It's Been Exactly 19 Years, So Let's Settle This: Were They On A Break?

You decide.

Scroll down to vote in the ultimate deciding poll: WERE THEY ON A BREAK?

On February 13th 1997, the world changed forever. Ross and Rachel went on a break for the very first time in 'The One Where Ross And Rachel Take A Break'. But despite what we just said, and y'know, the title of the episode and everything, it's still pretty unclear whether the duo actually were on a break.

Ross says yes (because he cheated on her with some short haired buttface) and Rachel says no (because, hello, it's not her fault Mark invited himself around for Chinese). Here, two of our distinguished writers argue it out and give you the chance to vote to decide once and for all. 

"Yes, they WERE on a break" 

Rachel: ...Maybe we should just take a break!
Ross: Ok, fine. Fine. Let's take a break. Let's cool off. Let's get some frozen yogurt or something.
Rachel: No! ...a break from us.

Tempted as I am to drop the mic right this very second – from outer space, down into the fiery depths of the earth’s incandescent core, is how hard I could drop this mic right now - I’ll bite.

A little background for those who don’t remember: Ross and Rachel started to have recurring arguments over Rachel's co-worker, Mark, who Ross secretly suspected she was having an affair with.

Rachel ensured him that it was totally platonic (it was) and that Mark wasn’t interested in her (he was). Ross’ paranoia overcame him, and the above conversation ensued.

Now, I’m not here to blame a women for the faults of awful men. It’s not a woman’s job to abstain from male friendships on the off-chance that they might be a Ross-hating sex pest.

Unless, UNLESS: you’re Jennifer Aniston circa 1997. Because: of course he was into you. You’re Jennifer Aniston circa 1997. With The Hair, and the face and the granite nipples.

If Ross is indeed a jealous man, then we’re surprised he didn’t have a nervous breakdown long before this point.

But that’s all by the by, because the fundamental fact is: both Ross AND Rachel privately acknowledge that the relationship was over. That’s not a technicality, Rachel - that’s the damn truth.

So, in the words of Hugh Laurie:

No, they WERE not on a break

Simple as it may be to present a watered-down narrative where a break is a break and Ross isn't a massive wazzock, the truth must come out.

Although Rachel did utter the immortal words about taking a break, she immediately rang Ross to take it back. But where was he? At a bar. He'd been "on a break" for all of twenty seconds and the first thing he did was go to a bar. Was "frozen yoghurt" code for "sex with strangers" all along? 

When he finally decided to ring Rachel, he slammed the phone down because he heard Mark's voice in the background - without giving her a chance to explain. Yes, okay, it sucked that Mark came round, but Rachel totally told him not to. 

Had Ross stayed on the phone for just two more seconds, Rachel would've been able to say they weren't on a break at all. Also, what kind of monster cheats on someone and then tries to excuse himself by shouting the words "WE WERE ON A BREAK" at every opportunity for the next 20 years?

Anyway, let's hypothetically say they were on a break (they weren't), Ross should still be ashamed of himself and Rachel still has the right to be mad at him. Who sleeps with someone else moments after breaking up? 

So make the right choice today. Vote for what you know is right. Vote for a better world. 

Here's the whole, heart-breaking scene again: