Rachel and Ross’ relationship is one of the biggest — and longest — plotlines in NBC’s hit series, Friends. From Ross’ teenage obsession with Rachel to their big breakup, we take a look at Rachel and Ross’ relationship timeline (including how they end up together), ahead.
Rachel and Ross Relationship timeline
On Friends, Rachel and Ross’ dating relationship doesn’t last long. But, their love story lasts the entire series (and beyond that). Here is Rachel and Ross’ relationship timeline.
They met when they were teenagers
Rachel and Ross’ relationship goes back to their teenage years. As Monica’s best friend, Rachel spent some time around Ross in high school and although she didn’t know it at the time, Ross had a big crush on her. The two end up losing touch and Ross marries his college girlfriend, Carole.
Ross rekindles his love for Rachel
At the beginning of the series, Ross announces his divorce from Carole. Around the same time, his high school crush (Rachel Green) walks into the friends’ go-to coffee shop. Ross’s feelings for Rachel are almost immediately rekindled, but he fails to tell her how he feels before she finds a new beau, her Italian boyfriend, Paolo.
Ross goes to China and Rachel finds out
With his feelings for Rachel kept secret, Ross heads off to China on an archaeological dig. Around this time, Chandler spills the beans about Ross’s feelings towards Rachel and she decides she feels the same way. In a big, romantic gesture, Rachel heads to the airport to greet Ross and tell him how she feels upon his arrival. However, her plan goes south when Ross shows up at the airport with his new girlfriend, Julie.
Julie versus Rachel
Eventually, Ross finds out about Rachel’s feelings and is faced with a tough decision (but not before a hot makeout sesh with Rachel after hours in the coffee shop). He makes a pros and cons list for both women and ultimately chooses Rachel. But, Rachel finds the list and is hurt by some of the things Ross wrote down about her. Ross ends up alone.
Rachel kisses Ross
After seeing an old VHS tape of her high school prom — and how Ross almost stepped in after she thought her date bailed on her — Rachel realizes that Ross would do anything for her. She gets up, walks over to him, and gives him a romantic kiss. The two are officially together.
Ross and Rachel’s break is one of the most talked about events in the series. But, what really happened? After trying to land a job in fashion, Rachel finally gets a dream job (or at least the beginnings of one). There’s just one problem: Her work schedule and friendship with her co-worker, Mark starts to get in the way of her and Ross’ relationship. Ross ends up jealous and upset after Rachel doesn’t have time to celebrate their anniversary together. The two end up in a big fight and take a break from their relationship. But, after Ross goes out and has a one-night stand (and Rachel finds out) the break becomes more permanent.
Getting back together
There are several points throughout the series where Ross and Rachel almost get back together. One being after Ross and his girlfriend, Bonnie break up. Rachel writes Ross a letter asking him to take full responsibility for the events of their breakout. But, Ross doesn’t read the entire letter and just tells Rachel what she wants to hear. Rachel finds out that Ross didn’t read the letter and, long story short, they end up in another fight.
Ross says Rachel’s name
At a certain point in the series, Ross and Rachel try to be friends. Ross ends up dating a British woman (who Rachel accidentally set him up with) and the two decide to get married. Rachel realizes he can’t go through with it — at least not before she tells him how she feels about him — and flies to London for the wedding. When she gets there, she sees how happy Ross is and decides not to intervene. But, then, during his vows, Ross accidentally says Rachel’s name.
Ross and his new wife, Emily start their marriage off on a rocky start. But, eventually, Emily decides to make it work — so long as Rachel is not in his life. This doesn’t work out and the two end up divorced.
Their wedding in Vegas
After a (very) drunken night in Las Vegas, Rachel and Ross tied the knot — with no recollection of it in the morning. But, the two are quickly reminded of the events and Rachel asks Ross to take care of the annulment. After a lot of back and forth, Ross doesn’t actually apply for the annulment and they end up needing to divorce.
Rachel gets pregnant
About a month before Monica and Chandler’s wedding, Ross and Rachel spend another romantic (and drunken) night together. Rachel ends up pregnant, but the two don’t get back together. Instead, Rachel moves in with Ross and the two decide to co-parent their daughter, Emma together.
How Rachel and Ross end up together
Certain events in the series finale show how Rachel and Ross end up together. After getting a job offer at Louis Vuitton in Paris, Rachel makes the tough decision to move overseas with her daughter, Emma. But, around the same time, she and Ross’s romance starts to kick up again. Ross didn’t want Rachel to move (he even bribed her old boss to give her job back, plus pay her more) but his efforts didn’t change her mind. That is until she gets on the plane and realizes leaving New York City and the person she loves is a big mistake. Rachel ends up getting off the plane and shows up at Ross’s front door.
Following the series finale, many assumed that Rachel and Ross end up married. In the spinoff show, Joey — which follows Joey on a move to Hollywood to pursue his acting career — Joey mentions something about how all of his friends are married (meaning, Chandler and Monica, Phoebe and Mike, and most-likely Ross and Rachel).
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