If there was one certainty about Friends from the beginning, it was that Ross and Rachel were endgame. No matter how many fights they had, how many times they broke up, and how many other love interests they had, they were going to find their way back to each other.
That had to be taken into account, both with their relationship and their relationships with others. That also had an impact on how they acted about each other's other relationships.
However, because it is rare for a couple to get together and stay together on television, there had to be obstacles along the way. Their inevitable reunion couldn't happen immediately, and because it didn't happen until the series finale, there were ample opportunities for mishaps.
The series also couldn't let Rachel and Ross stray too far from each other's orbit. That meant that they had to show they were affected by the other's relationships, often in a way that didn't quite make sense since it didn't go anywhere.
Though Ross was her main relationship, Rachel did have a few other significant love interests over Friends' 10 seasons. Because of her history (and future) with Ross, however, none of them stood a chance, and that showed.
Here are 20 Things That Make No Sense About Rachel's Relationships On Friends.
It took about seven years for Rachel and Ross to get back together. In that time, their feelings never really went away.
The problem with Rachel's feelings for Ross was that she kept wanting to get back together with him when he was with someone else. She even interfered in his other relationships because of it.
When he was with Bonnie, she told him how she felt. When he didn't read the letter she wrote, their reunion fell apart. Then, when he was about to marry Emily, she planned to tell him how she felt. Though she changed her mind, her presence was still a thorn in the wedding's side.
However, Ross was also single plenty of times and Rachel didn't feel that way or do anything then.
The potential for a Rachel and Joey relationship was there long before the two finally got together. However, in the end, their relationship was less about them and more about how it affected Ross.
Furthermore, the focus was on how it could have affected Ross and Joey's friendship. That was in part due to the fact that Ross was interested in and started dating Joey's ex-girlfriend, Charlie.
While Ross and Joey did speak about Ross' past with Rachel, it was just that: the two men talking about her. Thankfully it wasn't a typical love triangle, but it didn't make sense that there wasn't more focus on Ross and Rachel — and conversations between those two, due to their history.
Just as Rachel thought she had a chance of getting somewhere with Joshua, Emily came along. Rachel was supposed to show Emily around the city on the same night she had the chance to see Joshua outside of her job.
So, in order to make it to her plans with Joshua (which didn't work out), Rachel asked Ross to spend time with Emily. To her surprise, Ross and Emily not only hit it off, but they also went to a bed & breakfast together.
Rachel was upset, even though she had no right to be. She and Ross were over. She had even canceled on Emily to try to spend time with a man she was interested in dating.
Other than Monica and Chandler, the Friends relationships were messy at the end of season 9 into season 10. Before the trip to Barbados, Ross and Rachel were single, and Joey and Charlie were together. After Barbados, Ross and Charlie were together, as were Rachel and Joey.
Ross thought the best way to deal with the situation was to have Rachel and Joey over for dinner. The evening was awkward from the start, with Charlie returning some of Joey's belongings in the hall. Ross might have been having a hard time dealing with Rachel and Joey's relationship, but why did none of them back out of the dinner?
Since Ross clearly wasn't in the right frame of mind to do so, Rachel or Joey should have made an excuse to get out of that evening.
After Rachel had her and Ross' baby, Joey accidentally proposed. He was kneeling on the ground and holding out the ring Ross' mother gave him to propose to Rachel. She said yes, taking the moment for what it looked like, though Joey never asked a question.
Rachel's reaction was brushed aside as a side effect of giving birth. Really, the only consequence it had was it made Ross think for a moment after he and Rachel began talking about getting back together (or not).
Why wasn't that treated like a bigger deal? It never came up again, even when Rachel and Joey briefly dated a year later. It seemed to be more about Ross than the two people actually involved in the non-proposal (Rachel and Joey).
When Ross and Rachel first dated, they fought and she asked for a break. He took it to mean they broke up, especially when he learned Mark was in her apartment. He was then with someone else that night because, as he told Rachel the next day, they "were on a break." Their relationship ended officially after that.
That wasn't the last time fans heard "we were on a break" from Ross. However, he also used it as a joke, which made no sense for either party. Considering how much Ross supposedly loved Rachel, he shouldn't have been joking about what ended their relationship. Considering how angry Rachel had been about his actions, she shouldn't have just brushed aside his blasé attitude toward what happened.
When Rachel was living with Ross, they weren't together. However, that didn't mean they were like any other pair of platonic roommates. When Rachel went with Phoebe to a bar, she worried a man she gave her number to would call and Ross would answer.
She then enlisted Mike to answer all of the calls for that night. What happened was the man called when Ross was alone in the apartment and Rachel was checking about the calls with Mike in the hall.
Rachel only found out that Ross then threw out the man's phone number during a fight. He blurted out what he had done. However, considering how worried she was about him finding out, wasn't it strange that she didn't wonder what had happened before then?
Everyone went to Las Vegas to surprise Joey when he was filming a movie. While Monica and Chandler were the ones talking about marriage while there, Rachel and Ross ended up getting married.
Ross told Rachel he'd take care of the annulment, but then he realized he didn't want another failed marriage. Instead of telling her the truth, Ross lied to Rachel. For a while, she thought their marriage had been annulled. Then, when she found out the truth, he actually tried to talk her into staying married.
They did eventually divorce, but the entire thing was treated like a joke. Because Friends is a comedy, it didn't delve into the bigger issues at play with that particular plotline. Rachel should have been much more upset and not gotten over it as quickly as she did.
First, Rachel went to London to tell Ross she still loved him. Then, she decided against doing so before his and Emily's wedding. She changed her mind again after he said her name during the ceremony. She didn't even care that he was busy trying to find Emily.
Then, Rachel had problems getting a flight home and ran into Ross at the airport. He kicked off the bad decisions by inviting her to join him on his honeymoon. Emily showed up in time to see Ross about to get on the plane with Rachel. He chased after her and missed the plane. Rachel went alone.
However, Rachel never should have agreed to go on the honeymoon in the first place. How did she think that vacation was going to go? Did she plan to tell Ross how she felt?
The relationships featuring all combinations of Rachel, Barry, and Mindy could only be described as a mess.
Barry was with Mindy when he was with Rachel, then he was with Rachel when he was with Mindy. The best thing for all involved would have been to leave everything in the past.
Instead, Rachel agreed to be Mindy's maid of honor at their wedding. To make things even messier, the series first introduced Barry and Mindy as Rachel's ex-fiance (whom she ran out on, on their wedding day) and her maid-of-honor.
Rachel should have turned down the wedding duties, even though she wanted to be in a room with them and feel good about herself. Their wedding didn't have to be the site of that.
Something that was consistent when it came to Ross and Rachel was his interference in her career.
It started when they first dated, and he was jealous of Mark, who helped her get her job. In order to make sure Mark and everyone in the office knew Rachel was taken, Ross sent her elaborate gifts. These presents took over her desk and even interrupted her work day in the case of a barbershop quartet. Ross also insisted on attending a lecture once he heard Rachel planned to go with Mark.
Then, in the final season, Rachel got a great job in Paris. Unbeknownst to her, Ross bribed her old boss to rehire her so she'd stay. She still decided to go, but then he showed up at the airport and told her he loved her. She stayed.
Before Rachel and Ross got together in season 2, she had a temporary love interest who was very familiar. It wasn't just that Russ looked like Ross. He was pretty much his boring doppelganger with just a couple tweaks.
As soon as the others met Russ, they immediately saw the similarities. Rachel, however, didn't, even though she probably should have been one of the first to do so. She knew Ross and liked him at that point, and she spent the most time with Russ.
Sure, she might not have wanted to see the similarities, but they were so obvious, it just didn't make sense.
Furthermore, the episode did nothing to show viewers why Rachel was even interested in Russ in the first place beyond the Ross connection.
At first, Rachel decided not to attend Ross and Emily's wedding because of her and Ross' history. That was a smart move. However, after realizing she still had feelings for him, she got on a plane, despite Phoebe trying to stop her.
Then, on the plane, her seatmate was treated to her and Ross' history and told her she was doing the wrong thing.
It wasn't until she got to London and saw Ross and Emily together that she changed her mind.
However, it shouldn't have taken that long. Every step of Rachel's trip to London, from forgetting her passport to paying for the tickets, should have clued her in and stopped her.
Plus, considering her love for fashion, the fact that she wasn't even dressed for the wedding should have given her pause.
One of Rachel's love interests in the early seasons wasn't a good guy. Paolo made a pass at Phoebe while he and Rachel were together. The women rightfully put the blame on him.
However, then when Ross was with Julie, Rachel was upset and went back to him.
It made no sense for Rachel to do so, nor did it make any sense for the Friends writers to have Rachel do that. First of all, they'd done the right thing originally, making sure the women didn't fight and making it clear Paolo was the villain.
Then for some reason, he had to be part of her life again. It was clear they had a strictly physical relationship, but Rachel deserved so much better.
Rachel and Chandler's history was messy because they technically met multiple times. As the series progressed, more and more flashbacks revealed aspects of the characters' pasts. That included the fact that Rachel and Chandler kissed when he was in college, but that kiss wasn't even about them.
Instead, it led to the revelation that what Ross thought was his first kiss with Rachel was actually a kiss he shared with Monica. It was really all about that discovery and the gasps that ensued.
There was no reason for that Rachel and Chandler kiss to become part of their history. It just made the fact that they seemingly didn't know each other before the pilot strange, especially considering their flirtation in "TOW the Flashback."
In the later seasons of Friends, both Rachel and Joey liked the other but the timing wasn't the best. Then, they finally kissed in the season 9 finale and got together at the beginning of season 10.
However, after that, it felt very rushed. Rather than take the time to truly explore their relationship, they decided they were too good of friends for a romantic connection.
It felt like it was something that the series had to get out of the way before Rachel and Ross got back together. They were clearly always going to stay the endgame couple, despite the problems with their relationship.
Considering the build-up for Rachel and Joey's relationship, it deserved better than what fans got.
In the final season of Friends, Rachel lost her job but got a better one. However, that job would have taken her to Paris. Ross realized he didn't want her to go, and Phoebe held up her flight so he could tell her.
Though Rachel did end up getting on the plane, she ultimately decided to stay. She gave up a really good job in Paris, and the series finale never bothered to explain what would come next for her career-wise.
Ross, meanwhile, had just gotten tenure, so his professional life was set.
But for some reason, Rachel's career always had to take a backseat to her relationship with Ross, to the point that it didn't even matter in the end.
First, Rachel made the wrong decision when it came to hiring her assistant. Tag wasn't the most qualified, though that didn't really matter. The series never really showed if he was good at the job or not.
The point of Tag was simply for Rachel to date her assistant, even though she knew she shouldn't. Then, they had to hide their relationship at work. Even though they were almost caught, neither of them treated it like they should have.
Rachel should have been more concerned about what it could mean for her career, especially since she had worked so hard to get to where she was.
Instead, their relationship ended because they were at different points in their lives, and that was that.
Though Rachel met Joshua first and was interested in him, Ross and Emily moved much faster in their relationship. Joshua's marriage had just ended, so he wasn't looking for anything too serious.
However, when Ross and Emily got engaged, Rachel wanted to show that she, too, was in a serious relationship. Her attempt to do so led to her and Joshua's breakup.
It just didn't make sense that Friends spent a significant amount of time on Rachel's crush on Joshua just to torpedo their relationship. It was simply a case where Rachel and Ross' past directly affected one of their romances in a way that was illogical.
Rachel and Joshua could have realized they wouldn't work out for a number of reasons, but having Rachel try to move forward too fast was just stupid.
Tommy was one of Rachel's temporary love interests, her date to Joey's play in "The One With the Screamer." However, the focus of this character and the episode wasn't on Rachel's relationship with him. Instead, it was all about how Ross reacted to him and only Ross saw when Tommy's rage came out.
It was obvious Tommy was only going to be a one episode character (and not just because Ben Stiller played him).
Still, that didn't explain why Friends didn't bother to show any reason why Tommy was even part of Rachel's life. The only reason she seemingly brought him to the play was because Ross had a date. However, Tommy stuck around in Rachel's life after, just for Ross to continue to see his true colors.