This Friends Storyline Had Even Actors Grossed Out

This Friends Storyline Had Even Actors Grossed Out
Image credit: NBC

What did you think of it when you watched Friends for the first time?


  • Over the years, Friends has developed a huge fan base that loves to rewatch the show every year.
  • But there's one storyline that doesn't sit well with many viewers, old and new.
  • As it turns out, the creators decided to include this arc to spice things up for the characters, and even the cast was freaked out.

Friends has such a huge following and continues to add new members to its massive fan base for a reason. Most of the show's jokes are still funny after years and numerous rewatches, the characters are three-dimensional and relatable, and the group dynamics are compelling.

However, there are a few major storylines that seem to bug everyone from rookie viewers to seasoned fans and even the show's cast. The biggest example is the romantic storyline between Joey and Rachel that developed in Seasons 8-10.

Joey & Rachel Romance

If you are surprised that this controversial arc lasted three seasons, you probably just blocked it out of your mind.

Joey fell for Rachel first, and it all started in Season 8 after they went on a casual date together. The idea of friends having an affair was particularly offensive to viewers because Rachel was in the early stages of pregnancy with Ross' child. And we all knew deep down that these two were supposed to be the endgame.

The show stressed a few times that this was the first time Joey had ever fallen in love with anyone. But when he finally confessed, Rachel didn't reciprocate until Season 9, when Emma was already born and she suddenly felt attracted to Joey. The kiss in the season finale sent fans into a panic mode.

In Season 10, the couple dated for a week, but broke up after realizing they worked much better as friends, much to the relief of both viewers and cast.

What The Cast Thought

Both Jennifer Aniston and Matt LeBlanc made it clear in numerous interviews that the love arc between their characters was doomed from the start.

'I just don't think Joey and Rachel could have made it. I think it was more physical than emotional with them,' Aniston told Elle.

More than that, when the scripts with the romance scenes first hit the actors' tables, they were properly freaked out.

'It felt wildly inappropriate,' LeBlanc told Vanity Fair. 'I was like, “That's Rachel. She was supposed to be with Ross. Wait a minute.” Everybody got super-defensive about the whole thing.'

The actor recalled how he and other actors stormed David Crane and Marta Kauffman's office to voice their concerns. But the creators were adamant about stepping on to this uncharted territory.

'Yes, it's absolutely wrong. That's why we have to do it,' they told the actors. 'You can't just keep spinning the same plates.'

The storyline certainly served its purpose of shaking things up for the gang and the viewers, and even gained a small group of supporters who still think Rachel and Joey is a much better fit than Rachel and Ross.

Sources: Elle, Vanity Fair.

What do you think? Who is a better partner for Rachel?