While Friends is a beloved piece of ’90s and ’00s nostalgia, let’s remember the maligned moment that the writers decided to put Joey and Rachel together in Season 8.
Looking back at Joey and Rachel, it’s strange to think that the controversial storyline ran through Season 8, 9, and 10 — feeling much longer. It turns out that even Joey himself (Matt LeBlanc) was against one of the show’s strangest storylines.
LeBlanc joins the millions of others who despised the story arc and rightly questioned where the hell Joey and Rachel’s romance came from. Executive producer Kevin S Bright told Digital Spy, “I can tell you this – in the beginning, Matt LeBlanc did not want to do that story.”
Bright continued, “He was very firmly against it, saying that he’s Ross’s friend, and that the type of friend that Joey is would never go and take someone else’s girlfriend.”
Admitting that it took “a lot of conversations” to convince LeBlanc to go with it, Bright stayed quiet about what he thought about the odd pairing.
With Ross and Julie, Monica and Richard’s son, Cathy/Joey/Chandler, Rachel and Tag, Friends had some truly awful partnerships over the years. Still, out of them all, Joey and Rachel are still the worst of the worst — yes, they even beat Ross and Emily.
With Joey and Rachel seemingly thrown together like names being plucked from a hat, it isn’t surprising that LeBlanc questioned what the writers were up to.
Friends was still pretty good towards the end, but there was a sense that writers were running out of ideas in the later seasons.
Whether the writers saw the error of their ways or had always planned to put Ross and Rachel back together, the Joey and Rachel relationship (thankfully) wasn’t built to last.
Deciding that things were just too awkward between them — believe us, it was awkward for the audience too — Joey and Rachel settled on being friends.
Just think though, there is probably an alternate reality where Rachel ditched France and headed back to New York to be with Joey forever…perish the thought!