The 20th Anniversary of the series premiere of FRIENDS inspired this piece.
I love Friends … like a lot. I quote it all the time and if someone else tries to quote it but fails to say the line exactly as it was stated on the show, I will correct them immediately. Also, if you ever have the luxury of watching an episode with me, you’ll get the chance to hear me say almost every line of dialogue either right before or exactly when it is said on the show. But with all that said, there was always one thing that annoyed me whenever it was mentioned during the back half of the shows run. I got violently angry back then and still do to this day whenever anyone on the show mentioned that Ross and Rachel haven’t dated for X amount of years!
This only started to occur around the 6th season but carried on throughout the rest of the series and was overused when Joey and Rachel started dating (don’t even get me started on that disaster). Yes, technically the last time Ross and Rachel dated was in Season 3 (or Season 4 if you count the premiere where they broke up) but that was not even close to the last time they were romantically involved. Yet, whenever someone in the cast wanted to justify that Ross or Rachel shouldn’t care what the other was doing they would say something along the lines of “Well, they haven’t dated in 3 years (or 4 years or 5 years or 6 years).” You want an example: Season 10, episode 1. Rachel says, “You know… Ross and I haven’t dated in, like, 6 years.” She is just not speaking the truth TV Addicts!
In season 4, as stated above, they dated for an episode (six years from where Rachel stated her above quote) but that was also the season when Rachel took off to London to stop Ross’ wedding. Which just so happen to be the wedding where Ross said the wrong name at the alter. Now, who’s name did he say again … that’s right, RACHEL’S! This leads us to season 5, where Rachel tells Ross that she loves him. Also in that season, they get married. Yes, they were drunk so it didn’t actually count but Ross didn’t even want to divorce Rachel because he loved her again (season 6). Next, let’s fast forward to season 8 where it’s revealed that Ross and Rachel are having a baby together. At the end of season 8, Ross also asked Rachel if she wanted to get back together. While they didn’t get back together at this point, they still got jealous of each other. Ross deleted a voicemail from a man Rachel met because he didn’t want her going out with anyone else (season 9).
So you see, even though the title of boyfriend/girlfriend hadn’t been established between the two since season 4, they had some sort of twisted romantic relationship pretty much every season. When I rewatch Friends on my DVDs or on TBS/Nick, I can forgive the not-so-great seasons of 8, 9 and 10 because I believe that Friends is one of the best sitcoms ever (seasons 2, 3, 4, 5 and 6 are top notch). It’s footprint in pop culture is cemented and deservingly so but I cannot forgive (and haven’t forgiven) when the writers tried to cheapen Ross and Rachel’s history. Ross and Rachel’s relationship was much more than something that can be defined by labels.
End of rant.
P.S. They were on a break.