Friends: their worst relationships

Part 2 of my tribute to Friends after my previous post.

Each of the six main characters have all had very questionable relationships over the ten years. Whether it be short-term, long-term or toxic relationships OR whether the writers just made bad and divisive storyline decisions, they’ve all been victim to a crappy partner that thankfully didn’t work out. But what and who was their worst one?

Chandler: Janice

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While Janice provided some of the best one-liners besides the friends themselves and was one of the most memorable recurring characters in the show, as a girlfriend to Chandler she was ridiculously annoying. When we first meet her they are already dating so we don’t know the backdrop of how that relationship started but as time goes on we see his “need” of staying with her and getting back together with her increasing as his insecurity and fear of commitment become more prominent.

Joey: Janine/Ursula/Charlie

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Janine is Joey’s flatmate and then girlfriend not long after Chandler moves out. She appears to have no attraction to him whatsoever but this changes when they appear on Dick Clark’s New Years Rockin’ Eve and are about to kiss. When they double date with Monica and Chandler she admits to not liking them, saying she’s very loud and he’s blah – while this is actually quite true to be honest, her bitching about them immediately indicates this isn’t going to work out. It’s also quite strange that she suddenly speaks up about her dislike for them when she and Joey start dating – she surely already felt this way before then?

Other mentions include Phoebe’s twin Ursula who bumps him off after they sleep together, further proving she is the evil twin, and Charlie, who was only physically attracted to him before coming to the obvious realisation that they have nothing in common.

Monica: Pete

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Poor Pete Becker. He was basically Monica’s rebound relationship (even though she’d broken up with Richard long before meeting him), whom she had zero physical attraction to despite his exhaustive efforts… Until she kissed him to see what it was like. I mean, who suddenly falls for someone from a kiss? Seriously, that entire storyline stank to be honest. It then all seemed to snowball quite quickly but luckily the writers seemed to realise this mistake – although their way of writing him out of the show was also rubbish when he enters into the Ultimate Fighting Champion competition. This whole plot was not realistic and she finally saw sense when he wouldn’t give up his dream and she couldn’t watch him hurt himself anymore (proof she was never really that into him anyway).

Phoebe: Roger/Parker

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Phoebe probably dated the most number of people during the ten seasons so it’s hard to pick out ones that were not good for her since they don’t last long. But in “The One With The Boobies”, Phoebe dates Roger, a psychiatrist. The other friends quickly take a dislike to him for his accurate but condescending analysis of their lives and personalities. Being the good friend that Phoebe is, she tells him and soon sees this herself and breaks up with him.

Parker also gets a mention as the nice enough but overly annoyingly “positive attitude” date Phoebe takes to the Geller’s wedding anniversary party.

Rachel: Joey/Russ

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Everyone is always divided as to whether Rachel and Joey made a good couple and if that storyline was necessary or well-written. Joey falling for Rachel really allowed him to show more depth to his character and tap into emotions the audience hadn’t seen from him and this unrequited love at the time made for some great scenes. His loving feelings for her eventually subsided although probably remained dormant rather than went completely and in season 10 Rachel began to develop feelings for him too. However, this only begins from watching him act in Days Of Our Lives… erm, really? Yes. Of course, they get together and while this makes way for the hilarious viewing of Ross’ shocked, drunken breakdown, it didn’t last long and they break up only because they felt it would be weird having sex. I mean, come on.

Russ, Ross’ creepy doppelgänger also gets a dishonourable mention for the over-emphasis that is placed on Ross’ annoying personality and mannerisms. But hopefully he found love with Julie.

Ross: Emily/Carol/Julie/Mona

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Emily would most definitely be Ross’ worst relationship. Not only did they rush into a relationship and marriage way too fast, her true colours as being jealous and possessive emerge very quickly. While of course her anger towards Ross is justified, her actions and demands make everyone else and viewers turn against her.

Carol for her unashamed affair with Susan and as the other friends point out – for turning Ross into a paranoid and untrusting mess, Julie for the mere fact he fell for her pretty damn quickly even though he was meant to be in love with Rachel and Mona for her off-handedness towards Rachel should also get mentions for being crappy partners.

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