17. Ross and Jill
Okay, the fact that Ross even CONSIDERED dating Rachel’s sister just proves how much of a douchebag he really is. I know, unpopular opinion: Ross actually sucks! But it’s true. Like, if he was so convinced that Rachel was the love of his life, why on earth did he entertain the possibility of dating Jill? Sure, Jill herself isn’t exactly innocent here – she basically only wants to date Ross to spite Rachel. Thank god Ross came to his freaking senses and realized that the idea of dating Jill was terrible. Like, even worse than using “we were on a break” as an excuse.
16. Ross and Rachel
Putting one of Friends‘ central couples so near the bottom of this list may seem totally out of line. However, Ross and Rachel shouldn’t have ended up together. There. I said it. Ross’s sense of entitlement towards his sister’s best friend was seriously gross – like, dude. Rachel doesn’t have to date you just because you’re nice to her. Their on-again-off again relationship goes through too many catastrophic downs for them really to have a shot at long-term happiness. Plus, Rachel ends up having to pass up a huge career opportunity just so she can be with Nice Guy Ross. Ugh. She should have stayed on the plane.
15. Joey/Chandler and Kathy
Kathy was a season four love interest for both Joey and Chandler, a situation that almost ruined the two’s bromance. And for what? A woman who was basically as selfish as they come. She cheated on Joey with Chandler (although Chandler also doesn’t come out great here – why would you cheat with your best friend’s girlfriend?!), and then proceeded to cheat on Chandler with Nick, her co-star in a play. Honestly, neither of these relationships were worth the stress that they caused. Luckily, Chandler and Joey managed to repair their rift and their truly beautiful friendship lived on. No thanks to Kathy. God damn Kathy.
14. Rachel and Tag
Everything about Rachel and Tag’s short romance was a little bit weird. For one, Rachel was Tag’s boss: conflict of interest, anyone? She only hired him in the first place because she thought he was cute! Then there was the fact Tag was utterly immature and not even close to Rachel’s league. Luckily, Tag quickly got dumped when Rachel realized she deserved a) older and b) better, but still. This ill-fated relationship should never have happened in the first place and was clearly only written in to provide uncertainty regarding baby Emma’s paternity. It was a cheap trick.
13. Ross and Julie
Ross and Julie were another couple who essentially existed to be a plot device. We had to have that dramatic moment of Rachel realizing her feelings for Ross when it’s too late. Julie was a nice enough woman, and probably quite suited for Ross – she shared his love of paleontology, after all! She also had to put up with a lot of shit from Rachel for daring to ‘steal her man’ (even though Ross wasn’t actually aware of Rachel’s feelings at the time). However, she was doomed to fade into obscurity when the truth about Rachel’s feelings emerged. Hey, at least she ended up with Ross’s doppelganger, Russ!
12. Chandler and Janice
Chandler and Janice’s terrible relationship dragged on for way too long. It was bad enough at the start – Chandler clearly only stayed with her for so long out of a mix of pity and being scared of dying alone. However, when Monica and Chandler finally got together, you couldn’t help but hate Chandler’s prior relationship even more. If he’d have ended things with Janice sooner, we could have got even MORE adorable Chandler and Monica screen time! Like, let’s be real, things with Janice were never going to end well. Besides anything else, how could anyone live with that laugh and stay sane?
11. Ross and Carol
These two were a pretty bad couple for obvious reasons. While we’re glad that Carol eventually left the marriage to be her authentic lesbian self, we’re still not totally cool with the fact she cheated on Ross first. Still, her and Susan are a pretty cute couple. The reason that this doomed marriage made it this far up the list is the fact that these two actually manage to co-parent Ben pretty well. They remain fairly civil for their son’s sake and prove that exes can remain friends if it’s the best thing for their kids. Good for them!
10. Ross and Emily
And the award for the most awkward wedding ceremony ever goes to… Definitely these two. Ross and Emily’s relationship was doomed from the very start. For one, Ross was clearly still hung up on Rachel, just like he is in EVERY SEASON OF THE SHOW. Emily actually cheated on her ex, Colin, when starting her relationship with Ross, and awkwardly said “thank you” the first time Ross told her he loved her. Then, of course, there’s the infamous “take thee, Rachel” incident. Frankly, I don’t know why Emily went through with the ceremony. She may have been a bit annoying, but she deserved better than a husband who clearly loved someone else.
9. Rachel and Russ
Rachel and Russ may have only dated for one episode, but their relationship was iconic and hilarious. How Rachel took so long to realize that she was dating Ross’s absolute doppelganger is beyond me, but hey – it made for great comedy. It was also hilarious to see Ross’s abject hatred for a man who was basically a mirror image of himself. Yes, Ross – you are kind of a jerk! This brief relationship could never have lasted, but it was funny to witness if only for twenty brief minutes. Hey, at least Russ presumably got his happy ending with Julie!
8. Phoebe and Gary
Gary and Phoebe were a pretty cute couple to start with. The way they met – Phoebe pretending to be a police officer in front of Gary, an actual police officer – was adorable. They got on so well, and seemingly had an outrageously good sex life. However, Gary really did just move too quickly for the free-spirited Phoebe. Like, he wanted to move in with her so freaking soon! Phoebe’s great and all, but moving in together before the time is right is a recipe for disaster. Phoebe also should have been honest to start with and told Gary she didn’t want to live with him. Stringing him along out of pity wasn’t a great move. Sure, she changed her mind eventually, but her initial intuition turned out to be right – they simply couldn’t live together. Like, the dude shot a singing bird. That’s not normal behavior.
7. Ross/Joey and Charlie
Ross and Joey both dated Charlie so briefly that their consecutive relationships can basically be rolled into one. Joey found Charlie first, and the two were pretty cute together to start with! Joey genuinely fell for Charlie, and we felt really bad when she dumped him basically because he was too dumb. Like, he has other strengths! He’s an absolute sweetheart!
It was also kind of douchey for Ross to swoop his friend’s ex, but it didn’t do him any favors in the end – turns out he wasn’t good enough for Charlie either. Both pairings had such promise, but Charlie was too hung up on her intelligent, successful ex to give either Joey or Ross a real shot.
6. Jack and Judy Geller
Jack and Judy may not always be the best parents (especially to Monica), but at least their relationship is pretty darn cute. They’re the ultimate proof that older couples can still be happy – and still have a sex life. Remember when Monica found their sex tape in season two? I’m cringing just thinking about it. Still, they’re a great example of a strong, long-lasting marriage for their kids to look up to, even if Jack talks about their sex life way too often. Like, nobody wants to get sex tips from their dad, no matter how happy their parents’ marriage is.
5. Rachel and Joey
A lot of people consider the whole Rachel/Joey storyline to be a massive misstep on the part of the Friends writers, but they’re actually quite a cute couple. Joey clearly cares so deeply about Rachel – the way he looks at her is breathtaking! Joey offered to give up sex to help Rachel look after her then unborn baby. He clearly respects Rachel and her wishes and doesn’t push things any further when she initially turns him down. Rachel clearly enjoys Joey’s company, and he stresses her out a lot less than the frankly pretty toxic Ross does. It was a shame when they decided to just remain friends. Joey was so much better for Rachel than Ross!
4. Phoebe and David
WHY DID DAVID HAVE TO GO TO MINSK? He and Phoebe were so bloody good together! David may have only appeared in a handful of episodes, but he was an adorkable scientist who clearly adored Phoebe and her eccentric ways. The only thing that kept them from being together forever was timing. You can’t help but feel sorry for the guy, in the end. Not only did his research project in Minsk end in failure, he also came home to find that Phoebe had moved on to Mike. David may have been great, but he just couldn’t compete with Paul Rudd. Nobody can. We hope he found love again eventually, and that Minsk didn’t turn out to be a total waste of time.
3. Monica and Richard
Monica and Richard had one of those relationships that should be wrong, but is actually so, so right. Their age gap may have been substantial, but they were actually really good for each other! Sure, he was a grandfather and she was a struggling chef in her twenties, but stranger things have happened. Still, their breakup was definitely the right decision. Monica shouldn’t have had to compromise on her dream to have kids, and Richard shouldn’t have had to become a father again if he wasn’t keen on the idea. It doesn’t mean we can’t be devastated every time we watch the episode where they split up. All’s well that ends well, mind – if Richard and Monica had stayed together, we wouldn’t have got the even more adorable coupling of Monica and Chandler.
2. Phoebe and Mike
Phoebe and Mike’s love story is one of the sweetest on the entire show. For one, who wouldn’t want to marry Paul Rudd? Even with his floppy, slightly-too-long ’90s hair, he was a total dreamboat. These two characters are perfect for each other: they’re both weird, they’ve both got kind hearts, and they’re both adorably childish. Their wedding scene in the street outside Central Perk – complete with Joey as the officiator – is totally perfect. Basically, every single couple should aim to be as wonderful as Princess Consuela Banana-Hammock and Crap Bag. I hope they ended up having their troupe of children and living happily ever after.
1. Chandler and Monica
Here they are. The Friends power couple. The relationship nobody expected to happen, but eventually realized they needed in their life. Monica and Chandler are made for each other – it just took them a little while to realize it. The jokey, laid-back Chandler totally balances out Monica’s neurotic and obsessive ways. Their prior friendship means that their relationship is immediately full of warmth, care, and love. They overcome all of the obstacles thrown their way, including the reappearance of Monica’s ex Richard. Their close bond is only strengthened by their stressful fertility issues. Of all the couples to come out of Friends, this one is just the best.