last. Once Joey was on a different continent for Ross' wedding, Joey fully indulged his meat-eating lifestyle. He thought he got away with it, but Phoebe's intuition sussed out his crime as soon as he walked into Monica's apartment.

13 Joey Gave Her The Perfect Kiss

"The One Where They All Turn 30" brilliantly crossed a huge milestone for all of its characters in one episode. It's easily one of the top ten episodes of the entire series as it shows the stresses of having to give up the twenty-something lifestyle all of the friends were so used to. Many of these stories were sad for the characters involved, but none were as sad as Phoebe's. Unlike the other friends, Phoebe tried to make the occasion into a positive experience. She found a list of all the things she wanted to do by the time she was thirty and tried to get them all accomplished. Unfortunately, it wasn't her 30th birthday after all. She was actually turning 31.

While she was depressed about essentially losing a year of her life, Joey nobly helped her achieve one of her life goals. He gave her the perfect kiss. This was an incredibly sweet gesture, but it showed that the chemistry that would never flourish between the two. One would think that once she got the perfect kiss, she'd want to come back for seconds.

12 Joey Dated Her Twin

Lisa Kudrow as Phoebe and Ursula Buffay in Friends

The character of Ursula started out as an in-joke for the other sitcom Lisa Kudrow was known for, Mad About You. In that series, the actress played a ditzy waitress by the name of Ursula. Producers for Friends thought it would be funny if the character appeared on their series as well so they made her Phoebe's twin. While she remains one of the best-supporting characters of the series, that doesn't mean things didn't get weird.

In "The One With Two Parts" Joey and Chandler discover Phoebe's twin. Joey's attraction is instantaneous and he decides to ask her out. Phoebe laments how uncomfortable this makes her feel. Things get worse just as she is about to confront Joey about it and finds out that they had already slept together. Talk about icky. Perhaps this moment was why the two characters never hooked up.

11 Phoebe Dumped Him (As Ursula)

Joey didn't get serious about a lot of girls during the run of the show, but something about Ursula made him obsessed. He even forgot about Phoebe's birthday party in order to spend more time with her. This ultimately backfired as Ursula started distancing herself from him.

When Phoebe confronted Ursula about this, her sister revealed that she had callously decided to end things with Joey without telling him. She gives her sister the dress he bought her and walks away without a second thought. That's where things got weird. Phoebe then puts on the dress and poses as Ursula to give Joey the breakup he deserves. They even end the moment with a kiss that reveals who she really is to Joey. For any normal friends, this entire situation would have put a huge wedge between them. Luckily, their bond was far too strong.

10 He Dropped Her Guitar

Lisa Kudrow as Phoebe in Friends, playing in Central Perk

If you ask any Friends fan who the love of Phoebe's life is, they will almost all tell you that its Paul Rudd's Mike. The only real competitor for this title would be Phoebe's love for her guitar. Phoebe's main running gag throughout the series were her less than amazing musical talents that were always on full display at Central Perk. Phoebe actually tries to share her musical knowledge with Joey at one point. While she doesn't know any of the real names for the chords or let him hold a guitar, she still tries to get Joey to learn her favorite art form. While it does go better than the French lessons, Joey eventually has to seek other methods of education to truly learn.

Eventually, Phoebe learns of this and refuses to teach them further. When the two finally make up, Phoebe makes the ultimate compromise and lets him practice with her guitar. The sweet moment is instantly ruined as Joey drops her prized possession right on the ground. Turns out she was right. He really wasn't ready to hold a guitar.

9 They Were Almost Engaged

Throughout the series, one of Phoebe's constant problems were her issues with commitment. In fact, her arc from Gary to Mike is pretty much all about her deciding what she wants in a real relationship. While this takes a while for her character to come to terms with, there's one man she has no doubts about committing to, Joey.

When Rachel finds out she's pregnant right before Monica's wedding, Phoebe tries to run interference to cover for her. This leads to Joey thinking that Phoebe is the one that's pregnant. Joey, in an act of true nobility, offers to marry Phoebe so she won't have to do it alone. Phoebe surprisingly accepts the proposal without a second thought. The truth inevitably comes out and the would be engagement is broken off. Strangely enough, the incident is never mentioned again. One would think this realization that Phoebe actually does want to get married would be a big deal for the character but apparently not.

8 She Was Briefly His Agent

Friends Estelle

It's no secret that Joey had quite the strange acting career. From playing Dr. Drake Ramoray on Days Of Our Lives to his singing Sigmund Freud, Joey's career was truly one of a kind. At one point Phoebe tried to help him with this. Joey was frustrated with his agent Estelle and Phoebe took it upon herself to be his agent for a short time. The arrangement was initially very successful. For a minute it seemed as if both would be happy continuing on with it.

That changed once the pressures of being an actor in New York hit both of them. In the end, Phoebe just wasn't cut out to be the kind of supportive manager Joey thought he needed. He ended up returning to Estelle and the two never mentioned it again.

7 She Posed As His Agent

Tragedy struck Joey in the last season of the show when his longtime agent Estelle died. At the time there were a lot of changes dropped in Joey's lap. Monica and Chandler were moving and the stress of all that change was getting to Joey. Phoebe decided to soften the blow of Estelle's death by posing as his agent herself!

While her imitation was spot on, Joey found out about her passing on his own. This made things strange for Joey when Phoebe called as Estelle. For a small period of time, Joey actually thought his agent was calling him from beyond the grave. This sort of existential crisis could've had a huge effect on someone as sensitive as Joey.  Luckily, they worked the whole thing out. They even went to the funeral together. There they met her other main client, the very talented paper eater, Al Zebooker.

6 He Picked Up A Hitchhiker In Her Cab

After Joey's Vegas fiasco, Phoebe drives the cab back to New York with him. The trip was supposed to be a bonding adventure for the two long-term friends. It did not exactly go that way. The exhausted Joey almost immediately falls asleep, infuriating Phoebe. She gets him to drive in revenge, but somehow he's still tired. His solution doesn't involve pulling over to get an energy drink as a normal person would. No, he decides to pick up a hitchhiker off the road.

Phoebe awakens to the sight of a stranger driving her grandmother's cab. She and Joey proceed to have one of their biggest fights in the entire series over the incident. It's a good thing that close friends never stay mad for long.

5 Joey Eats Her Friend's Dessert

Joey is a pretty easy going guy, all things considered. He isn't bothered by messes, early morning singing, or a newborn baby living in his bachelor's apartment. There is one rule that he follows above all else though. "JOEY DOESN'T SHARE FOOD!"

The friends found this out the hard way when Phoebe set him up with one of her pals. She did this thinking that Joey had finally become a mature adult. The date went extremely well until she snuck a hand across the table and tried to steal a bite. This was a huge offense to Joey, nearly causing the two to break up on the spot. Amends were made and the two went out on another date. Joey explained his rule and all seemed to be going well for the new couple. That is until her dessert arrived. Unable to control himself, Joey eats the entire thing when she steps away from the table. It caused a breakup but he didn't even pretend to be sorry. All's fair in love and food for Joey.

4 Joey Accidentally Introduced Her To Mike

Joey and Phoebe made a pact that the two of them would set each other up with a friend. What seemed like a pretty straightforward situation turned crazy when Joey realized he'd completely forgotten to find Phoebe a date. In a panic, Joey randomly shouts out "Mike" hoping someone would save him. Who should answer but none other than Mike Hannigan, Phoebe's future husband.

He gets Mike up to speed on his scheme and the two go to dinner with Phoebe and her friend. The entire thing falls apart almost instantly as the two can't seem to keep any part of their stories together. Phoebe gets angry and leaves the table. Luckily, Mike follows her and surprisingly it leads to one of the best relationships in the show.

3 Joey Acted Like Her Father

Friends Season 9 Episode 15 Joey Drinks

After a long on again, off again relationship, Mike and Phoebe eventually decide to tie the knot. Phoebe without a father to walk her down the aisle decides to get Joey to do the honors. Unfortunately, Joey takes his job a little too seriously.

While Chandler and Ross are arguing about who should be in the wedding party and Monica is having a severe power trip, Joey is taking his job as Phoebe's stand-in father to the next level. He makes several weird comments about his would be daughter to Mike's already unhappy parents. He also makes a few similar comments to Mike as well. Luckily, Joey ended up officiating the wedding instead.

2 They Manipulated Ross & Rachel Together

Friends Season 6 Episode 13 Rachel Ross Jill

Ross and Rachel's will they or won't they relationship began to fatigue many in the later years. Fans had waited so long for the two to get together again that it was beginning to seems as though it might never happen. At one point in the show, Joey and Phoebe felt the same way.

After Joey's first failed attempt to date Rachel, he and Phoebe have a conversation lamenting that Ross and Rachel still aren't together. They come up with a brilliant scheme to set them both up on horrible dates in order to show them how awful single life is. Rachel ends up sharing a horribly awkward blind date with guest star Jon Lovitz while Ross looks so pathetic waiting for his date who never shows that the wait staff takes bets on him. Eventually, they both realize that the plan won't work and give up on trying to get the two back together. It would take a job in Paris to make that happen.

1 She Never Took Him To The Mall

Christmas can be a stressful time for any group of friends. The act of gift giving can be confusing, stressful, and expensive. That's why it's nice to go to the mall in a group to get it all done together. After a trip to one of their birth dad's homes, that is.

That's the odd plot of one of the series special Christmas episodes. Phoebe agrees to take Chandler and Joey to the mall to get presents for everyone but they decide to stop off at Phoebe's dad's first. Nervous to meet him, she ends up spending so long in the car that they don't have time to get the presents. Chandler and Joey are truly supportive friends at the moment though. They support her decision to not see her father until she's ready. Not that he's there anyway. Frank really had some commitment issues apparently.


Is there anything else that doesn't make sense about Joey and Phoebe's Relationship on Friends? Let us know in the comments!



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