Rachel Green (Jennifer Aniston) is the spoiled fashionista of the group that grows up the most over the course of Friends, learning to be independent from her wealthy parents and create her own successes. While she did well in many aspects of her life, Rachel’s relationships on the show were some of the messiest. Ross is her most prominent relationship, even though they were on-and-off throughout the series.
Joey would probably be remembered as her second most memorable relationship. But do you remember the other men she dated? Like “The Yeti”, or even Ross’s doppelganger, Russ? Here are Rachel’s relationships, ranked.
This was truly the scummiest man Rachel chose to pursue a relationship with. Really, the relationship was based on nothing but sex appeal. They used each other to a certain degree. Paolo (Cosimo Fusco) hardly spoke English (he was from Italy), but that didn’t stop him from making a pass at Phoebe when he was still with Rachel. He was suave, sleek, had that foreign cultural appeal and charm, but he was also unfaithful and selfish. Paolo only made brief appearances in the early seasons before Rachel ultimately broke things off with him. Good and bye!
Joey’s co-star Kash (Johnny Messner) dates Rachel for only one episode, “The One with Rachel’s Date.”
Rachel is a fan of Kash’s and goes on a ferry ride with him, only to mistakenly tell him too soon that she’s pregnant. Kash reacts awkwardly, and it ends their very brief relationship. Luckily, Ross is there to cheer up Rachel by telling her Chandler’s middle name.
Rachel nearly married Barry. When we first meet her, she’s just run out of her wedding to him. Rachel later declares this to be the best decision she ever made. She never would have learned to rely on herself or have her own life if she’d followed through. Not only this, but as it turns out, Barry was cheating on Rachel with her best friend, Mindy, whom he later marries while Rachel serves as their maid of honor (when she really shouldn’t have).
Everything happens for a reason, and Rachel needed to dump Barry so she could have a better life. Their relationship wasn’t truly meant to be.
How did Rachel not see the obvious similarities Russ (David Schwimmer in a dual rule) had to Ross? Obviously substituting a doppelganger for the man she has feelings for, Rachel dates Russ in the beginning of Season 2. She is oblivious to Ross’s double until the episode’s end. Horrified, she breaks up with him. It wasn’t long after this that Rachel ended up with Ross. Perhaps Russ was a step in the right direction.
8 Danny (The Yeti)
How promising is a relationship when you fog them via bug bomb upon meeting them? That should’ve been Rachel’s first sign to not pursue something with Danny (George Young Newbern), nicknamed “The Yeti” because of his hairy look upon returning from a months-long trek in the Andes. At first, Danny infuriates Rachel with his nonchalant attitude and apparent disinterest. Yet, somehow, he eventually manages to charm her into getting pizza. Their relationship only lasts a few episodes, ending when Rachel finds Danny’s close relationship with his sister disturbing. Good call, Rach.
7 Tommy (The Screamer)
Tommy (Ben Stiller) only lasted one episode but gained a memorable nickname as “The Screamer.”
Tommy’s temper flares easily, which is something only Ross realizes until the episode’s end when Tommy is caught by the rest of the gang and Rachel declares it over between them. The episode doesn’t focus much on Tommy’s relationship with Rachel, but they appear casual, in no way headed for anything serious. That’s probably for the best, given Tommy’s short temper and screechy ranting.
Rachel ironically dates Paul (Bruce Willis), the father of the college student whom Ross is dating. Paul is tough and protective of his young daughter, prompting Rachel to help portray Ross in a positive light to impress Paul. Rachel and Paul are attracted to one another and appear to have a sweet, loving relationship.
That is, until Rachel pushes Paul to tell her more about himself and she gets more than she bargained for when he begins crying uncontrollably. Fed up, Rachel dumps him, even though she was the one that prompted his mental breakdown.
Rachel impulsively hires the unqualified Tag (Eddie Cahill) for his looks to be her new assistant and begins a relationship with him. Tag is a few years younger than she; her relationship with him is practically an attempt on her part to relive her youth. Their relationship is mostly immature in several meaningful aspects. Rachel jeopardizes her career by dating him, so they keep their relationship secret. Plus, it is plainly obvious that they have different interests and simply remain together for the physical attraction and fun of it all, leading nowhere serious. This, combined with the fact that they are going in different directions in their lives, is what causes Rachel to break up with him when she turns thirty. No one said growing up was easy.
Upon meeting Gavin (Dermot Mulroney), Rachel is disgusted by him, especially when he declares that he’s taking over her job (she had been away on maternity leave). However, he sings a different tune later in the episode when he offers to babysit Emma so Rachel can undertake an important presentation. Her relationship with Gavin was perfunctory, but Gavin didn’t seem like such a bad guy. He even removes himself from the equation by his third episode appearance, telling Rachel that she should examine her relationship with Ross and that he doesn’t want to get in the middle of whatever they may have.
Tate Donovan guest-starred for a few episodes in Season 4 as Joshua, a recently divorced man that Rachel meets at work. She harbors a huge crush on him, jumping at any chance she has to be alone with him (she even gets excited one episode when she feels his pulse). Joshua appears kind but hesitant to jump into anything serious, although he does admit he’s bought more clothes than he needs just to have an excuse to see Rachel.
Ultimately, her potential relationship with Joshua fails when she moves too fast (she’s competing against Ross and Emily’s relationship) for Joshua, who was only looking for something casual following his divorce. Some thing just aren’t meant to be.
Rachel’s relationship with Joey (Matt LeBlanc) was brief but sweet. Taking place not long before the show ended, the two tediously began to date. Much of their time seemed to be spent worrying over what Ross would think of them together, but they had their own moments the writers threw in to let us know their relationship wouldn’t be permanent. For example, how Rachel couldn’t stop slapping Joey uncontrollably each time he tried to touch her in one episode. They break things off when they feel they are better as friends than romantic partners. With the abrupt ending of their brief relationship, we’ll never truly know what kind of potential their relationship really had.
It was always Ross (David Schwimmer). From day one, Ross and Rachel had an undeniable chemistry. They were unbreakable together, but they had a tendency to act as one another’s kryptonite. Nonetheless, the couple had a daughter together and wound up together in the series finale. Where are they now? Unless there’s a revival, we like to picture them happy together without their past drama following. Throughout the ten years on the show, it was always obvious that regardless of either’s relationship status, they still held torches for one another (remember when Rachel crashed Ross’s wedding to Emily?). Were they ever really “on a break”?
Other honorable mentions include the poor man whom Rachel drunkenly talks to about Ross and his new relationship with Julie (Lauren Tom) while on a blind date with him, Gunther (James Michael Tyler), whom Rachel never realizes is crushing on her until the show’s end, and Chip (Dan Gauthier), whom Rachel dated in high school prior to the Friends pilot. While it was a long and rocky journey through various relationships, Rachel wound up with the one she truly loved in the end: Ross.
What did you think of Rachel’s relationships? Let us know in the comments!
NEXT: Friends: 30 Things That Make No Sense About Ross and Rachel’s Relationship