Friends co-creator says Rachel, Joey were "doomed" and she was always going to end up with Ross
The sitcom was never going to end with Joey and Rachel together, says David Crane
It remains one of TV's most divisive couplings – and while Friends' Joey and Rachel pairing has its supporters, the two were never intended to end up together.
Speaking to RadioTimes.com about the "controversial" couple, Friends co-creator David Crane insisted that Rachel/Joey always had a shelf life and that Jennifer Aniston's character was always going to end up with David Schwimmer's Ross.
"The Joey/Rachel thing I know is controversial," Crane said. "I love it. I love it because it’s wrong – and we knew going in: this is wrong. And that happens in life. There is the relationship that shouldn’t be. Even though you love someone, that’s not who you’re going to be with.
"And we loved that it took Joey to a more emotional place, and let Matt [LeBlanc] play colours that he hadn’t gotten to play yet in the series."
But there were never any plans to make Rachel and Joey a long-term couple, unlike friends-turned-lovers Monica (Courteney Cox) and Chandler (Matthew Perry).
Crane explained: "Some of the relationships, like Monica and Chandler, we went in thinking, 'Oh, this will just be a brief thing.' And it was the gift that kept on giving, until we realised, 'Well, let’s take this all the way.'
"Joey and Rachel, we always knew [it would end]. She was pregnant with Ross’s baby. We always knew this was like… that this was doomed, but in a hopefully really interesting, moving and compelling way."
Crane also revealed an alternate ending considered for Phoebe and that Friends almost ended after season eight and again after season nine.