In the history of television and film, there have been couples that have stood the test of time. We’re talking couples the caliber of Sam and Diane, Ross and Rachel, Ron and Hermione, Steve Rogers and Peggy Carter, among others. These couples come straight to the mind as soon as their respective shows or films are mentioned. The reason for this is due to the superb chemistry between the actors, and more importantly, the characterization set in the story making sense.
It’s not easy to bring a couple onscreen that completely works. You need the right story, the right characters, the perfect setting, and the appropriate timing. None of these were present in the coupling of Rachel and Joey from Friends. The pairing was negatively received back in 2002, and this negative reception lives on now in 2018 as well. Friends always had superb stories and the couples we saw on the show such as Monica and Chandler, Ross and Rachel, Phoebe and Mike, all made sense. However, Rachel and Joey was one pill impossible to swallow.
It was an awful decision to greenlight this plot in the first place and will rank among the worst stories in sitcoms like the awful ending of How I Met Your Mother. The reason why this couple was so hated was because of the strong precedent set in Rachel and Joey’s characters and their friendship; all of which contrasted greatly with their eventual coupling. Thankfully, the relationship didn't last.
Here are 23 Crazy Revelations About Rachel And Joey’s Relationship.
23 They Had Been Friends For 8 Years Before Joey Fell In Love
What made the whole Rachel and Joey romance so hard to stomach was the fact that they had been such good friends for a whole lot of years.
When you’ve been best friends with someone for almost an entire decade and had no romantic feelings for one another in that time, the sudden appearance of these feelings isn’t something that can be easily explained. Rachel even mentioned to Joey they had been friends for eight years before he admitted he was in love with her.
22 Joey Wasn't Interested In Her Before
Aside from random one-sided flirting on his part, Joey never made any advances towards her. He was shown to find all the girls attractive but as Joey made clear in the case of Ursula, he never saw his female friends that way.
In Season 7, when Joey teased Rachel extensively over her possession of a naughty book, Rachel pretended to be attracted to him in order to scare Joey off. This worked as Joey was not only against the idea but admitted how frightened he was at the prospect.
21 His Feelings Were Genuine
After he did fall in love with her, though, Joey’s feelings had always been genuine. This was never turned into a light issue even once his feelings had subsided as Joey regularly mentioned Rachel as his first genuine love in Seasons 9 and 10.
His love was so true that it was one of the very few references to Friends in the spin-off Joey. In a scene from the show, Joey told his sister about Rachel and how she was the only person he had ever been in love with.
20 Their Breakup Made Sense
At least the writers acknowledged that Rachel and Joey couldn’t be together because they were too good as best friends. In the first episode that featured them as a couple, they couldn’t go all the way as neither really wanted to.
This is the case in real life as well as you just can’t view a person you’ve been best friends within a certain light after a significant amount of time. Their relationship ended as abruptly as it began, but at least it ended in a sensible way.
19 Joey was Rachel’s last Boyfriend Before Ross
Once you think about it you’ll realize Rachel didn’t anyone other than Joey in the three years between her pregnancy and finally settling with Ross. Having Emma meant Rachel never had any time to pursue romantic relationships, that is until Joey and her relationship formed.
In more ways than one, her time with Joey pushed her toward accepting the reality of her single situation and she finally acknowledged her true love for Ross once she was set to leave for Paris.
18 They Only Dated For A Week
Although they harbored lingering attraction for one another for a number of weeks before the ending of Season 9, Joey and Rachel only were an actual couple for a week. Once Ross was truly fine with the situation the two went ahead and started officially dating.
However, we all know how their attempts to be close turned out and they ended things. Later on, it turned out that they had only been together for a literal week, as mentioned by Rachel herself.
17 Rachel Predicted It (Sort Of)
In a twist of fate, what transpired between them was something Rachel had suggested to Joey years before. In Season 5, after Joey became jealous of Chandler and Monica’s relationship, he attempted to hit on Rachel after figuring he’d go for someone he knew.
Rachel, though, advised Joey to build a foundation with someone before pursuing them romantically. In the end, that’s pretty much what happened as it took a while for either of them to get in the correct frame of mind to be together.
16 Their Relationship Was Basically Forgotten
As it goes with everything in the sitcom world, once a certain episode ends, its events aren’t referenced to either ever again or only once in a while. The same happened with Rachel and Joey as their budding attraction and the eventual relationship became nothing more than an afterthought once they broke up.
The relationship never seemed to have happened in the first place in Season 10 as the two resumed their previous form of friendship. The one time it was mentioned was in passing and for comedic purposes.
15 They Didn't Want To Be Other's Backup
These two knew right from the start they were never meant to be for one another. In the finale for Season 6, Phoebe and Rachel decided to pick either Joey or Ross at random for their backup for marriage should either of them be single by the time they turned forty.
Although Phoebe initially drew Ross’ name, Rachel quickly made a switch with Phoebe for Joey, as she inwardly knew she always made more sense with Ross rather than Joey.
14 The Relationship Was Negatively Received
Just about everyone who watched the show hated the idea of putting Rachel and Joey together. It never made much sense and there wasn’t any chemistry between them either. Despite Friends having ended over fourteen years ago, their coupling still ranks among the all-time worst couples in the history of TV.
Numerous critic lists and fan polls feature this couple when speaking of an ill-received couple. We can’t claim to disagree with them as you’ll have to be really weird to think Rachel and Joey deserved to be together.
13 Joey Was In Love With Rachel When He Accidentally Proposed
Although Joey’s feelings for Rachel were scarcely mentioned after the initial angle in Season 8, where he gradually fell in love with her, if you look in retrospect it’s clear he never stopped loving her until they finally broke up in Season 10.
This is clear in the episode he accidentally proposed as Joey let slip of his feelings by musing if he was with Rachel he “would take her in (his) arms and...” The rest of that was interrupted by the flabbergasted stares of Phoebe, Chandler, and Monica.
12 Joey Pretended He Wasn't In Love With Her
Later on, in the whole of Season 9, Joey never mentioned he was still in love Rachel. The only time he made direct reference to his past feelings was to Ross, after Rachel moved back in with him, when he assured Ross there was nothing of his former love for Rachel anymore.
This turned out to be a lie seeing that as soon as he found out Rachel was interested in him in Barbados, Joey instantly told her he wanted to be with her more than anything.
11 Jennifer Aniston Wasn't A Fan Of The Story
It speaks volumes over how awful a storyline is when the actors playing said story admit it was bad. Jennifer Aniston herself took to responding to a Twitter query over the relationship between Rachel and Joey.
Aniston admitted Rachel and Joey were only great as friends and not in a romantic way. There was significant talk about this coupling on Twitter but it seems to have faded away after Aniston’s own tweets regarding the matter. We wish it had never begun in the first place as the relationship is one best left forgotten.
10 Other Shows Mention The Relationship
Transcending the Friends world and the real world, the hate for the Rachel and Joey relationship ended up being placed in the universe of The Good Place. In the show, the character Michael made reference to Friends by pointing out instances where the writers run out of ideas and end up making bad stories such as forcing Joey and Rachel to be together.
This basically means the relationship is so notorious for being bad that even other TV shows acknowledge it.
9 Rachel Respected Joey's Methods
Rachel was never interested in Joey himself before Season 9 but she sure did respect the means through which he acquired his dates and girlfriends. In Season 4, she was completely entranced by the technique of “How you Doin’?” and attempted to use it on Joshua.
In Season 8, she demonstrated the effective of Joey (or rather Ken Adams’) Europe story when she used it on Ross. Later on, Rachel admitted Joey’s technique on dates was impressive when they went on their own fake date.
8 Rachel Preferred Living With Joey
Monica and Ross are both very high-strung. Although they are fun to be around in a friend group, the pair of siblings are too high maintenance to digest in close settings, like having them as roommates.
Although Rachel lived with Monica for the first five seasons, when she had to move back in with her briefly she hated the arrangement and instead preferred Joey’s company and being his roommate. The same can be seen again once Rachel moves out from Ross’ and returns to Joey.
7 Joey Fell In Love With Her After One Date
There’s something about Rachel that we just can’t describe. Rachel has gotten every guy she has ever wanted. Even when she’s not looking to be with someone, she has the ability to make that man fall for her.
The best example for this would be Joey who fell in love with Rachel by – get this – going out with her on a grand total of one fake date! At the end of this date, he fell for her hard and had feelings for her that lasted almost two years.
6 Ross' Friendship Meant More To Joey than his feelings
Let’s not make it seem as if Joey was only thinking of himself when he fell for Rachel as this was far from the case. Joey’s main attribute is of him being a good friend and Ross was Joey’s best friend (along with Chandler).
Despite finally having Rachel romantically interested in him, Joey was willing to throw a chance to be with her aside after seeing that Ross wasn’t cool with it. No matter how much he loved Rachel, Joey could never be with her unless Ross was fine with it.
5 Rachel's Attraction To Him Made No Sense
Just as ridiculous it had been for Joey to fall in love with Rachel after one pretend date – eight years after being best friends with her, it was even more ridiculous that Rachel developed feelings for him after one dream.
It never made sense how Rachel suddenly became infatuated with Joey after having a romantic dream about him. This can only happen in the world of sitcoms, as cases like this don’t really exist, not when you’ve been friends with someone for about a decade.
4 Jennifer Aniston didn't think they could ever love each other
In the same discussion where she called the relationship between Rachel and Joey only one of friendship, Jennifer Aniston also considered the short relationship they had as friends with benefits. It looks like Aniston doesn’t really know what a beneficial friendship entails as there was nothing of that sort between Rachel and Joey onscreen.
It’s most likely Jennifer meant the two were only attracted to one another as friends and realized they didn’t want to be together once they had the chance to explore this attraction.
3 Matt Leblanc Was Also Against It
Matt Leblanc echoed what the audience felt upon the idea of Rachel and Joey. According to the show creator Kevin Bright, Matt was vehemently against the idea of putting the two together and likened it to a sibling relationship.
Of course, the very idea of being with your sibling is awful and this tells you just how much Matt despised the storyline. It’s also supported by what we had seen of Joey and Rachel before this story, as Joey had always looked out for her in a brotherly sort of way.
2 Joey Was Faithful
For all its failings the relationship between the two did highlight some significant personal growth. For Joey in particular, being with Rachel showed how he can be caring and faithful to another woman.
In one instance, when their relationship was mentioned after their breakup, Rachel pointed out to Phoebe that Joey was thoughtful and mature when they were together, and more impressively, didn’t pursue any other woman in the one week they were together. Now that’s true maturity, wouldn’t you agree?
1 Ross Interrupting Made All The Difference
It seems as if the idea of them being together but it being prohibited was what made it enticing for Joey and Rachel. Before officially trying to be together, the two had no problems being close. The instance where it seemed they would have gone the distance was the one where Ross ended up interrupting them.
At the time, even Joey admitted they would have probably gone all the way if Ross hadn’t barged in. Good thing he did, though. Thank God for people not locking doors to their apartments, right?
Are there any other interesting facts about Joey and Rachel's relationships in Friends? Sound off in the comments!