‘Friends’: Why Rachel and Joey Made a Better Couple Than You Think

Friends is one of the most popular television series of all time, and it did not take long after the show first aired in 1994 to create a dedicated fan base. The show centered around six young friends living in New York City. Fans of the show had 10 great seasons, where they watched the six characters grow, change, and mature.

Despite the season finale airing more than 10 years ago, people are still talking about Friends — especially the relationship between Ross Geller (David Schwimmer) and Rachel Green (Jennifer Aniston).

The very end of the series shows that Ross and Rachel get together at long last, and most people said “finally!” There are quite a few people; however, who believe that Rachel ended up with the wrong guy. For a brief period during the series, Rachel and Joey (Matt LeBlanc) date. While at first glance the couple seemed strange and unnatural, there are quite a few reasons these two actually made a much better couple than you think. In fact, some fans argue that Joey was a better choice than Rachel. Here’s why.

Joey brings out the best in Rachel, Ross doesn’t

Matt LeBlanc as Joey Tribbiani, Jennifer Aniston as Rachel Green, Lisa Kudrow as Phoebe Buffay
Matt LeBlanc as Joey Tribbiani, Jennifer Aniston as Rachel Green, Lisa Kudrow as Phoebe Buffay | Gerald Weinman/NBC/NBCU Photo Bank via Getty Images

Rachel and Ross have a long, complicated relationship history. Despite supposedly being meant for each other, Ross just doesn’t seem to be able to get everything together for Rachel. He gets married, divorced, and has a child outside of his on-again, off-again relationship with Rachel.

Throughout all of this, Rachel and Ross only seem to bring out the worst in each other. During each foray into real dating, the two end up stressed out and trying too hard to be people they just aren’t.

Enter Joey. Joey and Rachel start out as friends and then turn into roommates when she needs a place to stay. While most thought the setup was weird, Joey ended up bringing out the very best in Rachel — and she did the same for him.

Known for being high-strung, Rachel finally learns to chill out. She embraces the more lighthearted, chill side of her character during her time with Joey. In return, Joey works to be something better than a one-night-stand man. Joey also learns to care for someone outside of himself, despite being known for being both superficial and self-centered during his time on the series.

Joey supports Rachel’s career, while Ross sabotages it

During their brief romance, Joey is incredibly supportive of Rachel’s career. As a struggling actor, he understands Rachel’s drive and ambition better than anyone. Joey also helps to give Rachel her first big break in the fashion business.

Ross, on the other hand, is far from supportive. It seems like every chance he gets, Ross attempts to sabotage Rachel’s career. There is one point when Rachel’s career is really starting to take off, and Ross complains that he’s tired of having a relationship with her voicemail. Ross is even responsible for taking away the biggest break of Rachel’s career when he begs her to stay home from Paris, despite everyone else (including Joey) telling her she should take it. 

Joey’s feelings are real, but Ross just seems obsessed

Joey was never able to dedicate himself to one woman and was the epitome of a bad dating joke punchline. But he falls in love with Rachel while she is pregnant, which is huge for him. Superficial Joey would never fall in love, and especially not with a pregnant woman. This only verifies just how real his feelings for Rachel are. Plus, he’s very mature when Rachel turns him down, and the two continue being friends.

Ross, on the other hand, seems obsessed with having Rachel — and he seems to want to make sure she is somehow less than him at the same time. Not once did Ross take Rachel’s best interests in mind, but instead always focuses on what he wants. Plus, he and Rachel most definitely did not stay friends when they weren’t dating, because Ross always made things super awkward.

What do you think? Was Joey the better fit for Rachel?