1 Epic Moment in Friends Season 5 Made Joey and Rachel’s Romance in Later Seasons Even Harder to Believe

Had Rachel and Joey’s brief romance been given more time on ‘Friends’, perhaps it would have made more sense!

Joey Tribbiani and Rachel Green in Friends


  • The popular TV program Friends has endearing couples with strong character development and an ideal plot.
  • However, Rachel and Joey's relationship on the show lacked these elements.
  • One epic moment in Season 5 is when Joey makes an unexpected decision that makes it difficult for viewers to believe his later romance with Rachel.
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Bringing a couple whose chemistry clicks on the screen is not an easy task. A proper storyline, well-developed characters, an ideal location, and perfect timing are all necessary. Rachel and Joey’s relationship on Friends lacked all of these. Well, the NBC series always had wonderful backstories, and the couples we saw on the show—Ross and Rachel, Monica and Chandler, Phoebe and Mike, for example—all made sense. Still, it was impossible to swallow the pill of Rachel and Joey being together.


Throughout its ten seasons, Friends had a lot of romantic moments. But in terms of other couples, the back-and-forth dynamic between Joey and Rachel won out in terms of the ‘will-they or won’t-they relationship’. Having said that, while there were many memorable moments in Friends Season 5, one that sticks out as especially epic is the game of ‘this or that’. 

Matt LeBlanc and Jennifer Aniston as Rachel Green and Joey Tribbiani in Friends
Jennifer Aniston and Matt LeBlanc as Rachel Green and Joey Tribbiani in Friends (Photo: NBC)

In the game, Joey has to promptly make an unforeseen decision that eventually makes it harder for us to believe his later romance with Rachel.


Revisiting the Moment that Could’ve Shaped Joey and Rachel’s Relationship in Friends

In this hilarious 22nd episode (The One with Joey’s Big Break) of Friends’ Season 5, Matt LeBlanc, who played the lovable Joey Tribbiani, was forced to choose between two of his closest friends, Monica and Rachel, without thinking. 

To everyone’s surprise, including Phoebe (Lisa Kudrow), Joey chooses Monica (Courteney Cox) over Rachel (Jennifer Aniston) when the former asks him who he would “rather sleep” with. This seemingly innocent moment may not have seemed significant at the time, but as the series progresses and Joey & Rachel’s romance begins to bloom in later seasons, this choice becomes harder and harder to overlook.

Rachel Green and Joey Tribbiani in Friends (Photo: NBC)
Rachel Green and Joey Tribbiani in Friends (Photo: NBC)

The decision to have Joey pick Monica over Rachel in this game of ‘this or that’ was a genius move by the writers, as it planted a seed of doubt in the minds of viewers regarding the true nature of Joey and Rachel’s relationship. It made us wonder if Joey had any feelings for Rachel or if their romance was just a plot device for dramatic effect.


Moreover, did you know that Lady Gaga once put LeBlanc on the spot when she asked if he would rather choose Monica or Rachel from Friends?

Matt LeBlanc’s Witty Retort to Lady Gaga’s Question: Choose Monica or Rachel?

Matt LeBlanc as Joey Tribbiani
Matt LeBlanc as Joey Tribbiani in Friends (Photo: NBC)

On The Late Show with James Corden in 2017, Matt LeBlanc found himself in a sticky situation when Lady Gaga threw a question at him that has plagued Friends fans for years: Monica or Rachel?

But this time, he provided the perfect response. Instead of choosing between the two leading ladies, he surprised everyone by picking Phoebe Buffay, played by Lisa Kudrow. LeBlanc declared with a mischievous grin:


“I would have me some Phoebe. She’s very bendy.” 

Fans could not agree more, as Joey and Phoebe maintained a distinct and playful friendship throughout the series, leaving many viewers hoping for a romantic connection between the two characters.

Maybe Joey not ending up with Phoebe or Rachel, or even Monica, was the best thing after all, as the character has his own jolly identity. Rachel-Ross and Monica-Chandler are iconic couples in their own right, but it would’ve still been nice to see Joey finally be in a stable relationship for once when the series ended. 

The show, which also stars Lisa Kudrow, Matthew Perry, and David Schwimmer among its ensemble cast, centers on the lives of six friends. NBC broadcast this ten-season television series, created by David Crane and Marta Kauffman, from 1994 to 2004.


You can stream Friends on Max.


Written by Siddhika Prajapati

Articles Published: 1758

Between everyday normalities and supernatural abnormalities, Siddhika Prajapati finds the story in everything. Literature Honors Graduate and Post-Graduated in Journalism (from Delhi University), her undying need to deduce the extraordinary out of simplicity makes her a vibrant storyteller.

Serving as a Senior Entertainment Writer at Fandom Wire and having written over 1700 pieces, Siddhika has also worked with multiple clients and projects over the years, including Indian Express, India Today, and Outlook Group.

Who knows, maybe your next favorite persona on the screen will be crafted by her.