Although Friends ended 15 years ago, it remains one of the most beloved TV shows in entertainment history and its popularity has yet to wane. It is definitely one of the most bingeable shows out there. Devoted fans as well as newcomers to the series can’t seem to get enough of watching and re-watching this group of twenty-somethings deal with life’s ups and downs.
Through the years, Friends has stood the test of time thanks to its great humor and its endearing group of characters. No matter who you are, you’re likely to identify at least on some level with one of the six main leads, which undoubtedly makes watching Friends that much more enjoyable. Of all the main characters however, Rachel Karen Green stood out as being particularly popular with viewers, so much so that every time her character got a haircut, throngs of women seemed to rush to copy her. Love her or loathe her, her influence on popular culture cannot be denied.
The problem with such a popular and likable show such as Friends is that people tend to watch the same episodes over and over again. This leads to careful scrutiny and the inevitable noticing of things that don’t quite add up. While Rachel went on to become a successful businesswoman in the world of fashion, have a daughter, and unite with her true love, this unfortunately doesn’t mean that her character was without problems. In fact, there are quite a number of instances where the things Rachel does just don’t make any sense at all.
With this is mind, here are 20 Things That Make No Sense About Rachel In Friends.
20 Her Ever-Changing Birthday
It’s a known fact that Rachel is one of the most popular Friends characters with audiences, but despite how much we all love and envy her, does she really deserve multiples birthdays a year? Looking over the series as a whole, it seems that Rachel’s birthday changes multiple times.
In season 4, she tells Gunther that her birthday is in May but then later on in that same series, a police officer comments that she is an Aquarius, meaning her date of birth would have to be in January or February. Whether this is all just a ploy to get more attention and presents or whether for some reason she really has forgotten when her real birthday is, Rachel’s ever-changing date of birth is very confusing indeed.
19 Green or Greene?
We all know Rachel has her ditzy moments and she isn’t always the sharpest tool in the shed. Despite her often clueless moments, you would think that at the very least she would be able to spell her own name correctly, right? Well, as it turns out, this isn’t the case.
Over the course of the series, Rachel’s last name seems to switch between being spelled "Green" and "Greene." On the box containing Emma’s first birthday cake, her last name is written “Green,” but then on the invitation to Ross and Emily’s wedding, it reads “Greene.” On her desk at Bloomingdales, we see “Greene” whereas both spellings are used on her Ralph Lauren office door. Fans tend to agree that the official spelling is “Green” though, as this is how Rachel’s name appears on the credits.
18 Airport Rules Don’t Apply To Her
Anyone who has ever gone to the airport and taken a flight will know that airport security is incredibly strict. One of the most basic security checks when flying is that your plane ticket matches the name on your own passport. Whereas tickets for events might be able to be used by someone other than yourself, plane tickets are not-exchangeable between people. For this reason, the whole plotline where Rachel takes Emily’s place on the newlyweds’ honeymoon is completely boggling.
Aside from the awkwardness and frankly dubious choice to take the trip, the fact that Rachel uses Emily’s ticket with Emily’s name on it while her own passport says Rachel is nothing short of baffling. Clearly Rachel knows some airport secrets we don’t.
17 Her Sailing Abilities
Rachel is one of the more privileged members of the Friends group, so it wouldn’t be surprising to learn that she could play polo, or croquet, or even sail. Indeed, Rachel reveals to Joey in "The One with Phoebe’s Cookies" that her strict father taught her to sail and therefore she could help Joey learn the ropes of his new sailboat.
However, despite her getting annoyed with Joey for not following her sailing instructions, we have reason to believe that Rachel might not have been the seasoned sailor she claimed to be. In fact, earlier in the season, Rachel tells the group that her father used to complain that no one would help him sail his boat. In "The One Where Ross Moves In", Rachel tells Danny that she is going to a Sailing Regatta but doesn't know how to sail. Sounds fishy to us.
16 Her Choice of Baby Name
One of the weirder decisions Rachel made in the series was to call her baby Emma. As you’ll remember, Emma was the name Monica wanted to call her own daughter someday, but always getting what she wants, Rachel managed to get her friend to allow her to use it for her baby.
While Emma is a beautiful name, is sounds awfully like Emily, the name of Ross’ ex-wife whom Rachel couldn’t stand. If Rachel and Emily had such a bad history together, then why would she want to name her baby so similarly? At one point in the series, Rachel even accidentally calls Emma “Emily,” which seems pretty strange considering all the bad blood that went down between them. The choice of name is also pretty insensitive to Ross, whose whole life was put into turmoil over the Emily and Rachel fiasco.
15 The Ross-Russ Situation
In season 2, there is a very strange episode of Friends called "The One With Russ". Aired before Ross and Rachel got together but after the whole pros and cons list disaster, this episode sees Rachel going out with a guy called Russ. The weird bit? Russ is basically an identical version of Ross. From the way he dresses to the way he speaks, Russ is basically Ross with slightly longer hair.
It’s not that hard to believe that Rachel would try to find someone similar to Ross seeing as she had feelings for him, but the fact that she didn’t notice the very obvious similarities between Ross and Russ is somewhat hard to believe. It took her far longer than everyone else to see that they were carbon copies of each other.
14 Agreeing to Let Bonnie Date Ross
Ross and Rachel were the king and queen of roller coaster relationships, and it’s hard to keep track of how many times they were off again and on again. Audiences were undoubtedly frustrated whenever one of them was in love with the other but wouldn’t speak up, which meant that they systematically had throwaway relationships in between that we all knew weren’t right for them.
One example of this is in season 4 when Rachel agrees to let Phoebe set her friend Bonnie up with Ross. Despite having feelings for Ross, Rachel allows the date to go ahead because she remembers Bonnie being bald. She gets an unpleasant surprise when Bonnie turns out to be beautiful, and Rachel ends up sabotaging their relationship. Rachel should have just told Phoebe how she really felt about Ross, but she allowed someone else to get hurt instead.
13 She Doesn’t Remember Chandler
Rachel and Chandler aren’t the closest two people in their friendship group, but even so, Rachel shouldn’t forget an entire chapter of their lives they spent together. In the pilot episode of Friends where Rachel is introduced to the gang after she runs out on her wedding to Barry, Rachel and Chandler act as if they’ve never met. However, as the series progresses, we learn that these two friends had indeed met each other several times before, including spending two Thanksgivings with each other at the Gellers' household. It’s also revealed that they even shared a kiss at one point.
After having such a history together, how could they possibly act like they don’t know each other in the pilot? As ditzy as Rachel can be, even she should remember meeting someone more than one or two times.
12 Her Lack of Knowledge About Monica’s past
Despite how close they seem in the series, Monica and Rachel weren’t always great friends. Sure they were besties in high school, but after that they seem to have drifted apart before seeing each other again for the first time in a while in the pilot episode. That being said, from the flashbacks that we see throughout Friends, we can see that Rachel and Monica spent their formative years together, and therefore should know pretty much everything about their respective childhoods.
It’s strange then that in “The One with the Football”, Rachel has no idea about why Monica and Ross aren’t allowed to play football together anymore and has never heard of the Geller Cup. For something that is this important to both her friend and her on-again/off-again boyfriend, you’d think that Rachel would have remembered it.
11 Not Knowing Her Ex-Fiancé’s Name
In the very first episode of Friends, we see Rachel turning up flustered at Central Perk, still wearing her wedding dress after running out on her wedding to Barry. In this pilot episode, we hear Rachel call her fiancé "Barry Finkle," but then when we next see him, he is referred to as "Barry Farber."
Every time after that, his surname is Farber, so where in the world did Finkle come from? Was Rachel so flustered and confused after doing a runner that she forgot her own husband-to-be’s name? Did the production team decide that Finkle was an unsuitable or silly name for some reason? We have so many questions.
10 Saving Her Wedding Dress
On the subject of Rachel’s almost-marriage to Dr. Barry Farber, it’s interesting to note that she kept her wedding dress even though the ran out on the ceremony. In the season 4 episode "The One With the Wedding Dresses", we see Monica, Phoebe, and Rachel lounging around the apartment wearing bridal gowns. Rachel is obviously wearing her wedding dress from the pilot episode.
Although a wedding dress is expensive and beautiful and would obviously be sentimental to most people, we do have to ask why Rachel kept hers when it would only serve to bring up bad memories of running out on her own wedding. Rachel spends much of the early seasons being broke, so why didn’t she sell the dress for cash? Closet space is minimal in New York City apartments, so why did she hang onto it?
9 Going to London
There were a number of weddings that took place over the course of the series, but none were as memorable as Ross’s marriage to Emily in London. After deciding initially not to go, Rachel eventually decided to travel to London in order to tell Ross how she really felt about him. As we all know, Ross ended up saying Rachel’s name instead of Emily’s during the ceremony. Rachel turning up likely had a lot (or everything) to do with it.
Rachel definitely made the wrong decision in going to London. If she really cared about Ross, she would have let him get on with his wedding and his life with Emily. Instead, she created chaos in everyone’s lives. It’s understandable that Rachel wanted to tell Ross how she really felt, but honestly his wedding wasn’t the most opportune time for that.
8 Going On Ross’ Honeymoon
One of the most memorable and most awkward moments in Friends is of course when Ross said the wrong name at his wedding to Emily, saying “I take thee Rachel” instead. Despite this huge mishap, Emily still went ahead and married him but then disappeared, not letting Ross know where she had fled to.
Meanwhile, Ross and Emily were supposed to be setting off on their honeymoon trip, but seeing as he had no idea where his new wife was, Ross invited Rachel to go with him instead. Rachel said yes, but we have to wonder how both of them thought any of this was a good idea. Ross should have known how devastating this invite would be to Emily, and Rachel should have had the better sense to decline the invite. Bad judgement calls all around.
7 Her Magical Marker-Removing Skin
Ross and Rachel made a lot of questionable choices over the course of the series, but one of their most irresponsible acts was to get married while completely inebriated when in Las Vegas. What made the whole situation even more ludicrous was the fact that they both had magic marker all over their faces. Ross had initially pranked Rachel while she was sleeping on the plane by drawing on her face and Rachel got back at him by doing the same to him.
Yet, after their crazy night, getting married, and running around with permanent pen on their faces, they wake up the next morning and go down to breakfast without even a trace of marker on their skin. We don’t know what kind of magical face creams or serums Rachel has, but it must be some pretty strong stuff to get those marks off her face.
6 Her Pregnancy TimeLine
Friends seemed to completely misunderstand how pregnancy works, getting Carol’s and Phoebe’s birthing timelines wrong, as well as Rachel’s. Whereas Phoebe’s pregnancy seemed way too short and Carol’s seemed to be miscalculated too, Rachel’s pregnancy seems to be stretched out way too long.
Rachel reveals her pregnancy at Monica’s wedding in May, which means she must have been at least a few weeks along. It’s strange, then, that a few episodes later during Halloween, she is still only in the initial stages of pregnancy and is hardly showing. Then later on in the season, Rachel is heavily pregnant on Valentine’s Day in "The One With the Birthing Video", but does not give birth until the end of the season. The timeline is all over the place when considering a real-life pregnancy should last nine months.
5 Her Parenting
Rachel giving birth to baby Emma at the end of season 8 was one of the most emotional and heartwarming moments in Friends. Not only did it reawaken the affection Ross and Rachel had for one another, it also brought the whole group closer together than ever before.
Although Rachel clearly adored her baby when she gave birth to her, like Ben, Ross’ son with Carol, Emma seemed to disappear and reappear only when it was convenient for Rachel’s plotline. In fact, we would often see Rachel walking around with a baby monitor and leaving the device somewhere random while she went about with her life. It seems almost like Rachel forgot she even had a child half the time. Emma really wasn’t very present at all, despite Rachel being a new mother.
4 Accepting Joey’s Proposal
The most controversial plot line that occurred in Friends is undeniably Rachel and Joey’s romantic relationship. Still hotly debated, this pair certainly caused some heated arguments among fans.
Although Rachel and Ross’ relationship wasn’t always the healthiest, it was obvious from the start that they were meant to end up together in the series. Just after Rachel has her baby, she mistakenly thinks Joey is proposing to her when he gets down on one knee to pick up a ring that has fallen. Fair enough: she has major baby-brain and is feeling very emotional. But there’s no real excuse for accepting Joey’s proposal after everything she and Ross have been through, right after she’s had Ross’ baby.
3 Not Knowing How Gunther Feels About Her
One thing that was consistent throughout the entire series was Gunther’s love for Rachel. Sometimes a bit weird and over-the-top, Gunther’s adoration of Rachel was one of the funniest and most endearing plotlines in Friends. He watches Rachel from afar as he longs to be with her, yet never quite has the gumption or the opportunity to confess his feelings for her.
Finally, in the last episode of the show, he tells Rachel how he feels, and strangely Rachel acts completely surprised. Although Gunther never explicitly told Rachel he loved her until that last episode, he wasn’t exactly subtle about his attraction for her. Anyone and everyone could tell how much he liked her, so how is it that Rachel was so utterly surprised by this?
2 Hiring Tag
Rachel hired Tag for one very simple, problematic reason: she was attracted to him so she gave him the job as her assistant. There’s not a single things that’s okay about, and the way she behaves around him is textbook harassment. If Friends were made today, it's unlikely this plotline would have been included, and it really shouldn’t have been featured in the series at all when it was.
Tag definitely wasn’t qualified for the job he was given and the whole thing was made even worse when he and Rachel started dating while they were still working together. All in all, this career and life choice from Rachel was both stupid and morally irresponsible. You’re better than this, Rachel-- show some smarts.
1 Not going to Paris
Although there were countless fans of Friends who were overjoyed to see that Rachel had gotten off the plane bound for Paris, others weren’t as delighted with her decision. Rachel and Ross ending up together was inevitable from the very first episode of the show, but there’s no denying that this supposed happy ending would have had huge repercussions for Rachel.
Staying in New York to be with Ross meant giving up an incredible job and an amazing opportunity to live and work in Paris. In the end, she gave up much more for him than he did for her, and it doesn’t seem quite fair that she gave up on her career in order to be in a relationship with a man who had already proven himself to be a questionable partner in the past.
What else doesn't make sense about Rachel in Friends? Let us know in the comments!