Over a decade later and we're still obsessing over Rachel getting off that plane, Monica and Chandler getting it together and the sad, sad, sadness that Pheebs and Joey never gave it a go. Now Friends creator David Crane has told TODAY that all the pairings happened for a reason. D'awww.
“Ross had to end up with Rachel,” he said.
“It’s ‘Friends’! If you’ve seen the pilot, that’s the show. If we had delivered anything else, I think people would have been really unsatisfied.
In the eighth season where you had the Joey/Rachel storyline, part of what was great about it was that it was so wrong. They weren’t meant to be together. They loved each other; they were great friends. And it really showed a wonderful deeper side to Joey, in particular, but at the end of the day, it’s Ross and Rachel. As he says, ‘It’s you, Rach.’ That’s the show!”
The finale could NOT let down viewers who'd been invested in the show for a decade.
“We talked about ‘Oh, Ross and Rachel don’t quite get together or maybe we imply that they will down the road,’” he said.
“But you know what? People have hung in there for 10 years waiting for this moment. Give it to them. The goal was to do it in a way that you didn’t see where we were going, and it was kind of surprising, all the airport stuff.”
“I think Joey was a really good guy,” added Crane, who with partner Jeffrey Klarik created Showtime’s Episodes, starring Matt LeBlanc.
“It was interesting because when (Joey) was first conceived, he was a ladies’ man. But with the three women, he never hit on any of the women around him. They were his friends and he was their big brother. And his heart was always in the right place.”
The WHOLE WORLD was gunning for a cheeky fling between Phoebe and Joey but they knew that was just too easy:
“At that point when we even considered it, Monica was with Chandler and we were like ‘Well, that’s too tidy. Stop it,’” he said.
And it wasn't all planned out for Mon and the Chan Chan man...
It was actually Joey who was meant to snag her (remember the lemonade scene?!):
“When we were originally conceiving the show, we actually thought that Monica and Joey might become a thing and then we cast it, and just went ‘that’s not the right energy’ because now they’re faces and they’re people,” said Crane, who explained that Monica’s character was supposed to be tougher.
“Janeane Garofalo was sort of a prototype.”
“Witty and sarcastic and biting,” Klarik added. “And so that was a nice idea to have that dynamic with the ladies’ man and this tough chick.”
But that all changed once they settled on Courteney and Matty. “They both became softer and realer,” Crane said.