In 2017, a Twitter thread went viral explaining why Rachel and Joey are the true OTP of Friends. Some fans weren't convinced, arguing that Joey and Rachel seem more like a pairing written in to spice up the show (plus, we all know Joey is the ultimate bachelor). There was no way they could’ve ever worked as a couple if they decided to stay together, some people said. But to other fans, Joey and Rachel being together just makes perfect sense, and you should really hear the argument out.
For one thing, the duo have an unmistakable bond. Rachel helps Joey become more mature and respectful of women, while Joey helps Rachel loosen up and become more comfortable with herself. Their brief relationship is far from perfect, but it shows Joey in a new light without it feeling out of character. And while Ross and Rachel’s relationship forms on the basis of his longstanding crush on her, Joey sees Rachel as a friend for years before considering her as a potential partner.
It's through getting to know her and forming a close bond after living together that makes Joey realize there's potential for a relationship. He listens to her when she needs support and doesn't judge her. He puts aside his womanizer ways to try to have a healthy relationship with her, and genuinely cares about her and Emma. But if you’re still not convinced, here are 12 reasons why Joey and Rachel are the ultimate Friends OTP.
1.Their Matching Easygoing Personalities
When Rachel has to move in with Joey after accidentally burning down Phoebe's apartment, she quickly realizes Joey's personality goes well with hers. Unlike the Gellars, who clashed with Rachel over their type-A personalities, Joey's chill attitude allows Rachel to feel comfortable being herself.
2Joey's Sacrifices For Baby Emma
Pre-relationship, Joey is completely ready to sacrifice his womanizing ways so he can help Rachel out with Emma. In the next season, we see how he continues to help his pal out when she moves back in with him after she briefly tries to live with Ross. He even considers giving his beloved stuffed penguin Hugsy to Emma to make both Rachel and the baby happy. This is a huge step for Joey, and not something he'd do for any other person.
3Joey Taking Care Of Pregnant Rachel
When Rachel has Braxton Hicks contractions, Joey becomes concerned and takes her to the hospital. As he waits to hear updates, the doctor even believes Joey's the father. Ross, on the other hand, arrives to the hospital too late. And even though it hurts Joey to sacrifice living with Rachel, he suggests for her to live with Ross, showing how he always has her best interest at heart.
4Their First "Date"
Joey decides to take Rachel out on a "date" to make her feel better as she laments the end of her dating life while pregnant. Even though it's not supposed to be a real date, the chemistry's there and Joey realizes that he's developing feelings for her.
5The Way Not Being With Rachel Affects Joey
When Joey comes to terms with his feelings for Rachel, he becomes depressed. Not even a super cute dog helps cheer him up, and his sadness is far more serious than that time he made Chandler stay in a box after Chandler kissed Joey's girlfriend Kathy. Instead of acting rashly and pushing Rachel away, Joey decides to remain levelheaded and speaks to Ross about his feelings.
6The Barbados Kiss
Even though Rachel hesitates at first about starting anything with Joey because she sees him as a friend, his risk of kissing her in Barbados pays off, becoming one of the most memorable kisses in the show.
7The Barbados Talk
Before the big kiss, there is the big talk. After Joey dates Charlie, who is the total opposite of Rachel, Joey and Rachel realize they have feelings for each other.
8When Joey Tells Rachel He's Falling In Love With Her
Regardless whether you ship Joey and Rachel or not, this is a truly touching moment. Even though Rachel initially rejects him, Joey takes it well and says he'll always be her friend no matter what, a truly mature step.
9Their Steamy Makeout Sessions
Joey and Rachel may not have been able to have sex, but they did have plenty of intense makeout sessions. Part of the appeal is being sneaky a la Chandler and Monica in Season 4, which only makes things more exciting.
10Their Shared Interests
Long before their romance, Rachel and Joey have a very strong bond. Joey shares genuine enthusiasm towards Rachel's own interests, while Ross constantly mocks her hobbies. Not only does Rachel get Joey to read Little Women, but it makes him fall in love with literature that "doesn't star Jack Nicholson."
11Their Breakup Is One of The Most Amicable On The Show
Let's face it — Ross has some pretty alarming moments with Rachel, especially whenever they break up or when they take the infamous break. With Joey, Rachel doesn't have to experience any of that. After things didn't work out, the two have a mature, endearing conversation about how much their friendship means to each other.
Although Rachel initially rejects Joey, she realizes she has feelings for him due to a dream where they kiss while she helps him with his romantic Dr. Drake Ramoray lines. Joey then details all the ways Ramoray's feelings mirror his own for Rachel in a truly adorable moment. It's kind of impossible to not fall in love with Joey after this scene.
Joey and Rachel are one of the most controversial couples on Friends, but their endearing moments make them one of the greatest couples, too. If you're not convinced after reading this, it's time to rewatch the series for the 1,000th time.