In Friends lore, the phrase “we were on a break” carries as much nostalgia as the word “pivot” or Monica’s purple apartment walls. But what if we told you that Ross Geller and Rachel Green weren’t originally meant to break up? In a recent interview, Friends director Kevin S. Bright revealed that Ross and Rachel’s break almost didn’t happen.
In an interview with Metro.co.uk, published on September 27th, Bright said that the on-again, off-again arc of Ross and Rachel’s courtship “wasn’t planned that way.” So, presumably, in this alternate Friends timeline, Ross would have realized that Rachel was his lobster, kissed her, and that would have been that.
But Bright told Metro that two of the show’s writers, Marta Kauffman and David Crane, changed their minds. He said that he felt the onscreen couple’s breakup allowed the writers to “give people something to root for.”
“We were well aware the audience wanted to keep them together,” he said, “but everything that was keeping them apart—we realised when we got them together when the first kiss happened we go, ‘Wow, the air has kind of gone out of the balloon.’ There wasn’t that sexual tension anymore.”
Bright went on to say that he felt Ross and Rachel’s breakup “made it so much better when they did get together.” And admittedly, we see his point.
“We were on a break” made another iconic quote possible: “I got off the plane.”
It’s hard to imagine how different Friends would be if Ross and Rachel had stayed together the whole time.
Would Rachel have had Ross’s baby? Would Chloe the copy girl have remained a running gag? We’ll probably never know. But while we may have missed out on years of Ross and Rachel together, we wouldn’t have Friends any other way.