Don’t Hate Me, but Rachel Should’ve Picked Joey

I know Ross and Rachel are an epic love story written in the stars like Romeo and Juliet, and while for the sake of Friends canon  I root for them along with the masses, I really think that Joey is better for Rachel than Ross is.  And before you all get your knickers in a twist, just hear me out on the reasons that I feel this way.

  1. He falls in love with her when she’s pregnant.  A lot of men, especially those cut out of the traditional Joey Tribbiani mold, are petrified to find out a woman is pregnant.  Joey falls in love with her anyway, and the baby isn’t even his.  There is a certain beauty about pregnant women, the “pregnant glow”, and typically fathers-to-be see it that way, but that makes it all the more special that Joey falls in love with Rachel anyway given that he has no reason to love the baby other than the fact that it’s Rachel’s (and Ross’s, I guess).
  2. Extension of #1, he legitimately wants to help out with the baby.  Before he realizes that it’s probably better if Rachel moves in with Ross, he sets up a nursery in his and Rachel’s apartment.  He doesn’t even care that he won’t be able to bring home girls to sleep with anymore (and we all know how important that used to be to Joey)! (“The One With the Stain).
  3. When she moves out of “the girls’ apartment” so that Monica and Chandler can be together, she moves in with Joey instead of Ross.  Isn’t that like a sign in itself?  And if that’s not enough, she’s pretty much the happiest she’s been with any of her various roommates!  Between dropping spaghetti on the carpet to throwing wet paper towel at the entertainment center, “she loves living at Joey’s!”
  4. And this is really apparent later in the series when she and Emma move back in with him when it’s just not working out for her to continue to live with Ross (“The One Where Monica Sings”).
  5. He doesn’t tell Rachel about his feelings out of respect for Ross whereas Ross plays the shy, afraid-of-rejection schoolboy for pretty much ever.
  6. He brings her lilies (“The One Where Joey Dates Rachel”), and although this isn’t an explicit way of being better than Ross it shows his thoughtfulness and the ways he’s thinking about her compared to Ross who is too busy being neurotic and jealous.
  7. After going on a date with her (“The One Where Joey Dates Rachel”), he says, “I didn’t know I could enjoy the non-sex part of a date so much.”  And, again, we all know how Joey feels about sex (i.e. the more the better).
  8. He falls for Rachel’s “moves” and is disappointed that she doesn’t kiss them after their “date” (“The One Where Joey Dates Rachel”).  And keep in mind that this is after he says he’ll take Rachel out on a date after he overhears her bumming about being unable to date since she’s pregnant with Emma and will soon be a single mother.
  9. The day after the aforementioned date, he asks Rachel if she felt weird after it (“The One Where Joey Dates Rachel”).
  10. When Rachel asks if he’s scared while the “cuddle” watching Cujo, he says that he’s terrified.  And unlike Rachel, he’s not talking about the movie (“The One Where Joey Dates Rachel”).
  11. It scares him.  So much so that he has trouble talking to Chandler about it (“The One Where Chandler Takes a Bath”).
  12. He keeps trying to convince himself she’s still just his friend… only to think “Rachel, my girlfriend” (“The One Where Chandler Takes a Bath”).
  13. To get over her, he tried to make a list of all the things he doesn’t like about Rachel, and the only thing he could come up with was that she made him switch to light mayo (“The One Where Chandler Takes a Bath”).
  14. He dreams that he and Rachel are the ones having a baby together (“The One with the Secret Closet”).
  15. He gets to feel Emma kicking before Ross does (“The One with the Secret Closet”).
  16. When she’s pregnant with Emma, he takes her to the hospital when she’s experiencing some pain, and the doctor tells him that he’ll make a great father (“The One With the Secret Closet”).
  17. He’s “never been more scared in his entire life” than when Rachel has Braxton Hicks contractions (“The One with the Secret Closet”).
  18. Joey knows all of her cravings and aversions when she’s pregnant with Emma.  When Ross brings her a sandwich with pickles on it that makes her throw up, Joey eats the sandwich (“The One with the Secret Closet”).
  19. He got rid of his beer because Rachel couldn’t even stand the smell of it (“The One with the Secret Closet”).
  20. He puts her happiness before his.  For example, he tells her that she should move in with Ross for the baby’s sake even though it clearly breaks his heart (“The One With the Secret Closet”).
  21. He says that he wants to be with the one he loves on Valentine’s Day.  Along with the fact that if he were with her, he’d “take her in his arms and…” (“The One with the Birthing Video”).
  22. He can’t stop thinking about her, he can’t sleep… (“The One with the Birthing Video”).
  23. When he tells her how he feels and she doesn’t feel the same way, she says that she’s afraid of losing him, but he assures her that she could never do that (“The One Where Joey Tells Rachel”).
  24. When Rachel makes up a story to get Joey to talk to her again, Joey freaks out when he thinks that Rachel’s boss wants to buy her baby (“The One with the Tea Leaves”).
  25. He says that Ross is crazy for not wanting to be with Rachel because she’s the perfect woman and he would be with her if she wanted him… (“The One Where Rachel Has the Baby- Part I”).
  26. He promises her that he’ll never let her be alone (“The One Where Rachel Has a Baby”).
  27. He is so excited when Rachel says “yes” to his “proposal” even though he knew that he didn’t actually propose to her (“The One Where No One Proposes”).
  28. He wants Ross’s approval for his and Rachel’s relationship because he doesn’t want to hurt Ross’s feelings or ruin their friendship (Seasons 9-10).
  29. When she says that he doesn’t really want to hear about her problems, he says, “Then why would I ask?” (“The One with the Christmas Card”).
  30. He absolutely freaks out when he can’t find Emma.  She’s not with Ross, she’s not with Rachel, “AAAAAH!  Where’s Emma?!” (‘The One With the Lottery”).
  31. She’s the one he asks to come on set with him to give him feedback on the love scenes that he’s nervous about.  He’s okay with being vulnerable around her, and he trusts her (“The One With Rachel’s Dream”).
  32. Can we just talk about his adorable spiel when he describes being in love with Rachel, the only time he’s ever been in love?! (“The One With Rachel’s Dream”).
  33. He’s strong enough to let her go (“The One with Ross’s Tan”).
  34. The writers’ clearly just wanted Ross and Rachel together because they toyed with the idea for so long that they couldn’t justify ending the series without them together.  They were afraid of fan mutiny, and this is obvious in the way that they split Rachel and Joey up.  They give no reason.  They just suddenly have no chemistry when it comes time for them to get in bed together (“The One with Ross’s Tan).
  35. Ross is in love with the idea of him and Rachel, with the idea of her a la Jay Gatsby and Daisy Buchanan, but Joey falls in love with her.
  36. If all of these reasons aren’t enough for you, it’s in the monogram: R & J: Romeo and Juliet, Rachel & Joey.

In other words, Joey loves Rachel better than Ross does.  And that is my unpopular opinion.  Sorry, not sorry.

-Enjouée

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2 thoughts on “Don’t Hate Me, but Rachel Should’ve Picked Joey

  1. I can’t agree with you more. I just love the way Joey fell in love with Rachel. He deserves a better ending with her. Ross and Rachel fight all the time, whether they are in a relationship or not, while Joey and Rachel pulled it off for a very long time together.

  2. I was a fan of Ross and Rachel from the beginning especially of Ross and the things he always did so that Rachel can get what she wants (“The One With All the Poker” is my all-time favorite episode just because of the end where Ross forefeits his cards so that Rachel can win).
    However, the whole storyline with Joey and Rachel is my all-time favorite of the show. It was very realistic in my opinion (especially from Joey’s point of view and considering there weren’t that many realistic things in the show anyway) and I really wanted to see them get together. I rooted for them (one of the top 5 all-time episodes for me was “The One Where Joey Dates Rachel”) but the writers messed everything up later with that Rachel’s 5-minutes crush on Joey and the sloppiness of writing at the beginning of the last season with them “not being able” to sleep with each other. It would be better that his love for her left unanswered from her side.

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