One "Wildly Inappropriate" Friends Storyline Had Even Actors Freaking Out
Both Jennifer Aniston and Matt LeBlanc told Friends creators that a romantic relationship between their characters was a bad idea.
During its 10-season run, Friends has become a cultural phenomenon, gathering an enormous fanbase all around the world.
Fans of the sitcom love its characters, dialogues, jokes, storylines. However, several arcs still make viewers uncomfortable. One of these storylines is undoubtedly a love storyline between Joey and Rachel that developed from season 8 to season 10.
The romantic relationship between the two friends started when Joey developed feelings for newly-pregnant Rachel in Season 8 after they went on a casual date.
It was stated several times that Rachel was the first woman Joey actually fell in love with. He confessed his feelings four episodes later, but Rachel didn't reciprocate until Season 9 when she suddenly felt attracted to Joey and initiated the start of their brief relationship with a kiss in the season's finale. The couple dated for a week in Season 10 and broke up because they realized their friendship was too deep. The show viewers couldn't help but agree and breathe a sigh of relief.
"I really felt like they had this really sweet almost brother-sister relationship during the show and putting them together just seemed so creepy and wrong," one of the fans wrote, and, as it turns out, even the Friends stars agreed.
Jennifer Aniston once told Elle that Rachel and Joey had been friends with benefits and could have never been anything more.
As for Matt LeBlanc, he went as far as calling the romantic storyline "wildly inappropriate."
The actor shared with Vanity Fair how out-of-place the controversial arc felt to everyone involved. The characters were close like siblings, and Rachel was always supposed to be with Ross, Joey's best friend.
LeBlanc described how the actors went to creators David Crane and Marta Kauffman and expressed their concern about the storyline. The creators replied by saying they understood why the stars were so freaked out and even shared their feelings. But they wanted to surprise the audience, do something different, and the love arc felt right for it.
However, they never actually designed the relationship between Rachel and Joey to go anywhere. David Crane revealed that the storyline had always been supposed to end because the audience wouldn't have accepted anyone other than Ross as Rachel's partner.