‘Friends’: The Real Reason Why Joey and Phoebe Didn’t End up Together

Most of the characters of Friends fell in love with each other. But Joey (Matt LeBlanc) and Phoebe (Lisa Kudrow) never really got there. There was a reason why the writers didn’t want to make them a couple in the end.

Some fans wanted Joey and Phoebe to be together on ‘Friends’

Lisa Kudrow as Phoebe Buffay, Matt LeBlanc as Joey Tribbiani in 'Friends'
Lisa Kudrow as Phoebe Buffay, Matt LeBlanc as Joey Tribbiani in ‘Friends’ | NBCU Photo Bank

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Joey was a silly character in that he wasn’t smart and was focused on his looks. That worked given he was an actor. Phoebe also stood out for her wild stories, and performing as a singer.

Some fans thought they might actually work as a couple given their personalities. The show had a different story play out.

Joey dated Phoebe’s twin sister, Ursula (Kudrow). This made things awkward given Ursula and Phoebe don’t have a good relationship. Ursula started avoiding him so Phoebe pretended to be her sister to break up. They then share a kiss and Joey figures out it’s Phoebe.

The characters actually kiss again after that. But they don’t have a romantic relationship.

Phoebe ends up with someone else

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The writers took a few turns with their characters. Joey later tries to get with Rachel (Jennifer Aniston) in season 10. But she doesn’t feel the same way about him and she ends up with Ross (David Schwimmer).

The show ends with Joey staying single and Phoebe gets married to Mike Hannigan (Paul Rudd). Most fans still seemed to be happy for the characters. But there are some who might still wonder why Joey and Phoebe never happened.

Writers thought it would be ‘too tidy’

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The show started off with six people just being friends. But four of them paired off and became romantic. This made writers hesitant on making Joey and Phoebe a couple too.

“It all would have been too tidy and too complete,” Friends writer David Crane told Metro. “When your goal is to keep the six characters’ stories together, it would be really easy to go down that road but I think we all felt it would be a mistake.”

He went on to explain that the two couples also affected how their stories played out. “Because we’d done Ross and Rachel we had to give Monica (Courteney Cox) and Chandler (Matthew Perry) another set of challenges,” he said. “And so their whole journey of how they ended up together and having babies it needed to be different. I think that’s the biggest challenge of doing a show for 10 years.”

It sounds like having Ross and Rachel then Monica and Chandler together led to a trade off. Phoebe and Joey wouldn’t happen or else the writers would risk things being too unrealistic for the audience.