Some Friends stories have become iconic over the years, but this controversial one almost didn’t happen due to concern from one of the cast members.
The staple of sitcom Friends It has developed a massive following since it began in the early 1990s and the show had a lot of wacky stories, but Joey’s most controversial one almost didn’t happen. Joey Tribbiani (Matt LeBlanc) was the show’s archetypal womanizer character, and many of his stories revolved around his various adventures with different women, including other members of the gang. It was revealed in “The One With The Flashback” that Monica had a crush on Joey when they first moved across the aisle, and before Phoebe (Lisa Kudrow) married Mike (Paul Rudd) in season 10, Friends Phoebe and Joey joked as they met multiple times.
While Joey’s reunion with Monica and Phoebe might have drastically altered the show, it was the subsequent relationship between Joey and Rachel (Jennifer Aniston) that caused quite a bit of controversy. In Friends Season 8, Joey kindly offers Rachel a room in his apartment while she is pregnant with Ross (David Schwimmer). Over time, their connection grows and the soap opera actor comes to the idea that he can have feelings for Rachel. Joey even tells Ross (David Schwimmer) how he feels, and Ross finally says that he won’t get in the way of the two of them being together.
Joey and Rachel’s story in Friends However, it almost never happened due to Matt LeBlanc’s objections to the matchmaking. LeBlanc was so sure of the character he played, stating that Joey is loyal to his friends above all else and would never pursue Rachel due to his past with Ross. It took some conviction for the story to move on, as much of the cast was also opposed to the idea. Only once it was said that Joey and Rachel’s relationship would not actually last did LeBlanc agree.
This story, however, ended up marking a huge turning point for Joey’s character in terms of maturing. Joey had been known for his womanizing ways up to that point, however, he ended up really falling in love. Not only that, but falling in love with a pregnant person carrying someone else’s child. So apparently Joey was prepared to take on the responsibility of raising a child for the woman he loved, which is a far cry from the player he’s always been in. Friends.
This controversial Friends The story also provided some now iconic comic moments. Despite Ross giving Joey the go-ahead to follow his feelings for Rachel, seeing them together makes Ross obviously uncomfortable. Ross tries to overcompensate for his discomfort by inviting Joey and Rachel to dinner with him and his girlfriend, Charlie in “Ross’s Is Fine.” This episode featured the classic Ross meme repeating “I’m fine” while making stressful margaritas, creating one of the best moments on the show.
Inevitably, Joey and Rachel found out that they were incompatible and decided to just go back to being just friends, allowing Ross and Rachel to be the long-awaited finale to the show. Joey and Rachel’s story in Friends It caused controversy for betraying the ideals of both characters, but at least it provided some legendary comic snippets and allowed for the personal growth of one of the most famous sitcom characters on television. Had LeBlanc opposed him more strongly, audiences might never have enjoyed Ross’s now iconic and chaotic dinner party.