From the time Friends premiered in 1994 till it went off the air, a lot of people crushed on ensemble cast member Jennifer Aniston, who played Rachel Green. Women wanted the hairstyle named after her character, "The Rachel," and men wanted Rachel. And Aniston herself.
It should come as no surprise that one of Aniston's fellow Friends actors, David "Ross" Schwimmer, and the actress herself have admitted there was definitely a real spark between them when they left the soundstages where they recorded the show.
COVID-19 delayed the reunion, which premiered Thursday. The whole cast is back, but as themselves. So along with Schwimmer and Aniston, viewers can watch Courteney Cox (Monica), Lisa Kudrow (Phoebe) Matt LeBlanc (Joey) and Matthew Perry (Chandler), talk about their time on the show and about its pervasive role in pop culture.
In doing so, the actors were pretty revealing, which was how we learned that any chemistry the audience sensed between Ross and Rachel once they became a couple on the show was apparently real.
Schwimmer admitted during the reunion that during the show's premiere season, he "had a major crush on Jen."
“At some point," he continued, "we were both crushing hard on each other — but it was like two ships passing [in the night because one of us was always in a relationship."
Schwimmer began to elaborate, saying they “never crossed that boundary — we respected that."
Aniston admitted what Schwimmer confessed was true. “I remember saying at one point to David ‘It’s going to be such a bummer if the first time you and I actually kiss is … on national television!'"
"Sure enough," she continued, "the first time we kissed was in that coffee shop."
Aniston went on to say the pair “channeled" their "adoration and love for each other into Ross and Rachel."
At the implication that the pair remained purely platonic when not on-set, co-star Matt LeBlanc couldn't help but burst out with "Bullshit!" before laughing and saying he was kidding. Yet as they further discussed Schwimmer's and Aniston's relationship, it grew harder to believe nothing was going on between the actors.
“There were moments we would cuddle on a couch,” Schwimmer admitted.
Aniston added, "We would spoon and fall asleep on the couch."
While the rest of the cast knew there was something between the two, there was no confirmation anything actually happened.
This might put some pressure on other famous TV comedy show couples. Say there's a similar reunion for the cast of a show that premiered after Friends was off the air --The Office.
John Krasinski as Jim Halpert and Jenna Fischer as Pam Beezly eventually filled a Ross and Rachel-sized hole in pop culture, and the actors have admitted on podcasts since the show went off the air that they knew they had chemistry, but both are happily married (Krasinski to Emily Blunt, Fischer to writer-director Lee Kirk) and have sometimes awkwardly steered clear of implying they were more than just friends at any point during the show.
With either Friends or The Office the true nature of the actors' relationships may never be revealed, but hey -- at least we have streaming services now to give new generations a chance to obsess over such things. The truth will come out eventually.