A Ranking of Rachel Green's Love Interests on "Friends"

Updated on November 2, 2019
Rachel M Johnson profile image

Rachel M. Johnson is a lover of all things pop culture. She's been writing about music and entertainment online for over two years.


Friends was a mega hit television show that featured an outstanding cast, and resonated with millions of fans across the world. Jennifer Aniston catapulted to fame with her portrayal of the effortlessly cool Rachel Green. Throughout the show's ten seasons, Rachel experienced her fair share of romance. Let's take a look at Rachel Green's most notable love interests.


11. Barry Farber

Let's be real: Barry Farber was an absolute garbage human being. He treated Rachel terribly throughout their relationship, and though at first you may have sympathy for him (he was jilted at the alter, after all), that compassion doesn't last long. When Rachel shows up at his office to apologize for her actions, Barry is incredibly rude and makes her feel extremely guilty. After a hasty reconciliation, Rachel learns that Barry had been sleeping with one of her bridesmaids (her close friend Mindy) for months! Proving just how low he could go, Barry then cheated on Mindy with Rachel before their upcoming nuptials. Not only was he a lying, manipulative character but he also didn't bring out the best in Rachel either. She truly dodged a bullet when it came to Barry.


10. Paolo

Paolo was the perfect rebound for Rachel after her break-up with Barry; he was handsome and Italian, and though he could hardly speak English he swept Rachel off her feet. From the start, their relationship was a fun fling and purely physical. Their constant caressing drove Ross absolutely wild, which was very entertaining. Paolo was also one of the many roadblocks in the everlasting Ross and Rachel saga. Sure, he might not have been the most compatible with Rachel and he even attempted to cheat on her with a very uninterested Phoebe, but he sure was pretty to look at! Rachel didn't waste a second kicking this Lothario to the curb.


9. Russ

Ah Russ, the borderline frightening Ross doppelganger we didn't know we needed. It was quite clear that he was simply being used by Rachel to make Ross jealous, as there was no true connection between the two. Not only was Russ Ross's physical twin, but they also shared the most maddening qualities. The romance (if you could call it that) soon fizzled out in Season 2, and after just one date Rachel soon realized she was essentially dating a Ross-clone. Clearly she wasn't over him, and Russ helped propel Rachel closer to her whirlwind relationship with Ross.


8. Mark Robinson

Though they didn't exactly have a relationship, it was clear from the start that Mark had more than just a professional interest in Rachel. In theory, he could have been quite the match for the character, seeing as they both worked in fashion and shared many similar interests. However, the way Mark manipulated his way into Rachel's life was pretty awful, even if he didn't exactly due much to break up her and Ross (Ross had that pretty well covered himself). The second the pair split, Mark was right there at her doorstep, which looks just a wee bit desperate. Mark and Rachel would go on a date, but it became abundantly clear that she was only using him to get back at Ross.


7. Danny

Oh Danny, you "crazy-eyed hairy beast man" you! While Rachel and Danny didn't exactly have a romantic meet-cute (she and Monica did hilariously fog him in the basement, after all), the attraction became evident once ole' Danny boy got a much-needed haircut. Their relationship definitely had a strange start (Rachel did think he was a yeti at one point), and the two enjoyed playing hard-to-get. It didn't take long for her to develop genuine feelings, but that didn't last long once she found out just how close he was to his sister. Rachel had to draw the line when she learned that Danny still took baths with her! Yikes!

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6. Joshua Burgin

Well if it isn't Josh-ua! Rachel first met the dreamy Joshua when he came into Bloomingdales looking for a whole new wardrobe, following a particularly nasty divorce. After a few attempts at reeling him in (who could forget when she desperately donned her high school cheerleading outfit?), Rachel finally got her man. Despite all her crazy and comical antics, a happy ending was not in the cards for her and Joshua. As Ross and Emily were planning to be married, Rachel decided to fast-forward their relationship as well, much to the dismay of Joshua. This resulted in a very nervous Joshua getting scared off. When he decided to try and make it work with Rachel, she hilariously answered the door in a wedding dress, once more sending him running for the hills.

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5. Tag Jones

Rachel was absolutely smitten when she interviewed and ultimately hired the attractive and slightly younger Tag Jones as her assistant. As she so cheekily quipped, "Ugh, I could just spread him on a cracker." Tag was both kind and good-looking, and after a bit of a (not so) secret crush on Rachel's part, the two shared a kiss on Thanksgiving and began a relationship. Watching Rachel and Tag together was fun, as they shared witty banter and a playful romance. It was never too serious and quite clearly a very physical attraction, but alas it was not meant to be. On her 30th birthday, Rachel ended things with Tag due to their age difference and maturity levels.

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4. Paul Stevens

You really are one neat guy, Paul! After a disastrous first meeting with his younger girlfriend Elizabeth's dad, Ross is dismayed to learn that he has struck up a romance with Rachel. The two have instant chemistry, with Rachel impressed that he's a lawyer and that he raised Elizabeth all by himself (cue the awes by Monica and Phoebe). Their relationship starts out mature and effortless, despite Paul's extreme dislike for Ross. On a trip to the family cabin (where Ross and Elizabeth also happen to be), Paul gives himself a hilarious pep-talk and famously declared "I'm just a love machine." The two could have had a really solid relationship, except it turned out Paul was quite the cry-baby. After encouraging him to open up about his childhood, Rachel unknowingly opened the floodgates and she just couldn't take the blubbering.

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3. Ross Geller

Okay okay, I will 100% admit that Ross and Rachel had undeniable chemistry and their will they/won't they saga kept fans and viewers hooked. Their romance started out genuine and sweet, with the two being friends first and eventually lovers. Ross is kind and absolutely devoted to Rachel, but his jealousy and insecurities got the best of him, resulting in a one night stand with Chloe, the copy girl. Though the two would make up and break up, they never seemed to be on the same page. After an intense and whirlwind roller coaster relationship, the pair came full circle and reconciled in the series finale (she got off the plane)! As Phoebe famously said, "He's her lobster!" Whether we agree with it or not, there's no denying that fact. I have no problem with the two finally getting together again, but honestly there were more suitable characters for Rachel to end up with.

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2. Joey Tribbiani

I know what you're thinking: Ross and Rachel are each other's lobsters, they may or may not have been on a break, and no woman could possibly contend with Joey's love of food. And yet, though this may be controversial to express, I wholeheartedly feel that Joey was a much better match for Rachel than Ross. Now that that declaration is out in the open, allow me to argue my case before you sharpen your pitchforks. The often shallow Joey first fell in love with Rachel when she was pregnant, and his kindness and tenderness for her during this time was so sweet to watch. Despite his initial feelings not being reciprocated, Joey managed to get the girl (albeit briefly), at the end of Season 9. I think the writers botched what could have been a promising relationship. Some may argue they were much better as friends, but I will always have a soft-spot for Rachel and Joey and wish we could have seen more of their pairing.

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1. Gavin Mitchell

Had the character been given the chance to stick around, Gavin Mitchell would have been without a doubt Rachel's perfect match. Not only was he absolutely swoon-worthy and handsome, but he had a wit to him that could go toe-to-toe with Rachel's. The two started out with a fiery mutual dislike for one another (the perfect formula for a passionate romance), but that disdain was simply masking their hidden feelings. Gavin and Rachel shared many interests, as they were both business savvy and a part of the fashion world. Neither characters were afraid to challenge the other, and I feel Gavin would have been able to keep up with Rachel and balance her out. Though he may have had a slight fear of babies, Gavin was honestly Rachel's perfect man. He also proved to be mature by walking away from pursuing Rachel, when it was clear she had unresolved feelings for Ross.

Who was your favorite love interest for Rachel?

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© 2019 Rachel M Johnson


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