A lot of couples look to Ross and Rachel as "relationship goals," but the truth is that they are easily the worst in the series and nothing to admire! Why aspire to be in a relationship like theirs, which is built on manipulation, selfishness, control, and insecurity? We all know that Monica and Chandler are way more stable—and likable—than the dramatic on-and-off union of Ross and Rachel that propelled ten seasons of Friends.
While Ross is the one to usually catch a lot of flak for his over-the-top behavior (and don’t worry, he’s definitely in quite a few of the instances on this list), Rachel is no prize herself all the time. She is an immature, spoiled, selfish woman who can’t seem to decide what (or who) she wants in life. In fact, perhaps their shared self-absorption is what makes them so perfect for each other! Does that count as goals? Probably not, which is why we have 15 moments when Ross and Rachel were the absolute WORST.
15 When Ross Could Date But Rachel Couldn’t
When Rachel got pregnant, she and Ross agreed that this would not mean that they were back together, and they would continue to live their lives as single people who happened to be having a baby together. What could go wrong, right? Well, it turns out, everything. Even though Ross agrees to this, and is dating Mona, he gets jealous when Rachel shows interest in someone else, like when she gives her number to the guy at the bar (whose message he later throws away). Later, when Rachel has the baby, Ross is still super jealous, getting all hurt over her kissing her coworker, Gavin, and freaking out over her budding relationship with Joey, even though he’s involved with Charlie – who he stole from Joey! He flirts with the girl at the baby store and hits on their new nanny, but still, Rachel’s the bad person for wanting to date? Okay Ross.
14 When They Did It In A Museum Exhibit
Okay, the whole planetarium thing with the stars, “Wicked Game” by Chris Isaak, and a burst juice box was actually adorable and romantic. Definite points there. But, how exactly do they manage to move from the planetarium to an exhibit that has animal skins? There’s no way those are even related to each other, so they must’ve had to travel/make-out throughout the museum, moving from exhibit to exhibit while they did it. It’s a common fantasy to "get it on" at your place of work, but that just seems excessive. Then, to make it worse, they wake up in the exhibit (how?), to the watchful eyes of a bunch of children! Ross, you do know that you work there, right? And that showing up naked in front of a bunch of kids isn’t exactly the fast track to getting a promotion? Just checking.
13 When Ross Wanted To “Start Things Up Again”
Speaking of the whole Ross-and-Rachel pregnancy thing, how lame was it when Ross decides that he doesn’t want to propose to Rachel (despite his mother’s urging - she even gives him a ring to propose with!). Though his feelings for her have been stirred up, what with her having his child and all, he's still not fully committed. No, instead of that, he clarifies that he wants to maybe “start things up again.”
Nothing ever goes so smoothly, though, and once Ross learns that Rachel accepted a mistake proposal from Joey (which could be owing to the fact that she’s a mess of hormones, has just been told by Janice that she’ll most likely wind up alone, and has gone through the crazy trauma of giving birth), Ross rejects the idea of dating again, making it feel like it’s all Rachel’s fault for his decision!
12 When Rachel Went To London
Hey, Rachel wasn’t immune to being a total jerk sometimes, either! Remember when Ross was all caught up with his new love, Emily, even though it had been less than a year since he and Rachel, the supposed love of his life, split up? Even though Rachel initially decides against going, she changes her mind and chooses to tell Ross – before he’s about to marry someone else – that she still loves him! We all know that Rachel has always been the spoiled one of the group, but this is pretty ridiculous. If you’re a mature adult who truly loves the person, wouldn’t the better thing be to let them go and be happy, even if they’re not with you? Hey, Rach, can you cheerlead-spell the word “selfish”?
11 When Drunk Rachel Got Closure
Another moment when Rachel had terrible timing (girl really needs to work on that), she goes on a date with Michael, whom she’s been set up with by Monica, in an effort to get over Ross, who is now dating Julie. (And things are clearly getting serious between them, since they’re looking to get a cat.)
However, while on the date, Rachel borrows another diner’s phone, and leaves a long message to Ross saying that she’s over him (despite Ross never knowing of her interest in him to begin with) and that is what they call "closure." Sure, Rachel had a few too many glasses of wine before leaving this message, but it proves their needs to sabotage one another’s relationships if they aren’t involved with each other! Hello, other people have feelings, too!
10 When They Got Married In Vegas
What an a-hole move this was, right? First, we have Ross’s incessant need to pretty much always get hitched to any woman that’ll have him, but we also have the fact that, again, Rachel is stealing Monica’s thunder, even though her and Chandler’s impulsive idea to get married in Vegas was secret and never followed through on.
Look, despite what this episode and all three movies in the Hangover franchise would have you believe, it seems pretty unlikely that Ross and Rachel could follow through with the wedding thing, which requires signing your name and other things requiring cognitive ability, and remember none of it. Plus, on the plane ride into Vegas, they were being total jerks to each other, while simultaneously annoying everyone else who happened to be on the same flight! No amount of Sharpie-d face doodles can change that.
9 When Ross Lied About Getting An Annulment
Even worse than the Vegas nonsense was the fact that Ross pretended to get an annulment afterwards, but didn’t! And why didn’t he? Because he didn’t want to be a guy whose been married and divorced three times! Hey, Ross, maybe don’t marry someone you barely know or tie the knot in a drunken Vegas ceremony. Just a thought.
Adding insult to that situation, though, is when Rachel finds out about Ross’s lie (which he tells Phoebe while giggling), he STILL tries to convince her that it’s not a big deal, and is just a matter of checking a different box on official forms. Um, Ross, you know there’s a bit more to it than that, right? I mean, you HAVE been married twice before this, so this should all be pretty familiar territory for you.
8 When Ross Cheated On Bonnie And Rachel Shaved Her Head
Rachel was pretty bent out of shape when Ross slept with the copy girl just hours after they declared they were on a break, but she was totally chill with being the "other woman" when it came to the relationship between Ross and Bonnie, Phoebe’s formerly-bald friend. In fact, she spends most of their beach house vacation flirting with Ross while glaring and passive-aggressively insulting Bonnie. And then to top it off, she encourages Bonnie to shave her head!
Ross isn’t innocent here, either, since he takes one look at bald Bonnie, and definitely factors that in when he decides to return to Rachel. Afterwards, of course, we all know that he only pretended to read her excruciatingly long letter to get back with her, but not before they both laugh about Bonnie’s baldness before she leaves, probably confused as to what happened to her formerly loving boyfriend.
7 When Mark Happened
When Rachel finally got a connection to the job of her dreams (working in fashion), was Ross at all happy for her? Nope! Instead, he tried to poke holes into a nice gesture from a stranger, insisting it was only because he wanted to sleep with her. Then, as Rachel begins her work at Bloomingdale's, Ross invades her personal space, sending multiple tokens of his affection to litter her desk, ignoring or outright insulting Mark's (her coworker) presence. And he has the audacity to whine about the fact that he feels like he doesn’t even have a girlfriend anymore. Like, Ross, can you just be a grown-up and support her as she works her butt off to achieve her dreams instead of making it all about you, your paranoia, and your insecurities? Bye!
6 When Ross Hooked Up With Chloe, The Girl From The Copy Shop
We all make mistakes when we’re sad and drinking, but for Ross to sleep with Chloe from the copy shop is a pretty low move. Sure, she’s cute, but her personality is pretty obnoxious, and she’s no saint for hearing Ross out only to get him into bed with her. It was only a few hours after he and Rachel went on a break when he meets with Chandler and Joey (and Chloe), and then later disappears with her. When he calls Rachel to reconcile, and hears Mark’s voice in the background (even though Mark went to Rachel’s apartment of his own choice, not her invitation), he refuses to hear her out, and even uses it as more reason to hook up with Chloe! That level of anger and disrespect over something so minuscule (and unproven) is another reason why they’re too immature to ever work.
5 Then When He Tried To Cover It Up
The only thing worse than Ross hooking up with Chloe was the fact that he tried to cover it up. (And having Chandler and Joey complicit in his attempted cover-up is also a mark against them.) Ross runs around Manhattan to convince anyone who might know about him and Chloe to not tell Rachel, since he wants to get back together with her and knows that this information would ruin his chances. He goes to her coworker, Phoebe’s coworker, and finally Gunther, begging them to keep their mouths shut. Unfortunately for him, Gunther is actually a decent person (albeit a self-serving one) and spills the beans to Rachel. The fact that Ross even tried to cover up his cheating instead of ’fessing up and apologizing speaks volumes about the respect he has for relationships, and his supposed “lobster.”
4 When Ross Made A Pro-Con List
Rachel said it best. When she asked Ross how he would feel if someone had written down all of his worst qualities and used them as a reason not to be with him - how would that make him feel? Because who even does that? It’s when he’s with Julie and debating splitting up with her to be with Rachel, he decides to list everything Rachel has going against her, such as: “spoiled,” “ditzy,” “chubby ankles,” “too into her looks,” and “just a waitress.” Whereas for Julie, she gets “she’s not Rachel,” and nothing more. Sure, it’s meant to seem sweet, like nothing compares to Rachel, but the fact that Ross feels the need to pit the women against each other for his affections like he’s some great prize is pretty pathetic and a clear indicator of where Ross’s priorities lie.
3 When Ross Said The Wrong Name
If you thought Rachel going to London to essentially ruin Ross’s wedding was bad, it was also pretty damn awful when Ross, upon seeing Rachel, messes up his vows and says the wrong name at the alter. Look, he never should’ve married Emily. They were too different for each other and had known one another for less than a year. And Ross was clearly still hung up on the woman he’d been pining for since he was 15. If Emily was in her right mind, she would’ve stopped the wedding then and there and ditched him at the alter the way Rachel ditched Barry.
Then, there was the fact that Rachel claimed Ross’s flub had to mean something, which is super childish and petty. It was a pretty catastrophic thing to have happen, and for Rachel to try to figure out what this means for her is beyond selfish.
2 When He Asked Rachel To Stay
We already know that Ross wasn’t exactly supportive of Rachel’s career goals (even though he thought less of her for being “just a waitress”), but it’s really terrible when he begs Rachel to stay instead of going to Paris for a once-in-a-lifetime opportunity. Um, why couldn’t he move over there? His job history is spotty at best, and it’s not like he’s making a buttload of cash as a professor that he’d be giving up. But no, he has to beg Rachel to stay with him, for him, regardless of what that means for her career. (PS, what about your daughter?!) It’s selfish and short-sighted, and another example of when one of them is willing to manipulate the other for their own personal gain. Sure, we got the “I got off the plane” quote that had a bunch of people crying, but come on!
1 When They Were On A Break
First off, they were 100% on a break. Rachel said it twice, once when she first brought it up, and then another time when she left a voicemail on Ross’s machine (and that time she called it a break-up). However, if I were Rachel, I’d be just as pissed about Ross’s quick turnaround time with the girl from the copy shop. But, Ross doesn’t get a pass here, either, because he uses the “We were on a break” remark as an excuse for everything! It becomes a running joke in the series, but it’s actually the lamest joke since Ross thinks is absolves him of what he did. When really it still means he’s a crummy person, but not a cheater per se. The up-and-down nonsense of their whole relationship is summed up in that one line, which is why they are, without a doubt, the WORST!