‘Friends’ Unpopular Opinion: Joey Tribbiani and Rachel Green Were the Real Endgame Couple

For 10 seasons, Friends fans watched Ross Geller, and Rachel Green try to make a romantic relationship work. In the background, Chandler Bing and Monica Geller emerged as the perfect couple, instead. While fans are generally split down the middle when it comes to their preferred “endgame” couple, there is another romantic pairing that is often ignored. While Friends fans didn’t love it at first, if you think about it now, Rachel and Joey Tribbiani’s late-season romance made a ton of sense. It might be an unpopular Friends opinion, but Rachel and Joey were the right endgame couple, but the show’s writers didn’t adequately develop their romance. 

Joey and Rachel had a lot of shared history 

Rachel had the most shared history with Monica and Ross. After all, the three grew up together on Long Island. However, teenage and college-aged Rachel was a much different person from adult Rachel. The show’s flashback episodes proved that. While Ross knew Rachel for longer than Joey, Joey and Rachel also had a shared history, and those years were the most important ones. 

Joey Tribbiani and Rachel Green in a season 8 episode of 'Friends'. It's an unpopuilar 'Friends' opinion, but Joey and Rachel could have been great together
Matt LeBlanc as Joey Tribbiani, Jennifer Aniston as Rachel Green | NBCU Photo Bank

You could argue that their years as friends were more formative than Rachel’s teen years. Joey watched Rachel grow and change, and she watched him grow and change, too. That shared history could have been a great foundation for a long-term partnership. 

Joey and Rachel had several shared personality traits

Rachel and Joey might not have had a ton in common in terms of what they liked or even their career paths, but they both had similar “clueless” moments. Joey and Rachel grew and developed over time and seemed to reach adult maturity together, too.

Even as they grew into themselves, the duo enjoyed childish fun sometimes, and they both knew when it was time to get serious. Overall, you could argue that Rachel and Joey had similar approaches to life. Their shared personality traits and mutual character development could have been great for their long-term compatibility. 

It is an unpopular ‘Friends’ opinion, but Joey would have taken better care of Rachel than Ross

Because Joey and Rachel developed such a strong friendship before their romance, Joey had a lot of practice caring for Rachel’s emotional needs without expecting something in return. Unlike Ross, whose goal was always to date Rachel, Joey was genuinely invested in her physical and emotional well-being for purely platonic reasons. 

David Schwimmer as Ross Geller, Lisa Kudrow as Phoebe Buffay, Matthew Perry as Chandler Bing, Courteney Cox as Monica Geller, Jennifer Aniston as Rachel Green, and Matt LeBlanc as Joey Tribbiani pose for promotional photos for 'Friends'
The cast of ‘Friends’ | NBCU Photo Bank/NBCUniversal via Getty Images

Friends fans often gloss over the importance Joey placed on his friendship with Rachel and the care he took to maintain his friendships with Phoebe Buffay and Monica, too. It’s the perfect example of Joey’s character development. It was also a good indication of how a long-term relationship with Rachel would have played out, though. He might have been a womanizer early on, but he did have a soft spot for his female friends. You could rest assured he would have taken care of Rachel’s emotional needs had they stayed together long term. ‘

While Ross and Rachel ultimately ended up together, they might not have been the right choice for each other. Ross was too serious and a bit too self-involved. Rachel was too flighty and a bit too emotionally needy for Ross. Rachel and Joey could have been the endgame couple of the series. It might be an unpopular Friends opinion, but we think the writers just didn’t play the cards right. 

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