Everyone has a TV relationship they are passionate about. It is a fact universally acknowledged that the two right fictional people finding happiness can make the world a brighter place. Were Friends' Joey and Rachel secretly one of those couples? Twitter user Claire Willett seems to think so. The passionate, self-described "fandom mom" offered up 100 tweets in support of Joey and Rachel. And you know what, Willett makes a convincing argument for a couple that most Friends fans tend to dismiss at best, and hate at worst.
Right from the start, the core love story on the show is meant to be Ross and Rachel. Unfortunately, these two are seriously problematic together. Ross grew up idealizing Rachel, his sister's best friend, as this perfect woman who could never possibly love him because he was a geek. When they finally do get together as adults, Ross continues to idealize Rachel, act like a jealous idiot, and, at his worst, trivialize and attempt to sabotage her career because he feels she's not giving him enough attention. (There's also the whole "we were on a break" excuse he uses for the next eight years to explain why he sleeps with someone else less than 24 hours after Rachel asks for some space.)
Their relationship was kind of mess, whereas Rachel and Joey were always supportive and loving with one another.
It's hard to deny that Ross is kind of the worst, and Rachel deserved someone better. Now, Joey is not a man without flaws. But he was definitely better for Rachel than Ross. As Willett wrote,
This may not seem important — not all successful romantic relationships start out as friendships — but in contrast to Ross' constant pining from afar, Joey and Rachel's road to romance seems much healthier. Here are just a few of the reasons why, according to the passionate fan:
12/ He frequently gives her dating advice. (Sometimes questionable af, but, you know. Well-intentioned.)— kaneandgriffin (@kaneandgriffin) August 8, 2017
13/ He sets her up on dates with men he thinks she'll like. He lets her crash the set when he's filming and flirt with soap actors.— kaneandgriffin (@kaneandgriffin) August 8, 2017
16/ HE MAKES HER LAUGH.— kaneandgriffin (@kaneandgriffin) August 8, 2017
Joey's also super supportive of Rachel's career. He's even the first person to help her get a job in the fashion industry at Fortunata Fashions. Then Joey not only opens his apartment to Rachel, he later welcomes Emma into their home as well. Joey, the man who was a serial dater, went out of his way to make sure Rachel knew she and her daughter would always come first for him. No matter how you feel about them as a couple, that's a beautiful testament to their friendship.
It also stands in sharp contrast to the lack of development in Ross and Rachel's romance. If anything, Ross only became more controlling as things progressed, and there's a reason for that:
94/ Ross fell in love with A PICTURE OF HIMSELF AS THE KIND OF MAN WHO COULD DATE A RACHEL and on some level that was always what he wanted.— kaneandgriffin (@kaneandgriffin) August 8, 2017
Meanwhile, Joey fell in love with Rachel. Just Rachel — not the idea of her, or the fantasy of her. He never thought about what dating someone like her would do for his ego (because Joey did not have ego problems). He just loved her, and she loved him back, even if that affection proved to be platonic in the long run. That's... well, it's kind of perfect.
Do yourself a favor and read all 100 tweets. By the end, you may find yourself wondering why you weren't team Rachel and Joey all along.
Editor's Note: This article has been updated from the original version to include Willett's actual name. She was previously referred to by her Twitter handle.