Claire Harmeyer
Updated June 24, 2019

Has there ever been more of a roller coaster romance than Ross and Rachel? The beloved Friends couple kept us on the edge of our seat for 10 seasons while they navigated the rocky waters of their relationship. Many short-lived flings got in the way—the sexy Pablo, bald-headed Bonnie, and even Joey delayed the inevitable reunion of Ross and Rachel. But no significant other caused an uproar like Season 2’s sweet paleontologist, Julie.

Who could forget the tragic scene in which Rachel stood in the airport, flowers in hand, waiting to declare her love to Ross, only to be dumbfounded when he arrived hand-in-hand with Julie? (We were more than a little heartbroken.) The pair reconnected as former grad-school classmates while in China, shattering our hopes of Ross and Rachel finally getting together after an agonizing first season of “almosts.” Fans, however, were not as happy as Ross was about his newfound love.

Earlier this week on Today, actress Lauren Tom, who played Julie, revealed that fans weren’t just unaccepting, they were cruel during live tapings.

Tom gets it, though. As a Friends viewer herself, she shipped Ross and Rachel along with the fans at home.

Although fans were so unwelcoming of Tom’s character, the cast was quite the opposite.

“The rest of the cast was so welcoming to me,” she said. “I still remember it was my birthday on my first day of rehearsal, and so they all took me out to lunch. It was very, very fancy, and it was so, so sweet of them to welcome me in that way.” Aww. We would have done anything to be at that birthday lunch—especially if it was at Central Perk. Now, after more than two decades and a Ross and Rachel happy ending, we can say paleontologist Julie deserved better.