From the opening scene, it was clear that romance was going to be a huge part of Friends. After all, the pilot begins with Monica telling her friends about a guy she is dating, Ross mourning the end of his marriage, and Rachel running out on her wedding! Throughout the show, dating was key, and everyone was looking for that special someone – even if it took them a long time to get there.
Some relationships were clearly endgame – like Ross and Rachel, even though they took the entire series to actually make it work. Others, though, didn’t make it in the end, even though fans were rooting for them – and some were expected to be short term flings, and ended up being so much more.
When Joey started his roommate search, he was clearly hoping to find a female roommate that he could date, and everyone warned him against it. When Janine, a gorgeous model, took the room, the assumption was that this could never work. She was out of Joey’s league, he was being pretty creepy, it was inappropriate, and it just seemed like a long shot. However, Joey and Janine surprised fans when they not only got together, but when it was Janine’s dislike of Monica and Chandler (not issues from living together) that broke them up.
When Monica met Pete in the third season, she was less than enthusiastic about dating him, but he was clearly sweet and charming, and fans knew that this would end up being more than just a one-date storyline. And when it was revealed that Pete was actually a multi-millionaire, it was thrilling to think that Monica might end up his super-rich wife! When she found a note about custom ‘ring design’ and he told her that he had something big to talk to her about, everyone thought that this would be a proposal… and it was so disappointing to realize it was a new passion for ultimate fighting (and one that broke them up in the end).
As far as Friends romances go, Rachel and Joey’s is probably the most hated on the show. The two obviously got along, had a great time living together, and were great friends.
But after all of Rachel’s history with Ross, and given their larger romantic incompatibilities, it was a huge surprise when they ended up getting together. Especially when Rachel didn’t initially want this to happen, and turned Joey down, and considering that Joey was in another relationship at the time, too.