Phoebe and Joey Should’ve Ended Up Together on ‘Friends’

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The Big Picture

  • Phoebe and Joey’s romance was teased throughout Friends but never pursued because it would have been “too tidy” for all the friends to end up with someone in the group.
  • Phoebe and Joey had a deep connection and arguably shared more chemistry than the other pairings did, making them a potentially perfect couple.
  • Friends missed out on a great opportunity by not exploring Phoebe and Joey’s relationship further, but Phoebe’s romance with Mike was still satisfying.


Throughout all ten seasons of Friends, we saw the ensemble crew — Monica (Courteney Cox), Rachel (Jennifer Aniston), Phoebe (Lisa Kudrow), Joey (Matt LeBlanc), Ross (David Schwimmer), and Chandler (Matthew Perry) — date a lot of people, including each other. Though Friends has been remembered for the powerful will-they-won’t-they love between Ross and Rachel and the unexpected but beautiful story of Monica and Chandler, one coupling which was relentlessly teased during the show and never followed through on is that of Phoebe and Joey.

Friends

Ross Geller, Rachel Green, Monica Geller, Joey Tribbiani, Chandler Bing, and Phoebe Buffay are six twenty-somethings living in New York City. Over the course of 10 years and seasons, these friends go through life lessons, family, love, drama, friendship, and comedy.

Release Date
September 22, 1994

Main Genre
Sitcom

Rating
TV-14

Studio
NBC


‘Friends’ Co-Creator Gave One Reason Why Phoebe and Joey Don’t End Up Together

Friends co-creator David Crane explained in a 2019 interview with Metro, “It all would have been too tidy and too complete” if Phoebe and Joey ended up together. He continued, “When your goal is to keep the six characters’ stories together, it would be really easy to go down that road but I think we all felt it would be a mistake.” By the end of Friends, Monica and Chandler had been together for more than five seasons, happily married. Meanwhile, it was always clear that the series intended to bring Rachel and Ross back together by the end of the Friends series finale, which is exactly what happened, as Rachel made the grave mistake of turning down her dream job in Paris to stay in New York with Ross.

As such, due to the other two couples in the group, the writers opted not to put Phoebe and Joey together romantically, much to our dismay. The ending would have been too perfect for all the friends to end up with another person in the group. It’s an understandable concern that, realistically, might not have worked on any other show. However, Friends wasn’t such a show, especially after Phoebe and Joey being together was jokingly teased on so many occasions. As such, Phoebe and Joey made perfect sense as a potential couple, sharing more chemistry — sexual chemistry, in particular — than either of the other pairings.

Phoebe and Joey Should Have Been Endgame in ‘Friends’

Phoebe and Joey were an iconic duo throughout Friends, with an amazing build-up that would have benefited their romance even better than Chandler and Monica’s friendship did with their eventual romantic relationship. Phoebe and Joey share a deep connection — a connection that far surpasses Ross and Rachel’s, for instance. (No, I’m not bitter about that ending all of these years later…)

They understand one another in ways that nobody else does, with their slightly kooky and eccentric logic and personalities. These two perfectly mesh and sexual chemistry is strong. For instance, throughout the seasons, either Joey or Phoebe would say the wildest things and the other would be in the background nodding their head with firm understanding and support. Nobody truly understood or appreciated Phoebe or Joey the way they did each other.

The Teasing of This Pairing Throughout ‘Friends’ Still Hurts

Friends never failed to tease Phoebe and Joey being a couple throughout the seasons. We hear Phoebe’s entire fantastical scenario where, one day, she and Joey will end up together with Chandler’s money and Rachel’s beautiful children. We see how Phoebe reacts when she thinks Joey is romantically interested in her, only for it to turn out to be Rachel (which she is certainly not bitter about). And, who can forget when Phoebe discovers she is actually 31 (instead of 30) and shares the “perfect kiss” with a considerate and sympathetic Joey?

There are countless comments about how attractive Phoebe and Joey think the other is, though they consistently reaffirm that they don’t want to risk their friendship to act on their lustful thoughts — that didn’t seem to stop the other four of their friends. They support each other constantly, and it is always a joy when their relationship takes the spotlight in an episode, because they are simply hilarious together. Despite this, nothing more ever comes from this. Their relationship would have made more sense in many ways than either of the other pairings ever did, though this doesn’t discredit the great things about the other relationships.

At Least the Alternative Worked in Phoebe’s Favor

Matt LeBlanc as Joey and Jennifer Aniston as Rachel looking at each other on a couch in Friends
Image via Warner Bros. Pictures

The fact that Friends didn’t pursue this couple because it was “too tidy” is a shame. They wrote themselves into a corner with Ross and Rachel, which ultimately impacted how everything else needed to play out, and this is a very obvious cost of that. It’s sad that they embraced the chemistry between Monica and Chandler to create what would become their best pairing, but didn’t do the same with Phoebe and Joey. Per an interview with People, Lisa Kudrow and Matt LeBlanc even asked for Phoebe and Joey to be friends with benefits toward the end of the show, but were turned down. Ultimately, it’s such a big loss because it is so painfully obvious that they could have been fantastic together.

Of course, this isn’t to say that Phoebe’s romance with Mike isn’t great or entertaining. In fact, that’s why Phoebe’s story is still at least satisfying, despite her not being with Joey. Mike and Phoebe’s romance is fun and helps Phoebe evolve and grow into the next stage of her life, and the two share some dynamic chemistry as well. It’s definitely better than Joey’s ending, which was not being with Rachel despite his feelings for her being a story point for nearly two seasons and then getting a short-lived, self-titled spin-off that nobody cared about.

Friends is streaming on Max in the U.S.

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