Ross and Rachel’s romance is one of the most iconic TV relationships of almost every millennial’s life. Their on-again, off-again relationship on Friends went on for almost a decade, right up until the show’s end in 2004.
Because Jennifer Aniston was very publicly married to Brad Pitt for most of the show’s tenture—he even made a cameo as a Rachel-hating former high school classmate at one point—it turns out, Aniston and David Schwimmer had real-life chemistry, and a real-life crush on each other.
As revealed during the show’s HBO Max reunion, during Friends’ early seasons, the pair’s chemistry was so apparent, it was noticed by their co-stars, Courteney Cox, Matthew Perry, Lisa Kudrow, and Matt LeBlanc
However, the duo never acted upon their crushes, due to both timing and the fear of an implosion.
“I had a major crush on Jen. At some point we were both crushing hard on each other,” Schwimmer explained. “But it was like two ships passing. One of us was always in a relationship and we never crossed that boundary. We respected that.”
Aniston, dated both Friends guest-star Tate Donovan and, casually one of the world’s biggest hotties, Brad Pitt, expressed relief that they never became romantic. “I remember saying one time to David, It’s going to be such a bummer if the first time you and I actually kiss is on national television. And sure enough, the first time we kissed was in that coffee shop,” she recalled. “We channelled all of our adoration and love for each other into Ross and Rachel.”
“I thought back on the very first year or two,” Schwimmer continued. “When we had breaks from rehearsal, there were moments we would cuddle on the couch. I’m thinking, How did not everyone know we weren’t crushing on each other? It was a situation that we couldn’t do anything about it.”
Cox, Perry, Kudrow, and LeBlanc then all jumped in to reveal they did notice what was going on, with Cox, in particular, noting how thankful she is that nothing romantic transpired with her on-screen brother. “How great though, ultimately, because if you had and it didn’t work out,” she noted, “it probably wouldn’t have been as great.”
Wow, BRB off to watch Friends season one.