Ross and Rachel are such an iconic part of that no one questions whether or not they're a good fit. The sitcom spent ten years finding ways to keep them apart, which only made viewers want them together more. But because of the way Ross and Rachel act around each other, they don't hold much appeal beyond their will they/won't they dynamic.
Joey and Rachel's romance was meant to be an obstacle in Ross and Rachel's love story but it ended up being the catalyst of Joey's character development. While the plotline was meant to show that Rachel belonged with her ex-boyfriend, all it did was highlight how toxic their relationship was. Although their romance was written off as awkward as a means to discredit it, there are several reasons why Joey and Rachel were actually a perfect match.
The main argument against Rachel and Joey is a lack of chemistry, yet the series purposely portrayed them that way. Before needed a reason to break them up, there were plenty of stolen moments that showcased their potential.
Rachel's feelings for Joey were painted as foreign and out of nowhere, when the truth is, Rachel had a crush on him long before the ninth season. She admits to having a thing for Joey at the beginning of the series, proving that the attraction was there.
Rachel had much more fun with Joey than she ever did with Ross, which was made even more apparent during their Barbados trip. While he could be considered the most comedic character in , it's a result of the , rather than Ross's sense of humor.
Neither Rachel nor Joey can follow the complex presentation Ross is giving, but they manage to entertain themselves. They both laugh at the same silly phrases, and despite how immature it might be, Rachel and Joey are immature together.
Ross has done a lot of horrible things to Rachel, but his pros and cons list is a stand-out. He came up with degrading reasons not to date her and said that she was "just a waitress" and "ditzy." It was already a poor reflection on Ross, but Joey managed to make him look even worse.
A list probably isn't the best way to dissect a person's feelings, but Joey had no problem making one while still remaining respectful. The only thing he disliked about his relationship with Rachel was that she made him switch to light mayo. But he even admits that it tastes the same and his pants fit better.
Compared to the other "womanizing" characters that were once a staple of sitcoms, Joey didn't quite fit the stereotype. He's definitely guilty of making mistakes, but his friends painted him out to be much worse than he was. Several of the comments they made contradicted his actions, as Joey was respectful of the women he was with.
Joey had never been in love before Rachel, and regardless of whether she felt the same, being around her made him want to be better. Joey had a reputation for being shallow, yet he fell for his best friend of eight years while she was pregnant and living in his house. It proved that Joey cared about more than just physicality, and also sought a meaningful emotional connection.
Despite making the least amount of money when the show started, Rachel and Joey both had a strong work ethic. They cared about doing what they loved, even if it meant they couldn't live within the same means as their friends.
There are plenty of reasons why in , and Ross's lack of interest in her career is one of them. Joey got Rachel her first job in the fashion industry and understood how important it was to cherish the small victories. Rachel supported him in return and displayed genuine pride at his achievements.
Before Rachel and Ross were ever a couple, Ross gave her a pep talk. He told Rachel that she deserves someone who appreciates her and wakes up every morning thinking, "Oh my God! I'm with Rachel!"
Ross was trying to indirectly reference himself, but the person he describes epitomizes Joey. Joey doesn't understand why anyone wouldn't want to be with Rachel because "she's the perfect woman." When she finally confesses her feelings for Joey in Barbados, he exclaims that he can't believe he's kissing Rachel, which mirrors Ross's speech.
Although Rachel has lived with almost every character in the friend group, she and Joey clicked perfectly as roommates. , but they had extremely different household habits.
Rachel even tried living with Ross when she was pregnant with his child and ended up moving back in with Joey because they were unhappy. Joey baby-proofed his apartment and changed his entire lifestyle to help Rachel raise Emma, and it was portrayed as something he truly wanted to do.
The root of Ross and Rachel's issues stemmed from their opposite mindsets. They had wildly different outlooks on life, and it affected the way they interacted with each other and raised their child. Rachel had managed to find the perfect nanny for Emma, but Ross fires him because he's uncomfortable with a guy being so sensitive. Not only is this one of many in , but it highlights his misogynism.
On the other hand, Joey loved Emma's new nanny and even found him inspiring. As he's proven on several occasions, Joey has no problem expressing his emotions, which is something that Rachel values. Despite having some immature tendencies, Rachel and Joey were the most evolved characters in the group.