Ross and Rachel have gone down in history as one of the most epic couples on television. They were one of the first relationships to pull off the will-they-won’t-they dynamic, which kept viewers rooting for them from the ’90s to the early 2000s. But are they really as iconic of a couple as Friends made them out to be?
The two spent most of the series dating other people, which kept viewers on the edge of their seats. However, the wait for them to get back together wasn’t completely worth it. Their relationship was somewhat toxic, and there are several reasons why Ross and Rachel shouldn’t be the ship to root for.
Rachel’s overarching character arc of the series was about finding herself and learning to stand on her own two feet. But when she does come across opportunities that could further her career, Ross never takes them seriously. If anything, he treats her job in the fashion industry like it’s a joke.
He barges into her work, insisting that they have dinner, when Rachel told him countless times she couldn’t. He even expects an apology from her when she gets home at the end of the night. The worst part of all is that Rachel was offered the opportunity of a lifetime in Paris, but she gave it up for someone who never supported her dreams, in the first place.
After their breakup, their relationship was never the same again. While it was never really healthy, at least they enjoyed being around each other. For the remainder of the series, they sometimes can’t even stand to be in the same room.
This would’ve been understandable if it was a way to cope with the end of their relationship, but the insults never stopped. And it wasn’t the flirty type of banter where viewers can tell they secretly love each other. Instead, it was hostile. When Rachel suffers mood swings from her pregnancy, Ross sarcastically says, “People ask me why we’re not together. I just don’t know what to tell them.”
Ross’s anger issues should have been a red flag. In a typical sitcom fashion, the series played it off as a joke, but it didn’t take away from the fact that the issues were there.
He was forced to go to anger management in order to keep his job, and considering how often he went off on Rachel, it’s clear that his problems affected their relationship. Rachel deserves better than someone who yells at her over things that are beyond her control.